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Matt Riddle Addresses His Incident at the JFK Airport, Admits He Failed WWE Wellness Tests for Cocaine

February 28, 2024 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Matt Riddle WWE Smackdown Image Credit: WWE

– During a recent chat with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, former WWE Superstar Matt Riddle spoke on the incident at JFK Airport in September 2023 that ultimately led to his WWE exit. Riddle addressed his assessment of what took place.

Additionally, Riddle confirmed rumors from December 2022 that he failed multiple drug tests in WWE, admitting that he tested positive for cocaine. Below are some highlights (via Fightful):

Matt Riddle on his incident at JFK airport: “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.”

On accusing a Port Authority police officer of sexual assault: “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.”

On why he was fired by WWE: 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 on his failed WWE Wellness Policy tests: “I had two offenses. They didn’t make any of the offenses public. I think they wanted to keep it on the hush hush, which I understand. I got fined.”

On testing positive for cocaine and WWE no longer testing for marijuana: “You’re allowed to smoke weed. I went to the strip club and did cocaine a couple times. I failed a drug test for that. That was for all of them, it was cocaine each time. It was just a random night. WWE tests you randomly, any week. Sometimes, you get tested at the end of one month and the beginning of another month. There was one week where I failed bang bang, didn’t know I failed the second one and by the time I failed the first one, I got two at once. I think that’s why they were a little more lenient. ‘We tested you back-to-back, you failed both times.’ I was like, ‘I’ll show you, no more problems, test me for the next ten weeks.’ I did that, I was fine, didn’t fail one test. When I thought I was in the clear, went out, partied a little bit, they gave me a random test at my house, I failed that, and shortly after that, they had me go to rehab.”

On how WWE handled him going to rehab: “They can’t make you do anything, but it’s ‘go or…’ ‘Okay, I’ll go.’ I went for the 30 days, I left, and when I left, they made a recommendation that they wanted me to stay for another 30 days and I was like, ‘I said I would do 30 days, I don’t want to do another 30 days.’ I missed Christmas and New Year’s. I learned my lesson. Trust me, I don’t go out there and rage it up anymore like that. I learned my lesson. ‘No, we want you to do another 30 days.’ I wanted to test and get my black belt, I had been waiting 10 years. I had some money because RKBro was successful, and I wanted to buy a house. I bought a house, my aunt had cancer, so I went to see her. She’s good now. I was like, ‘Let me do these couple of things before I leave.’ ‘Okay.’ I went, did those, then went back for another 30 days. Got out and I was just waiting. This was a month before WrestleMania. ‘We don’t have anything for you. Maybe Raw After Mania.’ I thought they were going to fire me.”

Matt Riddle did eventually make his WWE TV return on the Raw the night after WrestleMania 39. He remained on the WWE roster until September when the incident at JFK Airport took place. Riddle recently defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to capture the NJPW World TV Title earlier this month at The New Beginning in Sapporo. He’s set to defend the title tomorrow at MLW Intimidation Games 2024 in New York City.

article topics :

Matt Riddle, WWE, Jeffrey Harris