Over the past few months, an WWE NXT superstar has engaged in a flurry of online activity that superstar being former MMA star Matt Riddle. Riddle has garnered online attention through his ability to poke the proverbial bear, not only challenging WWE superstars but engaging in what some label as ‘disrespecting’ them. Case in point: after WWE’s most recent big event in Saudi Arabia, Riddle was openly critical of Goldberg’s match against another legend and former WWE champion, The Undertaker. The Undertaker and Goldberg had what some have labeled as one of the worst matches in recent memory. There were a number of reasons may have contributed to this, including conditioning, preparation on the part of both men, age and chemistry, not to mention the fact Goldberg legitimately knocked himself out early in the match and appeared disoriented throughout.
The reason Goldberg received more criticism than Undertaker from various quarters, including Riddle, is because on more than one instance Goldberg appeared to not have a true sense of who he was in the ring with. Add to that, Goldberg didn’t execute his signature moves in the manner fans are accustomed to seeing from the Hall of Famer. Mistakes happen and their occasional occurrence is not unexpected in the industry. But after all the attention that the match drew, many were stunned how the match ultimately broke down.
What’s wrong with these WCW guys? First Goldberg then Booker T and now a really boring wrestler who hates barefoot Bros (Lance Storm) and last but not least Y2J. It’s almost like you all wanna get beat up before you retire
“Listen and learn Bros” https://t.co/faJPySpiQP pic.twitter.com/prvXoNuREY
— matthew riddle (@SuperKingofBros) August 5, 2019
Since that match, Riddle has made comments on Instagram and Twitter about Goldberg and wanting to face him. He even made expressed a desire to be a part of the Ziggler/Goldberg match at SummerSlam. While that didn’t happen, The Original Bro continued to voice his opinion on Goldberg and his place in the industry. His comments created such a buzz that the likes of Chris Jericho (who knows all about run-ins with Goldberg) and Lance Storm have suggested that Riddle ‘know his role’ and ‘be respectful’.
This response led Riddle to respond to them in an online video as directing pointed words at those two ring legends. Whether fans agree with what Riddle is saying or not, the fact that he is willing to stand up for his convictions and face criticism from noted current or former WWE talent suggests he knows what he is doing. There is no such thing as bad press, and so for Riddle, he is certainly garnering attention, and whether bad or good it is getting eyes on him.
A former student of Danny Cage and the Monster Factory, Riddle came in with a solid foundation in combat sports. His training and his time spent on the independents helped him prepare and refine his craft in the ring. His rather relaxed attitude is at times confused with carelessness or even arrogance because he is so ‘chill’ and says “bro” a lot. However, fans should make no mistake that when that bell sounds Matt Riddle the wrestler, striker and submission specialist comes alive. In NXT, he is currently embroiled in a feud with the Beast of Belfast, Killian Dain, and off-screen he is prepared to verbally joust with anyone and everyone.
It says a lot about the man that he is willing to ruffle feathers in the hopes of elevating his stock, whether those feathers belong to Storm, Booker T or, reportedly, even WWE management. A saying often used it seems it takes more guts than brains to do some things. In the case of Matt Riddle, his actions appear calculated as though he knows and believes in himself. Whether this rubs people the wrong way or not he has to be his biggest advocate or it potentially could go in a different direction for him. He is generating the right amount of attention for himself, and his value in the ring is unquestionable. In fact, a recent image that Riddle posted suggested that he would ‘retire’ Brock Lesnar. There is no denying that such a match would be of significant magnitude since both men have a Mixed Martial Arts background.
Right now, his feud with Dain will likely push both of them forward, and into greater prominence on the NXT brand. Riddle realizes that his coming to WWE was a long time in the making and he isn’t going to sit and allow opportunities to pass him by. He knows what is at stake and he knows that he is on the cusp of being a very significant threat in NXT. The man who was once called the Super King of bros is becoming the king of throw….ing down challenges. And his goal is to be granted an opportunity to back them up in the ring, regardless of the platform. He isn’t a beast and he won’t tell his challengers that they are next, but he will come in, strike hard, strike often, and choke you out.
Who will he challenge next online or what engagement will he take part in moving forward with present, or past WWE alumni? It isn’t certain, but he is doing exactly what he needs to do in order to get himself noticed. Only time will tell what will result in Riddle’s time in the company as engaging in online disputes usually lead to some attention stirred up by those involved. It could ultimately be what separates Matt Riddle from some of his other NXT contemporaries and have him put in a prime position to get noticed that he can be just as destructive in the ring as he can be online.
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