Matt Riddle is the latest indie megastar to join WWE, but his background made him one of the more unlikely standout athletes to join Vince McMahon’s company.
Riddle is an accomplished MMA fighter, registering an 8-3-2 record before he was ultimately released from the UFC by Dana White following a handful of failed drug tests. Despite being ranked in the top 10, Riddle was a victim to the organization’s then-stringent testing policy thanks to his use of marijuana.
After quickly picking up professional wrestling, he was successful across the independent scene in the following years, specifically in EVOLVE and PWG. Riddle’s past drug test failures reportedly kept him from competing in NJPW, and his continued pot usage was assumed to be a deal-breaker with the worldwide leader in sports entertainment.