Matt Riddle talks NXT's move to USA Network, AEW, Jericho, Lesnar, and Goldberg (Exclusive)

We spoke with The Original Bro
We spoke with The Original Bro

Matt Riddle may just be one of the hottest talents in wrestling right now. One of NXT's top dogs is about to be on live television every single week, as the black and gold brand makes its move to the USA Network in less than one month.

Not only that, but he's making a name for himself by calling out and trash-talking certain veterans - namely Goldberg and AEW Champion Chris Jericho. It's hard to believe that "The Original Bro" has only been a part of WWE for one year - appearing on August 18th 2018 at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IV where he was confirmed as the latest signing.

Matt Riddle joined us for Episode 6 of Dropkick DiSKussions, following our previous guests Lio Rush, Mark Andrews, Chris Van Vliet, Fred Rosser, and Grado.


SK: Hey, Matt! How's it going today?

Matt Riddle: It's going pretty good. It's just another day in Florida. Got done with wrestling this weekend in Detroit and Chicago. Yeah, just chilling out, playing some video games and chatting with you, bro.

SK: Brilliant, man. First of all, I need to say congratulations. You have just surpassed your one-year anniversary as a WWE Superstar.

How would you summarise or describe the past year of your life?

MR: The past year was good. It's been busy.

I don't know. It's great. When you wrestle in the WWE and stuff like that, there's so much going on but it's all one company, you know. When I was wrestling on the indies and stuff, I would wrestle every weekend, four times a weekend but it was for four different companies, every weekend, or at least three.

Now just wrestling for one company all the time, it's just as awesome. I think that was the biggest transition. Then, you know, TV and stuff like that. But it's been a great year. I've gotten a bunch of raises, I'm making decent money.

I spent a lot of time at the house during the week. I live in Florida, I train in Florida, and all of that.

Yeah, trying not to get beat up by WCW legends. Or maybe I'm trying to get beat up by [them].

But, you know, it's been a good year. NXT has been treating me pretty good. Not too bad.


NEXT: Matt Riddle discusses NXT's move to USA Network

COMING UP: Matt Riddle on Jericho, Lesnar, Goldberg

Riddle chatted with us about going live!
Riddle chatted with us about going live!

SK: Don't worry, man, I'll come onto the WCW legends in a little second!

You just said there, obviously, you've been really busy. I think it's about to get a little bit busier because NXT is soon to be broadcast live on the USA Network.

What are your feelings about the move? Do you feel like it will be a huge step up or do you need to just keep doing what you're doing?

MR: I think I'm going to keep doing what I'm going to do but I think just because there's going to be more TV, more time, they're going to need more from us.

We're going to see who can deliver on live TV, who can't and it is what it is. I'm stoked. I think it's a good challenge - not just for me but [for] the rest of the locker room.


I like to be pushed, I like to be under pressure, I like to be in that situation, I like to sweat.

I'm stoked. I've been wanting to go on live TV since I started here. For a long time, everyone's going, "You've got to go to [the] main roster, main roster." I was like, "Not a chance, I want NXT on TV, I'd rather wrestle on NXT on USA or FOX, or wherever."

Now, one year later, NXT is on USA. We are starting a couple of weeks from now and it's gonna be legit.


SK: NXT is now pretty much the main roster, you could say as well, man. I was going to ask, now that it seemingly officially the third brand in WWE, I never really liked the term "moving up to the main roster" anyway because I always thought NXT was its own beast and as good as the other two, do you still... Do you have ambitions of you back moving to RAW or SmackDown, or is it like, "NXT is the place to be" and we'll just see what happens?

MR: Right now, NXT for me is the place to be. Things do change.

I think with all three brands on television, I think certain things are gonna change. I think it's gonna elevate NXT into the spotlight but at the same time, I think it's gonna help elevate both SmackDown and RAW.


Obviously, I want to wrestle a lot of the guys on the main roster like Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Cesaro - I could keep going on. There's a lot of talent on the main roster.

For me, that's what it was been about. One of the main reasons I signed with WWE and not another company, I don't want to mention names, is I want to wrestle Brock Lesnar and the only way I will get even close to this is if I'm in WWE. I'm not going to wrestle that dude anywhere else. I can fight him in the UFC, but I'm not going to ever wrestle him anywhere else I don't believe. For me, it's all about matches.

NEXT: Matt Riddle discusses AEW

COMING UP: Matt Riddle on Jericho, Lesnar and Goldberg

Riddle has had an immense start to his WWE career
Riddle has had an immense start to his WWE career

SK: One of the most exciting things for me about NXT moving to the USA is that something that hasn't been around for a while is direct competition.

You guys are going up against AEW on TNT. Is that something you feel pressure about or are you like, "Man, we just have to do what you're doing and let anything else worry about themselves"?

MR: What's the name of that company? No, no, I'm kidding, I'm kidding, I'm kidding.

Honestly, I wish them all the best. I'm super stoked. It's the Wednesday Night Wars!

I hope they push the envelope, I hope they push it hard and I hope they get a lot of fans, and I hope they're very successful - because the more successful they are, the more successful we'll be and the more... You know, it just really helps people out like me if there's good competition. It helps the performers, the people that actually make the show go. It really helps them. I don't feel the pressure.


SK: I'm going to sadly bring things down a little bit here. You had a very impressive streak in WWE right up until April. You suffered your first loss against Velveteen Dream. Was that something that you were disappointed about or do feel like it's maybe a pressure off your shoulders?

MR: Honestly... I wanted to win. I wasn't happy about that. But you know, I look at it like this, Velveteen Dream is a stud, the people are behind him and I knew losing to him wouldn't really be a loss.

If it was up to me, I would just smash everybody out like Goldberg did and just be the champion, that's what I wanted to do, it didn't turn out that way.


But yeah, I also knew from the way that match went and how it played out, how dominant I was, how he caught me with that last-second pin - you know, I feel like I didn't lose anything from that, you know.

NEXT: Matt Riddle discusses angling for a match with Brock Lesnar

COMING UP: Matt Riddle discusses his dream matches in NXT

The Bro landed in WWE one year ago!
The Bro landed in WWE one year ago!

SK: I have to mention... You spoke about Goldberg and Brock Lesnar earlier. Obviously, you've kind of went out your way to carve a path towards both of them.

Is that something that you've done by yourself or has there been an indication to you that one of those matches may happen in the future?

Well... WWE... NXT has made mention of me wrestling Brock in promos and other things like that, but I've been calling out Brock since I started wrestling. It's such a huge goal. If I get close to that, I'll probably be really successful. If I do it, probably be a legend.

Now I'm as close I've ever been but I'm still pretty far.


With Goldberg, I was never even really wanting a match. I mean, I would take it for sure. He's Bill Goldberg, you know? The guy is money. At the same time, I never wanted a match. It was more so my opinion on his work-rate and his wrestling - not his ability to generate money or put butts in seats.

It was his salary, his work-rate. And I talked to Goldberg, we talked about it, he thought I was being disrespectful.

I was like, "Okay, man, that's my opinion. I'm just not a huge fan of your work. I'm just not. It's not great pro wrestling." It's like, "You've got a great jackhammer, great spear but the wrestling... Uhh."

I'm not lying. I feel like if I'm not lying, I'm not being disrespectful. Especially as that's how you make your money.


SK: That's one man you rubbed up the wrong way. There's one more out there - Chris Jericho. Do you have any messages at all to deliver to Chris Jericho?

MR: No, no messages for him, no messages for him. I'm not gonna give him that. I already have my one video, he knows what I think.

He told me to listen and learn, or whatever - which wasn't even directed properly towards me. Like I said, I wasn't trying to get him mad. It was just my opinion on somebody, in multiple interviews and whatever. Then I just watched that match and it was just too much. It was just too much.

So, I think maybe he should listen and learn. If he wants to get his a** kicked he can but I doubt he wants that.

NEXT: Matt Riddle discusses his dream matches in NXT

The Original Bro isn't always so chill
The Original Bro isn't always so chill

SK: Back to the current day. You've been on a collision course with Killian Dain, but who is left for you in terms of fresh matches? Is there anyone that you are like, "I'm absolutely desperate to face this one person from NXT"?

MR: There's a couple of people I have not faced, even throughout my indie career and everywhere else and I feel like it would be good.

The one person is Johnny Wrestling, Johnny Gargano. I've never wrestled him. We were supposed to wrestle a couple [of] times at EVOLVE and I don't know, I feel like he politicked his way out of the match. He didn't want the Bro to get his hands on him!

I feel like, you know, with his in ring ability and mine - it could be pretty tasty.


Another one that I know is good to wrestle because we wrestled before and the indies, the only did it twice and it was amazing, I was still pretty green, and it was Tommaso Ciampa.

Me and Tommaso, we work... We fight each other very well, I'll say that. I think that could be good, especially if he comes back sooner rather than later, I would love to be the first to get a crack at him.


SK: I've only got one question left.

MR: One question left? I hope it's a doozy!

SK: You're trapped in a lift that you need to choose one of these two people to be trapped in a lift with, Goldberg or Chris Jericho?

MR: Probably Jericho, because Goldberg is just... I told you that I talked to him. He's not a fun guy. At least he's not fun for me, I'll say that. He could be fun.

Maybe it's just because of things that had been said already but we did not click. It would just be very terrible.

With Jericho, when he posted that video making fun of my face and all that stuff, like the look, I thought it was hilarious. Personally, I think we'd have more fun, even though we are not fans of one other per se, I think we could make each other laugh, regardless.

Goldberg not so much, nobody is laughing in that confined space.

SK: Yeah! That's true, man. That's all I've got. Thank you for talking to me, it's been an absolute pleasure.

MR: No problem, bro, thanks for having me.

Thanks to Matt Riddle for appearing on Dropkick DiSKussions. You can follow Matt on Twitter here (and you can follow *us* on Twitter here) or catch him every Wednesday on NXT, soon to premiere on the USA Network!

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