NXT's Matt Riddle Reportedly Moving to WWE SmackDown Roster

Matt Riddle has been one of NXT's hottest stars for over a year, and based on a handful of reports it sounds like "The Original Bro" is about to make the jump from NXT to the Blue Brand. PWInsider's Mike Johnson reported this week that Riddle is bound for Smackdown in the near future after his upcoming cage match with Timothy Thatcher on this week's NXT. Johnson added that WWE planning on moving the former tag team champion up before WrestleMania 36, but plans were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a recent interview with Pro Wrestling Sheet, the former UFC star indicated he'd rather go to SmackDown instead of Raw.

"I grew up watching Raw because Raw was the original," Riddle said. "Then SmackDown came in and SmackDown has been a huge player since. Right now, I've been on USA with NXT. So I feel like I've hit that market. SmackDown is on FOX, so I'd probably want to go there to see if I can get more eyes and attention on my with their fanbase, as well."

After finishing his MMA career with an 8-3 record, Middle made the jump to pro wrestling in 2014. He signed with WWE in July 2018 and was announced for the NXT brand a month later. Riddle went on an impressive unbeaten streak early on while feuding with Kassisus Ohno, but it was brought to an end at NXT TakeOver: New York when he failed to beat Velveteen Dream for the NXT North American Championship. He finally struck gold earlier this year when he and his unlikely tag team partner Pete Dunne won the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, then beat Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish for the NXT Tag Team Championships at NXT TakeOver: Portland.

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With Dunne stuck overseas during the pandemic, Riddle was forced to bring in a substitute to help defend the championships. He chose Thatcher, who wound up betraying him and costing him the tag titles against Imperium.

As announced over the weekend, Kurt Angle will serve as the special guest referee for Wednesday's cage fight.

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