Following the WWE release of Matt Riddle, some details have emerged about what prevented him from signing with NJPW in the past.
One of the biggest names released by WWE over the last week was the former US & Raw Tag Team Champion Matt Riddle.
While some of the people released by WWE were let go due to not being used that much, in Riddle’s case it was more about “burning through too many chances” in the company. Riddle had several out-of-the-ring incidents during his WWE run including a bizarre airport interaction recently.
Now that WWE has released Riddle, he will be free to work anywhere else in about 90 days (December 20th) when his non-compete clause ends.
Matt Riddle’s love for marijuana prevented NJPW from signing him in the past
It is very well-known that Matt Riddle enjoys smoking marijuana. That interest in marijuana led to his dismissal from the UFC before he became a pro wrestler. After his UFC run ended, Riddle wrestled for about four years before signing with WWE in 2018.
On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer spoke about how New Japan was interested in signing
“Matt Riddle can go in there and be Matt Riddle. It is a roll of the dice, there is no doubt about it. If not, there is always New Japan but the problem there is the marujiana thing, but they were going to bring him in there before. Riddle and Jeff Cobb were supposed to go in the tag tournament years ago but New Japan pulled back on him because there is a big stigma on pot in Japan.”
“Then they decided that it was a bad decision and they were going to bring him in again, but at that point, the word got to WWE and WWE made sure that signed him before they did, because New Japan was their biggest rival at the time, so WWE signed him.”
Whether New Japan, AEW, Impact Wrestling, or another company wants to use Riddle is unknown right now. The good thing for him is that Matt Riddle is his real name, so he can use it anywhere he goes.
If you use any quotes from this article please credit original source and then h/t with a link back to TJRWrestling for the transcription.