wrestling / News

Matt Riddle Names His Favorite Wrestlers, Talks Living His Gimmick and More

November 8, 2018 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Matt Riddle NXT Takeover: Brooklyn

– Matt Riddle spoke with WWE.com for a new interview discussing his career, his personality and more. Highlights are below:

On meeting William Regal for the first time: “I was on a show for EVOLVE. Regal was talking to one of the guys about a possible opportunity to work with WWE when I stepped into the ring and said, ‘Yo, Bro, why aren’t you talking to me?’ Some guys thought I was being disrespectful, but that was the first time I met William Regal. It took a little bit of time and persuasion, but they finally let me in the door at NXT.”

On choosing pro wrestling as a career: “I always had watched pro wrestling. I happened to be watching the WWE Network one day and started watching differently. I wasn’t watching it as a fan, but instead I was watching it as something that I could possibly be a part of. I thought to myself, ‘I can do this,’ and it was something I always wanted to do. In fact, pro wrestling was the reason I pursued amateur wrestling when I was 13 and eventually trained in Jiu-Jitsu. It was sort of like I came full circle, because I watched as a kid and then learned all these different styles and made it to UFC. But I almost felt like I was limited in MMA. In sports-entertainment, you can be larger than life. That was the day I decided to call my buddy who’s a lawyer and get his opinion on me leaving MMA and training full time to wrestle. He was all for it. I trusted him and I trusted my gut feeling, and as you can see, it all worked out.”

On his favorite wrestlers: “I always enjoyed the intense wrestling style. My favorites were guys like Kurt Angle, Bret Hart, Rob Van Dam, Jerry Lynn, Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko. I liked guys that pushed the pace with so much conviction and intensity.”

On his laid back demeanor: “That’s just exactly who I am. When I first started, I had a mullet and I was trying to play a hillbilly persona. While it was fun, it wasn’t me. I decided the best move was just to be me and turn it up a little bit. I’m 100-percent me when I’m out there. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t even be getting paid because I’m just being myself all the time.”

On training at the Performance Center: “Dude, it’s awesome. Before I got to NXT, I was lucky to get a couple days in a gym, let alone a ring. I was flying from Florida to Germany, Germany to England, England to Boston, Boston to California, then back to Pennsylvania where I’d sleep for a few days, and then be somewhere like Iowa or Indiana next. Now I get to train full-time and learn from the best coaches in the world. I went from doing push-ups on a wrestling mat in my house when I had spare time to training with the best of the best. It’s a good feeling.”

article topics :

Matt Riddle, WWE, Jeremy Thomas