Matt Riddle Opens Up About Major Incident Prior To WWE Firing

Matt Riddle

Matt Riddle denies JFK Airport incident led to WWE firing.

After five years with the company, Matt Riddle was released by WWE on September 22nd, 2023. Riddle’s exit came less than two weeks after he was involved in a highly publicised incident at JFK Airport in New York.

Matt Riddle alleged that he’d been sexually harassed by an officer at the airport, while video emerged of the star appearing to be drunk, as a fellow passenger said he was “loud and rude.”

While speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Riddle gave his side of the incident.

“What happened there, we had a tour in India, it was a one day tour. We flew to India and then back from India. We got there, landed, had a couple hours at the hotel, went to the venue, did the show, flew back to the States.

On the way back, you know when you fly you feel some pressure and stuff. I thought it was just air pressure. I had a really bad ear infection. Then, of course, you add a couple of cocktails on top of that.

Then, you know, grab the mic, I’m talking some crap. Flights were delayed. It was a perfect storm. At the same time, I feel a lot of people would beat themselves up.

At the same time, I look at it, I think it was a sign. I was overworking myself, maybe I hopped back into things a little too quick. Doing a four day tour and going to India for a day and back, it took its toll on me. That kind of thing took a toll on me,”

When asked about the claims of sexual harassment, the former WWE star said he was unable to go into detail, but denied that the incident led to his firing.

“I’m not going to go too much into detail with that incident. It was the same trip. I talked to internal affairs, I talked to the FBI. I’m not in trouble, I can assure you of that. I’m not going to go into details with the situation because they asked me not to, unless I want to press charges, and I didn’t want to press charges. That’s how that situation was handled.

At the same time, if I wouldn’t have had a couple of drinks, I wouldn’t have put myself in that situation, and I wouldn’t have been there. At the end of the day, I put myself in the situation that I knew I could have possibly gotten into trouble. I don’t think that’s the reason I got fired, but I don’t think it helps, especially with the UFC merging.

It was written in my contract that I was going to make a million dollars this upcoming year, guaranteed, which is a lot more than I was making last year and a lot more than I was making the year before that. I think there was multiple variables that played into my departure. Plus, I failed a couple of drug tests.

The writing, for me at least, the writing was on the wall. I’m good in the ring and entertaining, but especially with WWE and how they want to be perceived, I don’t think I was a good fit at the time.”

Matt Riddle Admits To Multiple Failed Drug Tests

During the same interview, Matt Riddle admitted he failed two WWE drug tests for cocaine. The former United States Champion said that WWE tried to keep the failed tests hidden from the public at the time, but he did end up going to rehab.

Riddle added that he “learned his lesson” after missing Christmas while in a rehab facility.

H/t to Fightful