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SK Speculation: Is Matt Riddle on his way to NJPW?

The future is very bright for Matt Riddle, but does that future lie in Japan?


Is Riddle on his way to New Japan Pro Wrestling?
Is Riddle on his way to New Japan Pro Wrestling?

What's the story?

Cageside Seats have recently speculated that Matt Riddle could soon be on his way to New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Riddle, a former UFC fighter and Progress Atlas Champion, is one of the biggest names on the independent wrestling scene and has been rumoured to be heading to Japan for a while.

In case you didn't know...

Matthew Riddle first came to the attention of the public in 2008, when he was a standout performer on The Ultimate Fighter 7. Riddle swiftly made his mark in UFC, going on a four-match win streak before testing positive for marijuana in 2013. This marked the end of Riddle's MMA career.

The King of Bros soon moved into professional wrestling, and he has taken to pro graps like a duck to water. Riddle has primarily performed in EVOLVE, with frequent appearances in PWG and PROGRESS among others.

H infamously claimed he wanted to retire Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania and said that the Beast Incarnate is scared of him.

The heart of the matter

Riddle made an appearance on Fightful.com and the 'The List & Ya Boy' podcast recently to talk about his professional wrestling career. Riddle specifically spoke about the rumours of him heading to NJPW, after his conversations with NJPW referee Tiger Hattori back in July.

Riddle stated that nothing was 100%, but it was a possibility, before going on to say that his conversations with Hattori were extremely positive. The WWN Champion said that NJ are fans of his, his look and his style in particular.

The Bro went on to speak about the bosses he has worked with over the years, including Dana White, Triple H and Gabe Sapolsky. The podcast can be listened to here, with Riddle's segment beginning around the 49:30 mark.

What's next?

New Japan Pro Wrestling is making a big expansion into the United States, and as such we can expect a number of big western names to join the roster. Riddle has long been rumoured to be on his way there, although the rumours of him turning up in NXT are just as strong.

If NJPW is to run a touring brand in USA in 2018, combatants like Matt Riddle will be a vital component of that. Riddle is one of the biggest names in pro wrestling outside of WWE today and New Japan would be a real good fit for the King of Bros.

Author's take

I would love to see Matthew Riddle perform in a New Japan ring. Whilst it would likely be as part of the US expansion, the list of matches waiting for Riddle in NJPW is astounding.

Riddle vs. Omega, Riddle vs. Ishii, Riddle vs. Tanahashi, Riddle vs. Nagata, the list goes on and on.

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