One half of the RAW Tag Team Champions, Riddle, joined the WWE After the Bell Podcast with Corey Graves to talk about his RKBro tag team partner Randy Orton and their relationship. Riddle spoke about Orton owning a private bus for travel and how he’s never been on it, while also talking about how he’d love to give Vince McMahon a hug someday.
“I’ve probably spent more time on AJ Styles’ bus just saying hi,” Riddle said. “This was a different time, this was the ThunderDome era. He asked me to come on the bus to ask me a couple questions. Randy, I’ve seen Randy’s bus but I have not been in Randy’s bus. It’s kind of like Vince McMahon hugging me, I’ve seen Vince McMahon hugging lots of people, Vince has yet to hug me but I’ve seen it happen. I know it’s a possibility, me getting on Randy’s bus is a possibility, a hug from Vince McMahon is a possibility. These are all things that I’m just waiting for the day.”
The Tag Team Champion spoke about his character and how WWE didn’t make many changes from the person he was outside of the WWE ring. Riddle revealed why he believes WWE never changed his name entirely or his appearance, stating it’s because of his flexibility and authenticity.
“I think the reason I can still be mostly me 100% is because I’m very flexible,” Riddle said. “On certain things, I won’t budge, and on a lot of things, I do budge. The WWE is a lot of give and take, and for me, my biggest strength is how well I work with other people, especially in the back. I’m doing the right things, I’m saying the right things, and I’m very flexible. I feel like one of the main reasons I get to wrestle barefoot, and I get to keep my last name, and get to do all this stuff and they don’t want to change this stuff about me is because I am authentic.
“It’s different, it’s new, and WWE is a huge company. They might want to change a couple things to cater to a worldwide audience, but also, if you show them what you are and how authentic you are, how creative you are, how charismatic you can be, if you can show them your strengths in the stuff they give you, they’re going to start pushing that. I think, for me, I try to go out with the other wrestlers because I want to build a relationship with them. I want them to get to know me more so that when we do anything, they can say, ‘Oh, I can see Riddle doing that, remember the other night when we were out and he said this?’ I feel like, by being around them, they can pick up the jist of what I do and how I act.”
As a guest on Out of Character with Ryan Satin, Riddle spoke about his relationship with Vince McMahon. Continuing to speak about his character, Riddle shared what Vince McMahon’s initial thoughts about why his character being goofy works.
“At first, they didn’t get it. Nobody got it, Vince didn’t get it,” Riddle said. “He’s like, ‘You’re a goof,’ and I was like, ‘Well, I’m a goof that can, like, kick your ass dude.’ I know I’m goofy, but when I get in that ring, I turn it up. At first they didn’t see it, but now they see the in-ring ability with the entertainment side of it. There will probably be a time where they’ll ask me to be serious, and I can be serious too. I just like the range I’ll be able to have because I got to do this at the very beginning and probably at the end of my career – I’ll get to be very serious. The fans, the audience, everybody that I work with will be able to see the range of emotions and characters I can play.”
Riddle also spoke during the interview with Satin about heat he has received in the past from some of the comments and trash talk he’s made. The RKBro member said his trash talk is his biggest issue, but spoke about how people like Randy Orton and Goldberg who originally did not like him at first have now become fans of his once they got to know him.
“I think my biggest problem is I talk a little bit too much trash,” Riddle said. “I wouldn’t say it gets me in trouble but it definitely gets me a stern look. Funny enough, the office doesn’t really have a problem with it, they think it’s funny, and people are talking, and it creates drama, and this and that. I hate the fact that I rub people the wrong way because that is not my intention. I just talk trash. It’s why I fought in the UFC, I talk too much trash and I got in too many fights and that’s why I like wrestling. I like fighting people and I like to talk trash. That’s what we get paid a lot of money to do.
“When I do talk trash, I tend to say things that make people go, ‘Oh no, he just said that,’ because I know it will give them that reaction. At the end of the day, especially representing WWE and being a part of a bigger thing and not just representing myself as an independent, I have to think globally, not locally. I got to think about top guys when I’m talking trash, especially when I’m not in storylines with them and stuff like that because it does rub them the wrong way.
“I can say that for a fact, people aren’t happy, but for the most part, when people get to know me – the same with Randy. Randy, before he knew me, didn’t like me, but once Randy got to know me, he liked me. I’m pretty sure Goldberg [didn’t like me], he gave me a hug the other day at SummerSlam. There was one time that guy wanted to rip my head off, and then you earn a certain level of respect. I think that’s what I had to do. Hopefully I can turn them into believers. I don’t want to make anybody upset, that’s all I’m saying.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE After the Bell with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.