In the rapidly evolving world of professional wrestling and MMA, few departures have garnered as much attention and speculation as that of Matt Riddle from the WWE. The startling news came amid a whirlwind of releases, where more than 20 WWE stars were shown the door following the much-discussed merger with TKO.
Matt Riddle’s journey in the world of combat sports is nothing short of captivating. Before making waves in the wrestling arena, Riddle tested the waters in UFC, showcasing his tenacity and skill. His eventual transition into wrestling was not only smooth but also meteoric. Riddle’s signing with WWE in 2018 marked the beginning of an illustrious chapter. With dominant displays in NXT and a seamless transition to the main roster in 2020, Riddle’s trajectory seemed unstoppable. Yet, the unexpected turn of events with his release has left many pondering the future of this multifaceted athlete.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, an esteemed source in the wrestling industry, highlighted the buzz Riddle has generated post his release. Dave Meltzer, the respected columnist, shared insights into Riddle’s current market value: “Since the word last week of his being let go, there has been interest by a number of companies in both pro wrestling and MMA. Most pro wrestling companies of any size immediately expressed interest, and in MMA, both PFL and Bare Knuckle Fighting had expressed interest due to his name value from WWE and the fact he was a decent MMA fighter.”
However, stepping back into the MMA arena after nearly a decade may come with its challenges, especially considering Riddle’s age. Meltzer adds a note of caution, stating, “Riddle hasn’t fought in nine years and is 37, and real fighting is not a sport it would be wise to go back into unless it’s a big money offer.” Yet, there’s hope from precedents set by the likes of C.M. Punk, proving that even if one falters in real fighting, the transition back to pro wrestling can remain unaffected. As Meltzer rightly points out, “fans see them as different worlds.”
The shockwaves from Riddle’s departure are palpable, more so when reflecting on the electric partnership he formed with the 14-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Randy Orton. Their alliance, known as RK-Bro, was nothing short of iconic, creating moments that fans reminisce about with fervor. Riddle’s accolades are testimony to his prowess: numerous NXT and WWE Raw Tag Team Championships, and a United States Championship win, to name a few.
While the wrestling community scrambles to piece together the jigsaw of Riddle’s sudden exit, a few theories have emerged. Initially, many attributed the series of releases to the colossal merger between WWE and UFC, leading to the birth of the TKO group. Yet, more recent revelations hint at issues stemming from Riddle’s conduct, both on and off the screen, potentially playing a role in his WWE departure.
In the midst of this upheaval, Riddle, also endearingly known as the ‘Super King of Bros’, has kept the flames of curiosity burning. A cryptic tweet from the wrestler read, “Coming soon,” leaving fans and pundits alike speculating about his next move. While the specifics remain shrouded in mystery, there’s an undeniable excitement in the air.
Riddle’s heartfelt message to his legion of fans resonated with many. On September 22, he shared on X, “Just wanted to inform everyone that I’m no longer with WWE. Thank you for the memories and opportunities also thank you to all the fans for the support and love you give me every time I go out to the ring. See you all soon.”
The departure of Matt Riddle from WWE might have closed one chapter, but it has undeniably set the stage for an enthralling sequel. As multiple pro wrestling and MMA organizations reportedly line up to woo him, Riddle’s next venture is eagerly anticipated. The ‘Super King of Bros’ journey is ripe for new adventures.