Matt Riddle spoke to Metro on a number of wrestling topics. Here are some of the highlights:
Succeeding in going from MMA to pro wrestling, speaking from the heart:
"The difference is that I've always been a huge fan and always wanted to get into professional wrestling. I just never thought I was big enough or that the opportunity was there. A lot of fighters think it's going to be easier than MMA and I can tell you this right now, it's not that the training is harder or you that have to cut weight in pro wrestling, but you have to connect with an audience. It doesn't matter if you're the best wrestler in the world and can do every move perfectly, if you don't connect with the crowd or sell well or have good promos, nobody cares. People can see through bulls---. When people watch WWE and they hear a guy like Roman Reigns quoting Jack and the Beanstalk, they know he is not speaking from the heart. That's why I like the indies, because I like being who I am. I get to be who I am in the ring, on the microphone, everywhere, it's great. I never have to get out of character because I am Matthew Riddle."
Not going to WWE right now and having the freedom to tell his story on the indies:
"It's not that I don't fancy it, WWE is the biggest company in the world for professional wrestling. At the end of the day, that's where everybody wants to be, but some people get there sooner. The thing is, once you're working for them, you're limited. I use the example of movies a lot. If you make an independent movie, you hire your actors and do everything. It's lower budget but it's your product. Your ideas. When you go to a bigger studio, they'll give you more money but they'll say a sponsor has to be in the movie or a certain actor has to be involved. The story you were telling is now an altered one. Something I love about indies is that I get to tell my story. There might be a different outcome, but before, during and after the match I tell the story my way."
People WWE shouldn't have hired:
"With wrestling, everybody always asks what they can do to get signed or how can they get over. There's no right or wrong answers, that's why I think the best thing you can do is be yourself. Decide which of your traits and characteristics are going to stand out to people, and take advantage of that. It's the same with WWE because they have John Cena who is a legitimate Superman and a machine. And then they have James Ellsworth on the same payroll. So you have James Ellsworth and John Cena. If you look at them side by side and look at everything, one guy shouldn't be collecting a check but he is. Nothing against Ellsworth, but if you're looking at picture-perfect that's what everybody should be like, everybody should be like John Cena. Jacked, a machine, get up at 5am go to bed at 2am, but that's not how it works. And the fans can't all connect with Superman. Some people are James Ellsworth, nothing wrong with that."
You can read the full interview by clicking here.