wrestling / News

Matt Riddle Explains Why Competition From AEW is a Good Thing, Why He Wants to Retire Brock Lesnar

May 30, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Matt Riddle NXT 1-2-19

– Matt Riddle spoke with the New York Post for a new interview promoting NXT Takeover: XXV and discussed the competition in AEW, wanting to retire Brock Lesnar and more. Highlights are below:

On whether Takeover: XXV feels different not being attached to a big WWE PPV like WrestleMania: “For me it doesn’t. For me, TakeOver is always the star of the weekend. Even if it’s WrestleMania weekend or SummerSlam weekend, whatever weekend, TakeOver is the star. We’re the show to watch. That’s where I’m at. That’s where I’m mixing it up, so that’s a priority for me. So for me, if TakeOver’s on, that’s it. The crowd is going to be white hot, we’re all gonna kill it. That’s what we do. We set the bar higher and higher every time, and it’s sick. Sometimes I dread it, but at the same time it’s awesome.”

On why his character has connected with the NXT fans so well: “I am that character. That person is me. Granted my name is not King of Bros or Original Bro. It’s Matthew Riddle. It’s Matthew Fredrick Riddle. But I am that person. When I walk into the grocery store I’m laid-back, and I deal with people kind of like I do in promos. I think some people don’t get it, but a majority of the people do. The majority of the people can relate and respect it, and I think that’s why I have the connection.”

On why he feels wrestling is headed into one of its greatest eras: “I felt like wrestling when I got into it, I felt like it was not dead and it was doing OK. And when I started, NXT started like blowing up and this started blowing up, the [WWE] Network started blowing up and before I knew it, I was in the indies making six figures a year and never wrestling on TV, only the internet and gymnasiums. And WWE is everywhere, there are all these other brands and companies all around the word and now there’s another company. I’m not going to mention names, but they’re on that same network that other company was on back in the day. And you know what, for me, I don’t think the competition is like real, real, but at the same time [there is] the illusion of competition, that fact that, “Oh my God there might be another war” between two competitive brands. And some people get scared, but me, I love competition. I want them to push the envelope, make us push the envelope. Let’s get it going because if we can do that, we are going to enter the next great era in professional wrestling … I know I’m right if it’s pushed that way. And I know the competition. I know the athletes on both can probably do it. But you never know. But that’s why I think we might be there.”

On WWE fans wanting more of an edge to the product: “I know the WWE fans also hope so because we want edge. I want edge. I want edgier stuff. I want my leash to be cut completely off. I want to be able to do what I want. I want to be able to run free. So it’s not like I don’t get freedom. I do. But I would love like real, real freedom. I think the fans would love it. Just like they did in the Attitude Era. That’s why the Attitude Era is known as the greatest in wrestling. It wasn’t the wrestling, trust me, I’ve seen the matches. It was the promos. It was the characters. It was that. And why? Because they weren’t on leashes. I’m telling you, I think that’s the key. And again, I’m not controlled. I get a lot of freedom and they give it to me and they give it to everybody. But at the same time, there could be another level of that and I think if we pushed far enough we could make happen.”

On wanting to retire Brock lesnar: “At the beginning it was just a gimmick. You know, a goal of mine. One, I wanted to do it when I saw him beat The Undertaker. So he beat the streak at WrestleMania. So right there he solidified himself in WWE history just by doing that. And then when I see him, I just see a guy who’s kind of like bullied everyone from Day 1, and I hate bullies. I know it sounds cliche, but literally the reason I fought is dudes like that fight and I love breaking dudes and watching them go from a bully to a child and be like, “Now, how does it feel?” And honestly, I want to break him. I want to break him and show the world him break and I want to beat him and I want to be the one because I think I’m the only one who can carry what he’s done and not like he’s carried it but in a better way.”

On his reaction to Lesnar winning Money in the Bank: “My reaction was, OK, how can I either win the Royal Rumble after he wins the title so I can beat him next year at WrestleMania or if I’m not going to get that, I will ruin his cash-in. So when he goes to cash-in, I want to be there so I can ruin it, mess it all up so he doesn’t win so he’s so mad at me and have it like, if you want me then put your career up at WrestleMania.”