Backstage Update On Matt Riddle's Status Amid NJPW Exit Rumors

Matt Riddle's reign as NJPW World Television Championship champion ended on April 12 when he was defeated by Zack Sabre Jr. at the Windy City Riot pay-per-view in Chicago, but what Riddle did after the match had people talking. Rather than selling the defeat, Riddle quickly exited the ring and returned up the entrance ramp, high-fiving fans along the way and making it seem like nothing had happened. This has sparked rumors that Riddle's tenure with NJPW has ended, despite only getting started with the company in January when he challenged Hiroshi Tanahashi to a match for The New Beginning in Sapporo event.


According to Dave Meltzer, while speaking on "Wrestling Observer Radio," these rumors are merely that. Meltzer claimed that Riddle is not finished with NJPW and has upcoming dates with the company in the near future, with his dropping the belt simply being a decision made by NJPW to crown a new champion.

Riddle has previously stated that he has a working visa that will allow him to travel to Japan throughout 2024, but his next appearance for the company has yet to be confirmed. He was reportedly slated to be part of the line-up for the 2024 New Japan Cup that took place earlier this year, but he was omitted from the tournament for undisclosed reasons.

Riddle will continue to work for Major League Wrestling outside of his bookings for NJPW, with MLW being the place where he made his two defenses of the NJPW World Television Championship against Bad Dude Tito and Kosei Fujita.