wrestling / TV Reports

411’s WWE Arrival: Matt Riddle Report

February 26, 2019 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
Matt Riddle NXT 1-2-19

411’s WWE Arrival: Matt Riddle Report

-A new Network Special dropped after RAW and it focuses on Matt Riddle and his journey to NXT.

-We start as Riddle walks to the arena at Takeover: Brooklyn last year. He meets up with Triple H and A Train. He thanks HHH for the chance and then HHH points out Riddle is barefoot. He says he usually wears flip flops, so he cleaned it up a bit for them today. Ha!

-Riddle talks about fighting in the UFC for 6 years and then doing work on the independent wrestling scene. He feels like the WWE is where he belongs and this is his dream. This is Arrival: Matt Riddle.

-We journey all the way back to Riddle as a kid and get some family history. His dad was a chemical engineer and Riddle says his brother is a sophisticated guy and then there’s him. Riddle and his wife make the move to Florida so he can be part of NXT. He talks about the ups and downs they’ve had with working jobs while taking care of their kids and still keeping his wrestling dream alive. We met his children and they talk about having to move.

-Matt’s mom talks about her grandkids and then talks about Matt’s chill personality. She isn’t sure how that will play in the world of wrestling, but that’s him all the time. His wife gets a little teary talking about Matt getting his NXT contract. She says this signing is so good for all of them, and while Matt says he doesn’t get emotional, it has been a long ride to get here.

-Back to Brooklyn IV and Matt being shown in the crowd as the newest NXT signing. Cool shot as they have the reaction from his family as they see him on TV. That’s awesome and I always love seeing stuff like that. Riddle says he never knows what to expect and he was ready for the worst case scenario, but it was the opposite as the crowd was jacked for him.

-The Riddle Family pack up and head to Florida. His wife is thrilled to move as  even while Matt has to work, he will at least be local and they will get to see him.

-Matt heads to The Monster Factory where he was trained to say goodbye to some of his friends. He admits that he is good at fighting, but knew nothing of being a pro-wrestler. He started training at the Monster Factory 4 years ago, and between his UFC background and being a wrestling fan, he had a good base to start. He plays around in the ring with his son, and then The Blue Meanie pops up as he was there to help train Matt. He puts Matt on the level of Kurt Angle when he started as he was there to see Kurt start in the Funkin Dojo.

-Dashboard cam of Riddle driving to Florida with his family and his daughters are just like him. Again, this is all great stuff that lets you learn more about the man outside the ring. It makes you invested in this people and gives you a reason to root for them.

-Matt was a wrestler at East Stroudsburg University and decided to try MMA after that. We meet his first MMA coach who saw the potential in Matt. Riddle talks about being in the UFC and how his first fight was against Dan Simmler. He mentions he won by KO and it was with a hook that broke Simmler’s jaw. He says that put him on a pedestal and made him well known.

-Riddle talks about butting heads with UFC brass, and mentions he was fired. They never mention anything about failing drug tests for weed for obvious reasons. Riddle mentions that he was ranked Top 10 in the World and couldn’t get a fight. He happened to be watching WrestleMania XXX and he knows it sounds corny, but watching that show made him want to be a pro-wrestler. He had the full support of his family and trainers.

-We see the Riddle Family on the beach living the Bro Life.

-From June 2015 we see a young Matt Riddle with short hair, getting his first WWE tryout and cutting a promo about being excited to be in NXT.

-Back to the road trip and they arrive at 5:13 AM to their new house. Riddle talks about living in his grandmother’s old house the past few years, so it was exciting to have a new home. Unfortunately the keys didn’t work, so they had to sleep in their Cadillac in a parking lot. Nice!

-The family is now adjusting to life in Florida and the kids are all making friends. Again, Riddle’s kids got some crazy energy and seem right at home in front of the camera. Matt talks about starting at the Performance Center tomorrow, and his wife thinks people have a preconceived idea that Matt will show up and not care, but that’s not the case.

-Matt arrives all smiles and goes through all the drills while Normal Smiley and others watch. NORMAN SMILEY gets some camera time and talks about knowing Matt for a few years. He looks forward to teaching Matt and also wants Matt to show him some of his tricks. I want a Norman Smiley Rumble appearance just to see The Big Wiggle again.

-Riddle puts over his first day at the PC and how it was nice seeing familiar faces again. He says they all told him they would see him again one day. Matt says he feels like he belongs and he feels like he is home.

-HHH shows up to the PC and Matt talks about the first time they met. He was so nervous and could only repeat back everything HHH was saying to him. Then at Brooklyn they met for the second time and he wasn’t wearing shoes. They joke that Riddle is able to pull off wearing a ball cap with a suit and HHH points out the flip flops.

-Riddle makes his in ring NXT debut at a house show and he says it was everything he thought it would be and more. He says he is tired and that it was hard, but what he wanted. He was happy with the crowd reaction and their chanting of “Bro.”

-Now Riddle makes his NXT TV debut at Full Sail. We see him walk through his entrance and he promises to give it his all. His wife says that Matt told her he was nervous and that was something he never said while fighting in the UFC.

-Matt meets up with Nigel and they talk over a few pointers about what Riddle might do. He makes a point to tell Nigel that he calls his Senton, a Bro-ton. Riddle wins his NXT TV debut with a tap-out following his impressive strikes.

-Matt and his wife talk about the debut. She thought everything was perfect and most importantly the crowd was with him. Matt also puts over the crowd and says that he was a bit nervous because he knew a lot of eyes would be focused on him. He wants more thought and he wants Takeover next.

-Funny he should say that as we just to NXT Takeover: War Games in LA. Riddle signs some autographs before the show. He does the pre-show and says Bro a bunch which gets the fans chanting bro and yeah, this dude has crazy charisma. Gabe Sapolsky shows up as a talking head and puts over Matt and how he is proud to see him in NXT.

-A great touch as they flash pictures of Matt’s journey as he walks to the ring and then he gets the quick win over Ohno as this piece wraps up.

-Again, I am a sucker for these shows. This was great and I hope we get more from the guys who are just coming up in the WWE. This makes for a great way to introduce them to fans that aren’t familiar with them. Riddle has a ton of charisma and a presence about him and we know a laid back personality can work in big time pro-wrestling. Not everyone has to be shouting and crazed. I look forward to seeing what Riddle does in NXT as they are going to need more Main Event guys after Gargano, Ciampa, Black, and Ricochet leave.

article topics :

Matt Riddle, Robert Leighty Jr.