When it comes to loved yet controversial stars in recent times, Matt Riddle’s name comes to mind. The UFC turned WWE star joined the company in 2018 for what would culminate in a five-year run. One part of team RK-Bro and former Tag Team Champion, the star would be released in September 2023. However, Riddle has moved on and recently commented on his time in the WWE when compared to his current work.

Matt Riddle claims the grass is sometimes greener elsewhere

Matt Riddle didn’t find luck in the MMA world after a slew of releases which meant he turned his attention to pro wrestling. Riddle first worked in the Indies from 2014-2018 before signing with the WWE. He spent his first two years in NXT before moving up to the main roster. He spent three years displaying his prowess before his release in 2023. Riddle joined New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2024 with a vignette challenging NJPW World Television Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi. He made his debut for the company at Battle in the Valley. On February 23, he won the NJPW World Television Championship at The New Beginning in Sapporo. Post his victory he said, “Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side.”


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While Riddle did win the Tag Team titles with Randy Orton, and the United States Championship by himself, it was clear that the WWE had no solid plans for the star. While his time in the WWE was only five years, he was a fan favorite and loved by the WWE Universe. This resulted in several fans being upset about his release. Fans loved his chemistry with Orton. They also expressed their frustration at not seeing the tag team develop upon The Viper’s return from injury in 2023. Nevertheless, WWE had its fair reasons for letting go of the superstar due to his tendency to attract controversy wherever he went.

The controversy that followed Riddle throughout his career


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While in the UFC, Riddle failed two drug tests for marijuana use. This was the reason for his release from the company. However, his use of the substance did not end with his career in the UFC. He was known to frequent the herb occasionally while on break.

While in the WWE, Riddle was accused of sexually assaulting Candy Cartwright. The incident that took place in 2018 came to light in 2020. The WWE announced that they were looking into the matter and did not release any statement on his behalf as he denied the allegations. Nevertheless, his tendency to attract the limelight for negative reasons did not appease the WWE hierarchy as they let go of the superstar. However, it looks like the former UFC star is enjoying his time away from the US and looks to enhance his career elsewhere.


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What do you make of Riddle’s proclamation on social media? Let us know in the comments section below.

Written by

Christopher Paul


One take at a time

Christopher Paul is a WWE reporter at EssentiallySports. With over eight years of experience as a writer and a childhood passion for pro wrestling, Chris is now a voice for kayfabe fans. He has a penchant for covering live events and enjoys breaking the latest developments in the WWE Universe.
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Edited by

Amal Joyce