WWE has been promoting Matt Riddle's arrival on WWE SmackDown for the last couple of weeks. Unlike several of the past call-ups from NXT, Riddle has received a lot of attention in the way of packages hyping his arrival and getting the main roster fans familiar with him. During Friday night's SmackDown, another video package aired, though this one came with the caveat that Riddle will be making an appearance on the show next Friday night.
Riddle signed with the WWE during the summer of 2018 to much fanfare. He had developed a reputation as one of the top wrestlers on the independent wrestling scene prior to that point, while also being lauded as someone who took to wrestling faster than virtually anyone has ever. His background in the UFC certainly gives him an aura of reality that other performers can't match, as well.
Well, except for maybe someone like Brock Lesnar. Riddle has made some well publicized comments about both Lesnar and Bill Goldberg in the past. In January, there was reportedly some type of altercation between Riddle and Lesnar backstage at the Royal Rumble.
According to one WWE official, Lesnar approached Riddle regarding the past comments "The Original Bro" had made about retiring Lesnar, something "The Beast" took offense to.
"Kid, you might as well stop saying my name and tagging me in s— because you and I will never work together. Ever," Lesnar said. Riddle's response was reportedly calm and the altercation never got physical.
Riddle ended up participating in the Royal Rumble but was eliminated by King Corbin.
In early May, Riddle ramped up some criticism of Bill Goldberg. That criticism was centered on his recent reign as Universal Champion. Needless to say, Riddle wasn't impressed with how Goldberg won the title.
"To not only bring him back but then to almost destroy... if Bray Wyatt wasn't as good as he is and so charismatic as he is and everything else, he wouldn't be able to survive. Most characters would die after that and probably be released shortly after. He was billed undefeated then just to have him Speared a couple times, barely Jackhammered, one, two, three. The other thing, too, is you're putting other athletes that are in their prime or trying of having their run, you're putting them in jeopardy because somebody wants to come back. You know?"
He continued, criticizing the match that Goldberg had at WrestleMania with Braun Strowman.0comments
"I don't think it was a poor move bringing him back for a match, but to bring him back to win the title, to destroy the character like The Fiend being being so unstoppable and then just have Braun Strowman beat him... You know, it doesn't really do much for Braun Strowman beating him. It's not like it was a passing of the torch or a great match. It was a couple of Spears and a PowerslamAnd I don't want to knock on Braun or anybody, I don't want to knock on people's work but at the same time, realise where you are, realise how hard people work to get where you are, realise how lucky you are and maybe you just want to put a little bit more effort into what you're doing.
"As a fan, like yourself and myself, we all agree and every fan that watched that, even if they wanted Braun to win or whatever, was disappointed," he added. "Even if you wanted Goldberg to win, you probably didn't want him to win like that. It's one of those things."