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WWE/NJPW News: Top NXT star pays tribute to New Japan veteran

Soumik Datta
2.07K   //    23 Jan 2019, 18:18 IST

Matt Riddle (right) has a message for a certain legend of the business
Matt Riddle (right) has a message for a certain legend of the business

What's the story?

WWE NXT star Matt Riddle recently took it to his official Twitter handle and had a tribute message for his former nemesis and New Japan Pro Wrestling veteran, Katsuyori Shibata.

In case you didn't know...

Prior to his arrival in the WWE, former UFC star Matt Riddle established himself as one of the hottest stars' on the Independent Circuit and during his time on the Indies, the 'King of Bros' competed against some of the best wrestlers' in the world including the likes of Cody Rhodes, Kyle O'Reilly, and David Starr.

In January of 2017, Riddle made his debut for top British promotion Revolution Pro Wrestling when he unsuccessfully challenged Katsuyori Shibata for the British Heavyweight Championship.

The heart of the matter

Later in the year 2017, Katsuyori Shibata suffered a subdural hematoma following his brutal IWGP Heavyweight Championship match against Kazuchika Okada, an injury which was caused by a stiff headbutt.

Shibata since then hasn't wrestled a match but during the 2017 G1 Climax Finals made his first appearance in New Japan Pro Wrestling, addressing the crowd by stating the following:

"I am alive! That is all"

On the two year anniversary of Shibata's classic showdown against Riddle, the newest NXT star decided to look back upon his bout against 'The Wrestler', as Riddle posted the following and claimed that his classic showdown against Shibata changed the former UFC star's life forever and it was an honor to share the ring with a legend like Shibata.

What's next?

Matt Riddle is currently preparing for his upcoming showdown against Kassius Ohno at the upcoming NXT TakeOver: Phoenix event which is slated to take place later this week. Riddle and Ohno have already faced off twice prior to this match and on both occasions 'The King of Bros' came out on top.

At TakeOver: Phoenix, Riddle will look to score a clean sweep against Ohno by defeating him for the third time.

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