The PCW Ultra promotion in California announced today that Matt Riddle has been pulled from Friday's show in Los Angeles due to "unforeseen circumstances," as seen in the tweet below. PCW noted in another tweet that Riddle's booking was canceled on short notice.
As noted, Riddle, who is booked for other indie dates in the Northeast this weekend, has also been pulled from several upcoming events: Over The Top Wrestling on August 18th and 19th in Ireland, during WWE's SummerSlam weekend, plus Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's big 2018 Battle of Los Angeles in mid-September.
We reported earlier this week that there has been a lot of speculation on Riddle signing with WWE. WWN Live has confirmed that Riddle, who is the current EVOLVE Champion, will work all four EVOLVE events in August, beginning with a title defense against Shane Strickland on August 4th at EVOLVE 108 in Philadelphia. All of those dates are before SummerSlam. It was noted that Riddle will be added to additional EVOLVE dates if he is still the champion after August, but he is currently scheduled to miss the first weekend of September (EVOLVE 112 in Joppa & EVOLVE 113 in Queens) due to "previously approved personal obligations," according to WWN.
WWE has had interest in Riddle for a few years now and they were the ones responsible for Riddle going to work for EVOLVE following a WWE tryout. Riddle, who has a MMA record of 8 wins & 3 losses & 2 NC, was released by UFC a few years ago after failing two drug tests in one year for marijuana. Triple H later spoke about Riddle during a NXT media call and talked about talents getting second chances but Riddle having to prove himself, noting that Riddle had a bright future in the wrestling business.
WWE officials recently reconsidered their position on signing Riddle, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. New Japan Pro Wrestling had renewed interest in bringing Riddle in and offered him a deal, but it's expected that Riddle will be heading to WWE NXT.
Due to the canceled bookings in Ireland on August 18th and August 19th, speculation is that Riddle's signing could be revealed during SummerSlam weekend with a ringside appearance at NXT "Takeover: Brooklyn IV" but that has not been confirmed. Riddle could sign with NXT and still work the August EVOLVE shows as WWE does have the working relationship with WWN. Riddle is still scheduled to work another indie event during SummerSlam weekend in New York City - a match against PCO on August 17th at Joey Janela's Lost In New York event hosted by GCW.
Below are the recent statements from WWN, PWG, PCW and OTT:
EVOLVE Champion Matt Riddle has been the subject of rumors. Riddle is confirmed for all four August EVOLVE events, where he will defend the championship at EVOLVE 108 against Shane Strickland in a Hardcore Rules Match on August 4th in Philadelphia. If Riddle is successful, he will defend vs. Darby Allin at EVOLVE 110 on August 11th in Chicago. Riddle is set for non-title action vs. Austin Theory at EVOLVE 109 in Melrose, MA and JD Drake at EVOLVE 111 in Livonia, MI. If Riddle is still EVOLVE Champion after August, he will be added to additional dates. Riddle is currently scheduled to miss the September weekend due to previously approved personal obligations.
Matthew Riddle will no longer be a participant in the 2018 Battle of Los Angeles. Trevor Lee has now entered the tournament in his place!— PWG (@OfficialPWG) July 24, 2018
Due to unforeseen circumstances...Matt Riddle will not be performing at "Sound The Alarm." We will have a suitable replacement. Sorry for the inconvenience.— PCW ULTRA • SOUND THE ALARM • 7/27 (@PCWULTRA) July 24, 2018
Due to a scheduling conflict Matt Riddle can no longer appear at #WrestleRama2 weekend, However we have worked hard to secure a replacement!— OTT WRESTLING (@OTT_wrestling) July 19, 2018
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