Riddle was the 23rd entrant in the Royal Rumble match but his stay was shortlived as he was eliminated by Baron Corbin after just 41 seconds.
Many questions were raised over WWE's booking of the NXT Superstar and whether his backstage exchange with Lesnar had anything to do with his early ouster.
Dave Meltzer opened up about the Riddle situation on the Wrestling Observer Radio and revealed that there is indeed heat on the Superstar. Riddle was never in contention to face Lesnar at WrestleMania and his early elimination from the Rumble may have been done to put him in place.
Meltzer explained the following on the WOR:
Matt Riddle was not in the running for this spot (WWE title match against Lesnar). No, not at all! That's more Vince, you know Vince, I don't want to say he doesn't get it, he may not get it, but whatever it is, there is a lot of heat on Matt Riddle right now and the Royal Rumble is if you're wondering what happened at the Royal Rumble and why, there is your why.
I wouldn't say it was to teach him a lesson, but probably is, you know what I mean. So, yeah. Obviously, you can look at it from the one side that he's got this potential that they probably shouldn't squander and everything like that but he's not going to be the first guy, and he's not going to be the last guy in that situation where Vince sees it differently and it's not like the kiss of death, but right now, I mean on NXT, I guess you can not push him at all, but that would be really stupid because NXT is battling and everything like that, but he ain't in the forefront and there was a reason it was in and out so quick.
It was more than just a way to get heat for Baron Corbin, which ended up being what the outcome was. Whatever it is, I'm not there, I can't speak for his attitude, I can only speak for his performance, performance is really good. I haven't heard anything negative about his attitude, but that doesn't mean there is nothing there or somehow he rubs somebody the wrong way with whatever it is he's done.
The King of Bros possesses immense talent and charisma and it would be a shame if he isn't utilized to his full potential by WWE. Riddle is a controversial Superstar who has a knack of making statements that may rub other talents the wrong way. However, will it negatively affect his WWE career going forward?