Orton started by praising Matt Riddle's skillset. The Viper believes the Original Bro has already surpassed the work of all recent NXT call-ups. Orton said:
"Matt Riddle, yeah. I think he is going to do fantastic. I think he has already kind of outshined most of his little class of NXT that have kind of come up over the last year. I mean, you have a lot of those guys doing well."
Randy Orton also revealed details of the first time he saw Matt Riddle backstage at a WWE show in Miami. The WWE veteran recalled having both the entire NXT team and main roster talent backstage at the event.
Randy Orton noted that there were talents at the venue not scheduled to perform, but wrestlers always carry their gear, and the practice predictably cramped up the locker room. Orton explained:
"But the funny thing with Riddle is when I first met him, we were in Miami. The entire locker room of NXT was in Miami. So now our locker rooms, which aren't the biggest, are now jam-packed with NXT guys, who aren't working the show, but you know, in the wrestling business, you bring your gear to the show. You are always prepared, brother, and so, you got all these NXT guys with all their sh**, taking up all the space in the locker room."
"For quite a while, I didn't like Riddle"- Randy Orton
Randy Orton was excited to be in the company of the up-and-coming talent from NXT. He even attempted to break the ice with Matt Riddle.
Orton stated that he walked up to Riddle and acknowledged him with a playful interaction. Much to Orton's surprise, Riddle - with bloodshot eyes - nodded his head and kept walking without giving a verbal response.
Randy Orton's initial reaction wasn't too pleasant. The veteran took Riddle's gesture as an apparent lack of respect. Randy Orton had expected an exchange of warm pleasantries with Riddle. Instead, he got disrespectful vibes. Orton said:
"Me, especially being a vet, being around for a while, and I see this, and now I already got a hard-on for these guys, right? So, it doesn't help when I walk by Matt Riddle, and my olive branch was basically me all looking at Matt, and I just said, I go, 'Oh, there he is, there he is!' Just kind of icebreaker, expecting maybe a, 'Oh, hey Randy. My name is Matt; nice to meet you.' But instead, Matt just kind of barely, you know, with the bloodshot eyes glanced over at me, he is just like, and he just kept walking. I remember thinking, 'that motherf****r'."
Randy Orton wasn't a fan of Matt Riddle for a very long time due to their awkward first meeting. However, the former NXT star's arrival on Monday Night RAW changed their relationship for the better.
Randy Orton explained that he has grown to thoroughly like Matt Riddle after spending almost a year with the former UFC fighter behind the scenes. Orton explained:
"So, for quite a while, I didn't like Riddle, and it was because of that little scenario. One little incident. And it wasn't even an incident. It's just, 'I took it as a lack of respect, and when you come back there, and your brand new, and no one knows you, you want to introduce yourself because we are a band of brothers. I have got to trust you with my body in that ring. And you, the same. You've got to trust me. We should probably make an introduction at some point. We should probably shoot the sh** a little bit, and so, back to Matt Riddle, I love the guy now. I have been in the locker room now for about a year."
Matt Riddle is no stranger to controversy. He has gained notoriety for his reported backstage altercations with Brock Lesnar and Goldberg. Randy Orton, however, changed his perception of Riddle, and the stars now find themselves in a unique team called 'RKBro.'
If any quotes are used from this article, please credit 'The Kurt Angle Show' and give a H/T to Sportskeeda.