Former WWE Star Matt Riddle Says Upcoming NJPW Match Is An 'Honor'

Former WWE United States Champion Matt Riddle is has already made an impact on the wrestling world since the turn of the new year, but his upcoming match for New Japan Pro Wrestling is something which he is looking forward to immensely. Riddle will challenge NJPW legend Hiroshi Tanahashi for "The Ace"'s newly won NJPWWorld Television Championship at "The New Beginning in Sapporo" event on February 23rd, having issued the challenge to Tanahashi at the 'New Year Dash!!' On a recent episode of "The Kurt Angle Show," the former WWE Superstar stated that he has plans in Japan that extend beyond his upcoming title match. 

"I got a year visa so I plan on working throughout the year," Riddle said. "I didn't know they were going to throw me up there like that, but I'm pretty stoked, I'm honored honestly and flattered that they would put me in such a position. All I can do now is not disappoint." Riddle also stated that he is looking forward to bringing a different side of himself to Japan in 2024, one that will be very different to what WWE fans saw of him. "That's my plan, just make some noise and kind of bring in a more aggressive bro," Riddle said. "People still want the bro, which is okay, but I want to bring back that more aggressive version of me."

Riddle has already picked up a win in New Japan Pro Wrestling this year. He reunited with his former tag team partner Jeff Cobb at the recent Battle in the Valley event in San Jose, where he and Cobb defeated Zack Sabre Jr. and Bad Dude Tito of TMDK.

Please credit "The Kurt Angle Show" when using quotes from this article, and give a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.