Matt Riddle was a guest on the Ariel Helwani MMA Show recently, where he discussed his debut on last week’s episode of Friday Night Smackdown, and how he views the next step onto the main roster. The interview was conducted before a woman accused Riddle of sexual assault, a charge which WWE says they are investigating.
“For me, it’s a progression,” Riddle said. “The indies are the minor leagues, NXT is still professional but not on the level of Smackdown in terms of production and worldwide value and now Smackdown, once you’re at that level it’s a different picture.”
Riddle spent two years in NXT before getting called up to Smackdown where he only became a champion once alongside Pete Dunne after they won the Dusty Classic this past year. Riddle discussed how long he spent in NXT and whether or not he was surprised it took him this long to get called up to the main roster.
“I never think it is going to take that long,” Riddle said. “I didn’t know how long I was going to stay in NXT and I was hoping it was going to be quick but I think I did what I had to do to make the proper move to main roster.”
For many superstars who get called up to the main roster, their character undergoes some changes. Riddle talked about if he’ll experience any changes to his character as works to make a name for himself on the main roster. Riddle discussed why he doesn’t believe any changes to the character need to happen.
“I’m Matt Riddle, I don’t think that’s going to change and I don’t want to change,” Riddle said. “My employers don’t want me to change, they really like who am and what I bring to the table. For the writers and everybody else I think I’m a breath of fresh air, its hard when you got people coming in to tell them what to do but for me, I know what I’m going to do. You can guide me and stuff but I know who Matt Riddle is, I don’t have to think about my character. I am Matt Riddle, I’m the original bro.”
One of the most notable things Riddle took with him into the wrestling world from MMA was working barefoot. Riddle discussed what he’d be doing on the main roster regarding his feet and cited a meeting he had with Vince McMahon where he showed up in a suit and flip flops.
“Still wrestling barefoot,” Riddle said. “Before all of this I had a meeting with Vince months ago before Mania, and I went to his headquarters with a full suit and flip flops and he saw that and he saw that that’s my thing. I haven’t worn shoes in years. “I don’t think anybody wants to change me. I think they know what they’ve got and I bring something unique and original.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.