wrestling / News

Matt Riddle Discusses His Transition From MMA To Wrestling

October 8, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Lambert
Matt Riddle NXT

– Matt Riddle recently spoke to PWInsider about a variety of topics. Highlights are below.

On His Journey To NXT: “You know, I think for me it’s been a long journey in the sense with my UFC career and then making the transition to pro wrestling but not being a big enough MMA star to get the round of publicity. So you’re still going to have to grind through the Indies and just honestly was years and years on the Indies where I just kept working, UK shows, Canada, Mexico, America, Ireland, Germany, until the point where it was my goal because I knew I needed to do this is, that’s where I had the trial with WWE earlier, they’re like, “we can’t sign you because of your past” but then I knew I had to become undeniable. I knew I had to make everybody want me or need me to get a job. And that’s what I did until I worked hard enough for every company under the sun was offering me a contract. Well I noticed, I think a lot of my friends were getting signed in and I wasn’t yet and I was like “son of a bit.” But then I also realized, eventually, it’s going to come to me. But I was like, when? Because, when I found the UFC, one of the things you always talked about are, Daniel White would say or one of them said it, “When you start here, your career’s on a Stopwatch and it clicks the second you walked through the door and the second you have your last point, it clicks off and you’re done, it’s over.”And it’s the same thing with anything, including wrestling. You don’t know how much time you have, you don’t know your shelf life. You don’t know what your health’s going to be, there’s certain things you can do to take precautions, but you never know. So I had pull, I was a little worried, but then once I got a call from like New Japan and other companies, and then I told Gabe from Evolve and minutes later I was talking to Triple H, and now we’re here and I went this route more so because I can hang out with my family a little more. Last week was brutal, but usually I can hang out with my family a little more and stuff like that. So it made more sense.”

On His Connection With The Crowd: “I think the connection was made and it was organic just because they know my story. I know a lot of people like you, they might not know. But if one fan knows, he’s probably going to tell another fan and another fan, and I think people can relate to me. I think a lot of people have had an opportunity or break and something went wrong or they made a mistake and that’s it for them. And there’s never a rebound, there’s never a comeback, there’s never anything. So I think for me, that part of my story is motivating and people like that. Plus, like you said, I’m the kind of guy that would go in the crowd, hang out with everybody. I’m extremely friendly with people and I also think I’m pretty good at pro wrestling so I think all those things help out.”

On How MMA Helped Him: “I think because I really enjoy pro-wrestling, always have as a kid. And then when I was older, and I was getting tired of MMA, just tired of the cutting way and everything else that was involved with it. And I was watching the WWE Network, and I was like, “You know what? I’ve always wanted to do this” and then just listen to the legends talk. And then there’s just everything. I was like, you know what? I want to do this. I started training, and it’s just something that I always wanted to do, and I felt like my life was coming full circle when I started. I felt like amateur wrestling, pro wrestling, amateur wrestling, jujitsu, MMA, back to pro wrestling. And I feel like it’s the most, you can do any move in pro wrestling. It’s not, hey, if you look at it like amateur wrestling, there’s moves that you can’t do. Jujitsu, you can’t punch people and then maybe you could almost do everything, but everything’s not going to work. Pro Wrestling, now you can do every move and everything can work, maybe.”

article topics :

Matt Riddle, NXT, Jeremy Lambert