Matt Riddle responds to a previous allegation.
On June 19, 2020, in the middle of Speaking Out, Indiana-based wrestler Thunderkitty tweeted, and deleted, “Remember that time one of my friends/well respected veteran lady wrestler told Matt Riddle to stop changing into his 'gear' in front of everyone in a WOMEN'[‘]S locker room & leave and he got shitty to the point they were in each other's faces? I remember.”
David Bixnespan looked into the allegations and discovered that Malia Hosaka was the "veteran lady wrestler" who spoke up to Riddle.
“We were all in there, our show was going on,” Hosaka recalled when asked by Bix about the story via Facebook Messenger. “I didn’t know who he was, but I was sitting with my feet propped up and eyes closed. When I opened them[,] he was on my right stripped down to his underwear and I got mad at the lack of respect from today’s generation. For him to come into the locker room to change while the women had the room[,] and to strip down and change was disrespectful. There was a bathroom down the hall that fans couldn’t get to that he could have used. [In m]y generation[,] the men and women respected each other enough to at least ask if it was ok or to ask for privacy. It pissed me off[,] and then his attitude that he had underwear on and that it wasn’t a big deal pissed me off more[,] so I told him how I felt about the lack of respect.”
Hosaka added that she recalled Riddle calling her a “bitch,” possibly something to the effect of saying that she “didn’t need to be such a bitch about it,” and showed no remorse.
When asked by Bix for comment, Riddle responded, “The PWX thing wasn't even an incident[.] [T]here was only one locker room (which isn't uncommon on the indies unfortunately) [and] the promoter told me to change in there[,] so I did. Malia confronted me on my way out, I explained that the promoter told me to go change in there and she talked to the promoter and that was the end of it.”
Bixenspan spoke to other sources, who claim it could not have happened the way Riddle described.
According to sources familiar with how the shows were run, though, this could not have happened the way that Riddle described it. In particular, it was made clear that PWX always had two locker rooms if there were women on the show, particularly at the venue in question, which had plenty of spare rooms. It was also stressed that even if a singular locker room for the QOC show was repurposed as the men’s locker room for the PWX show, all of the men on the PWX show were told not to enter the space until all of the women had cleared out.
It was also noted by the same sources that Riddle would have had no reason to change into his gear at any point when the all-women’s show was ongoing. According to the Eventbrite page for the doubleheader, which was sold as a single ticket granting access to both shows, QOC started at 4:00 p.m. ET and would have been over by 6:00 p.m. (the doors open time for PWX), while PWX had a 7:00 p.m. bell time.
Bixenspan's story also addresses claims by “Abby the Butcher" who said he was the driver for the van during the trip where Candy Cartwright alleged that Riddle sexually assaulted her. The tweet was deleted and Riddle claims that Abby realized the trip in question was a different loop than he had drove for.
“In regards to my friend Abby driving the van, he's driven me and others on multiple occasions/loops in the north east [sic] when I was on the indies [and] even in WWE,” wrote Riddle when asked for comment. (“Abby” didn’t respond to tweets asking about it.) “[W]hen he realized she was talking about a different van ride/loop in the Midwest[,] he realized it and took his tweet down.”
Riddle was named in Speaking Out by Samantha Tavel (Candy Cartwright). In October 2020, Tavel filed a lawsuit against EVOLVE Wrestling, Gabe Sapolsky, Riddle, and World Wrestling Entertainment, seeking 10 million dollars from each defendant. WWE and Sapolsky were dismissed from the lawsuit in March 2021, but Riddle's attempt to dismiss was denied.
Documents from the lawsuit allege that Riddle began sexually assaulting Tavel in April 2017 in the parking lot after an Evolve wrestling event. The lawsuit also alleges that Riddle bragged about this to former Evolve owner Gabe Sapolsky and that those two entities and WWE tacitly approved of Riddle's alleged sexual violence towards Tavel.
Riddle denied the allegations but did confirm an affair with Cartwright. The lawsuit against Riddle was eventually dropped.
Fans can read the full story from Bixenspan by clicking here.
Riddle was released by WWE on September 22.