Matt Riddle joined Corey Graves on WWE's After The Bell podcast to talk about his recent SmackDown debut. This would lead to discussing AJ Styles, who he looks forward to wrestling more, and what type of competition he likes to go up against.
The subject of his debut of course brought up the opponent he faced that night on SmackDown, AJ Styles. The current Intercontinental Champion took the loss, which he has since recovered from. But Matt Riddle has a clear respect for Styles. The feeling seems to be a mutual one between the two.
"In my mind, there's always more work to do. I can always improve. 'It could have been better,' and so does AJ. That's why he's as good as he is, because after our match we were already talking about how we can make anything better. And even after," The Original Bro said. "[the] last matches, it's the same thing.
"But for me, I was just really happy. The amount of trash people talk, and that's just what it is... the amount of people who would be like, 'Oh why? Why would they be calling him up? They're going to ruin him'. This, that, blah, blah, blah, and I was just like, 'You guys don't get it. Nobody is going to ruin me.'"
Riddle made sure to emphasize that he would not be "ruined" by his move to the blue brand.
"Hey, I don't care about money; I don't care. I will live on the streets. See now, I don't care. But I want certain things a certain way, and I respect you so you respect me, you know," Matt emphatically spoke "It's just one of those things, and I think honestly people will say, 'It's stupid, it's always about the money'. It's like, no, you become a legend. [The] money comes.
"So, it's like, I'm not about money, I'm about my status. I'm about where we all are and I'm about making. And I told him, 'What about making you money?' Like, I'm never going to ask for more than I'm worth. But at the same time, I know what I'm worth. So it's like, he knows that. I think that's why everything is so good then. Things are only going to get better."
Matt is equally optimistic when looking toward his potential future opponents. He hopes to have bouts with stars of all shapes and sizes so he can showcase his abilities to adapt.
"Well, I feel like there's people who would think, 'Oh I want those matchups'. But me personally, Chad Gable's style, I know we'll turn up if we ever get into the ring. He's too good not to. But then there's me because of my size, I'm big. But say there's someone like Sheamus, Big E," Matt Riddle excitedly uttered. "I want those matches, like Corbin, I'm stoked. Like, I'm going to get it out of you bro.
"I think we're going to tear it down, and I like wrestling with bigger men. I like that size difference because, being usually the Face, I like being the underdog, and it's hard to be an underdog when you're ripped, you're jacked, you're a UFC Fighter World Champion at Jujutsu. It's like, 'how are you the underdog? how are you going to get sympathy?' People who are bigger than me, I can get sympathy."
"So like, when I look at the roster, I want to wrestle Sheamus so bad. The guy is huge! I know he will beat the crap out of me, and then when they see me come back, and fire, and beat him back," Matt proposed. "People are going to be like 'Oh My God!' and it's just one of those matches. Like when I wrestled Keith, or Walter, and any of those guys on the Indies. When I go against those guys, [people enjoy it] because its hard to find someone who is big and can freaking go like that. But now, in WWE, there's plenty of people that can do that that are bigger and can make me look like a victim. And I'm just like, 'Lets go!' because that's what I need."
This increase in size and competition around him is an exciting prospect to Riddle, and he thinks big moments from all size of opponents are in his future. But mostly from the big guys, like Brock Lesnar and Goldberg.
"I need the competition; I need that. It's like I said, like, I want to lock horns, with the guys like Sheamus, Big E and even - don't get me wrong. There's Jeff Hardy, there's so many people I want to wrestle." Riddle pointed out. "I want those big boys, I want those thick boys. I had great matches with big guys and I feel like it brings the best of me.
"If I deadlift Tony Nese, a stallion, okay - but if I deadlift, gut-wrench Keith Lee and can barely get him up and shake him like a warrior? It's all about moments! I can make moments with a big guy. Its hard to make moments with, you know, unless its with Chad Gable. But it's a different match. But me, the reason I came to the big show is I want to lock horns with the big boys."
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit After The Bell with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.