Exclusive: Matt Riddle Has His Eye On Japan

Matt Riddle has been on WWE's radar, but it's not preventing him from chasing some other goals in his pro wrestling career.

Riddle has made a splash on the independent pro wrestling scene, garnering high praise for his work in PWG, Evolve, AIW, Beyond and other promotions. Riddle told Fightful.com on his new Thursday afternoon Podcast that he's had negotiations with WWE, but he also mentioned that he's hoping to

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"I had made some goals for 2016. My goals for 2016 were to wrestle internationally, which I have already wrestled in Canada and will wrestle in Canada again at the end of this month, and also going to England in December. Another goal was to wrestle for PWG, so I have attained a lot of my goals for 2016. The two goals for 2017 are that I want to wrestle in Japan, either through Dragon Gate in Japan, or just somewhere in Japan. I want to touch their soil and I'll be happy with that," Riddle said.

Riddle has had a dominant run in Evolve, winning every one on one match he's competed in outside of two title matches against Timothy Thatcher. He tells us that he wants to get over that hump and become Evolve champion, to get the perceived monkey off of his back.

"I want to win the Evolve title. If I don’t win that at the end of this year, I want to win it next year because I know that if I win that belt I will get a job somewhere making a lot of money, so that is how I look at it, or Evolve will pay me more, either way. I really like my situation right now. A lot of people ask me if I want to go to WWE, TNA or Lucha Underground. It’s not that I don’t want to go to one of them, I want to go to every single one of them, and I would like to wrestle for Evolve, every promotion under the sun, if that was up to me, I don’t want to be at one place, I want to be everywhere," said Riddle.

When asked if anyone from TNA or NJPW had ever reached out to him, Riddle noted that TNA hasn't contacted him, and said there was an early offer from a Japanese promotion

"Somebody contacted me (from Japan) when I first started training in pro wrestling. It was public knowledge, and somebody hit me up and asked me to do an event and wanted me to tag with Phil Baroni. I declined and said, 'honestly guys, I don’t want to embarrass you or myself, like, I don’t think I am ready or up to par to wrestle on that stage just yet.' I never heard anything back. I saw Phil Baroni when he worked over there and he was in a tag match that I heard was….no comment, no comment. I think the big thing is, Rampage, King Mo, I think there’s a problem. I think if you are kind of a tough bully type, and I don’t mean that in a mean way, but if you are more than a tougher, like a bully, it’s hard to be a pro wrestler, you have to put yourself in a vulnerable spot, where you’re the underdog and even as a bad guy, you have to beg them not to hit you, not necessarily down and out, but still in the fight, but underneath. I think that is something people like Rampage don’t get because they’ve never been in that situation growing up. You have to have that “come from behind” heart like Daniel Bryan. You can tell Bryan was picked on growing up, so you have to be that way. You can see it in his eyes that he has been there before and he’s not going to let you do that to him again. I too have that, but I don’t think everybody has that," said Riddle.

You can check out Riddle's video podcast every Thursday afternoon here on Fightful.com.

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