Last week, WWE released at least thirty wrestlers from its roster. The cuts came on the heels of more than one hundred WWE employees being fired following the WWE and UFC merger, forming TKO Group Holdings. Among the big names released last Thursday include Mustafa Ali, Dolph Ziggler, and Shelton Benjamin. One big name, however, does not appear to have gotten their release until the following day, a lone exception, Matt Riddle.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that prior to his release, Riddle had heat with WWE management after going off-script. In a televised promo following his RK-Bro partner’s real-life back injury taking him out of action, Riddle spoke about the pain The Viper was in during the latter part of their tag run. The promo did receive praise, although it was not made explicitly clear from whom, for going behind the scenes and feeling real. However, it was not what WWE had scripted the Original Bro to say.
Following his off-the-cuff remarks, Riddle was positioned as a babyface who was allowed to have good matches. He was also allowed to continue on in his naive stoner bro persona but was most relegated to losing to heels that were being pushed at the time. His recent feud with Gunther was used as an example of Riddle being used to help elevate another talent the company was more interested in elevating.
Riddle going off script with his comments about Orton is not the only reason that he had heat within the company. He has had various issues with women in the past who alleged bad or criminal behavior on his part. It was also noted that he failed two drug tests during his time with the sports entertainment juggernaut.
Riddle is a former UFC fighter who signed with WWE in 2018. He is a former WWE United States Champion and held the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships on two occasions, with Orton each time. He also held the WWE NXT Tag Team Championships with current Brawling Brutes’ star Butch, who was known as Pete Dunne when they were a team.
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