Exclusive: Matt Riddle Talks WWE Negotiations, Tryout

Matt Riddle has been acclaimed for his quick progression in the world of pro wrestling, but he may have to wait a little longer for a WWE run.

After debuting as a pro wrestler in early 2015, the former UFC star quickly caught the eye of the world's largest pro wrestling company, WWE. There were reports (and I was outright told) that Riddle was as good as signed earlier this year, stemming from an impressive tryout. 

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"The tryout was good. I got really good feedback from the company, it was actually how I started working with Evolve. At the tryout went extremely well, and did a background check, everything went very well except for the “Mary Jane” situation, but everybody knew about that already, there wasn’t any need for a background check on that. So, the situation was brought up and they said that they’ll let me know if that comes up as an issue," Riddle told Fightful.com during his new Thursday afternoon podcast.

In the meantime, Riddle explored the idea of working for Ring of Honor, the former home of CM Punk, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins and numerous others. Riddle often trained with ROH stars, and saw that as a natural fit for him while he waited -- but WWE had other plans for him.

"Couple months went by and said that everything was great, you’re good to go and everything looks good. So, I was super excited, just waiting to do medicals and that sort of thing. I was just waiting and waiting, and training doing my Monster Factory shows, then I thought, you know what, I’m going to hit up Ring of Honor and train out there with a couple of my buddies, Damien “Punisher” Martinez who wrestles up there now. I was working, I would go over there and then would talk with Hunter, nothing was set in stone, but we were talking about meeting, and I had my buddy Damien ask me to talk with Hunter to see if it was ok for me to work with ROH, because you don’t want to jeopardize your shot with them. I emailed Canyon [Ceman], what would you think about me working for Ring of Honor? I wouldn’t sign anything, but what do you think? He suggested that it wouldn’t be a deal breaker, but wondered what I thought about working for Evolve. Afterwards, he introduced me to Gabe [Sapolsky], which was last October, and I debuted late October or early November last year, and it’s been a wrap," said Riddle.

Months have went by, but Riddle doesn't have that WWE deal. According to the man himself, the company passed on him for the time being.

"I’ve been talking to the WWE back and forth, and saw William Regal at PWG [Pro Wrestling Guerilla], I see him all the time, but at the time, Canyon said that they said yes, they passed on me for now due to my past," Riddle explains. You have to realize that it’s what they are telling me. Maybe they don’t like my face, maybe they don’t like my look, whatever it was, I’m not sure. I don’t think it was my past drug test, I think it was my stance on the situation. Me being like I think Medical Marijuana is a good thing, I think people should be prescribed Medical Marijuana, and pharmaceutical drugs are bad, and I think alcohol is bad and steroids are bad. All these things are bad and they kill you. One plant that doesn’t is banned, they won’t let you use it recreationally or medically."

You can catch Matt Riddle every Thursday afternoon on the Fightful.com Podcast. Register now for free by clicking the "log in" button to gain early access to his shows.


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