Matt Riddle’s WWE Claims Debunked By Dave Meltzer

Matt Riddle

Matt Riddle would have won the men’s Royal Rumble in 2022 if Brock Lesnar had played ball or so the star claims but that might not be the case after all.

Matt Riddle claims Brock Lesnar stopped him from winning the Royal Rumble after Lesnar apparently didn’t want to do business and demanded to win the match himself. There had also been suggestions that Riddle was in the mix to win the Money In The Bank briefcase but that win instead went to Austin Theory.

Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer gave more insight into Riddle’s claims and says while the star was in contention to win Money In The Bank, he was never concretely going to win that match:

As far as the Money in the Bank briefcase, which he said he was going to win, and then Vince McMahon later changed it to Austin Theory the day of the event. It was not necessarily he was going to win, that did happen in the sense that Vince McMahon changed it to Austin Theory.

It was like never 100% anyone, they had not figured it out until the very last minute. And Matt Riddle absolutely was one of the people, perhaps even the favourite, but it wasn’t like it was Matt Riddle, and then changed to Austin Theory. It was perhaps Matt Riddle. I mean, he was involved in that one.

Matt Riddle Not In WWE’s Thoughts To Win Royal Rumble

As far as Matt Riddle’s claims about winning the Royal Rumble are concerned, however, Dave Meltzer says he was never in consideration for winning that because WWE just didn’t have that trust in him:

Rumble, from what I was told, if you think about when it was and everything like that, and how he was being pushed, and that the winner of the Rumble main events WrestleMania, he was never being pushed at that level. And I was told that he was not considered seriously at any point to win the Royal Rumble. So that’s the story.

And going back, yeah, could he have been a guy who won the briefcase and they did angles with him and some comedy? Absolutely. [But] Royal Rumble and main event WrestleMania against Roman Reigns or somebody like that? It’s not like they couldn’t have done it, but they weren’t going to do it then. I know people there, top people, that were very, very high on him. But he kept getting the bad pub. A lot of people didn’t really want to see him succeed because he was not very judicious.

When you’re going out there, I mean, one of the things that’s such a no-no politically, is to go and say, If it was real, I could kick Roman Reigns’ ass, and he probably could. But you’re not supposed to say that. And, he got on the wrong side of Bill Goldberg by saying Bill Goldberg wasn’t any good. Bill Goldberg is not really a great wrestler, he just was in the right place at the right time with the right charisma. And he’s a legend, superstar, a needle mover, giant star, and that’s that.

So there were a lot of key people who did not want to see him at that level. And both for that reason, and for the fact that I think there was a lot of apprehension in the sense that he kind of fell out in UFC, fell out completely in Bellator. And there’s a trust level. For the main event at WrestleMania, I think that you want guys that you got a higher trust level than they had with him at that time. And would have even more now. Obviously, they ended up firing him.

Matt Riddle was fired by WWE in September 2023 and he is set to make his NJPW debut in Japan on night one of The New Beginning in Sapporo on February 23rd. Riddle will challenge new NJPW President Hiroshi Tanahashi for the NJPW World Television Championship.

h/t Inside The Ropes