Matt Riddle received a big time welcome to WWE's SmackDown brand when he defeated AJ Styles in an unannounced match the night he made his debut. WWE had been promoting Riddle's debut for several weeks prior to his arrival, and he made the debut one week after Styles defeated Daniel Bryan to win the Intercontinental Championship in the finals of a tournament to crown a new champion. Riddle's clean victory over the former world champion and current IC champ was an impactful way to introduce him to SmackDown.
The report notes that the plan for Riddle's first major feud on SmackDown has always been for it to be against Corbin. Riddle has reportedly been aware of this for quite some time, but Cassidy notes that Corbin just found out about it.
Corbin was said to have been insistent that Riddle defeat "five enhancement talents" before moving into a feud with him. While that hasn't happened, Riddle of course did defeat one of the top stars in the company in Styles.
Given this report, one has to wonder what Corbin thought of the ending of SmackDown last night. Following Corbin's defeat at the hands of Jeff Hardy on a show that was largely dedicated to The Undertaker (Corbin had insulted Taker earlier), several stars took turns beating him down in the middle of the ring, including Hardy, Riddle, Braun Strowman, and The New Day.
While Corbin reportedly only recently became aware of the plans for a feud between he and Riddle, it's clear looking at the two's history that this has been the plan for a while. Riddle was defeated by Corbin in an elimination match at Survivor Series last November, and that was followed by Riddle also getting eliminated by Corbin in the Rumble match at the Royal Rumble in January.
What do you think of the feud between Corbin and Riddle? Let us know in the comments section below, and give me a follow on Twitter @ryandroste for all things WWE and AEW. You can also subscribe to my podcast, Top Rope Nation, for a twice-weekly show covering all of the latest in the world of pro wrestling.