Every year, there’s a different independent pro wrestler setting the scene on fire. In 2015, it was Zack Sabre Jr. In 2016, there can be no doubt that the most buzz went to Matt Riddle, one of the most natural pro wrestlers to come around in some time. The former UFC fighter was purported to be one of the main reasons WWE and EVOLVE originally formed their partnership, but he’s still under contract to WWNLive and is tearing up the indies all over the world.
And that’s just the way Riddle wants things for now. He’s not in any rush to make it to WWE (or more accurately NXT, which is where he would start out), and he’s loving what he’s doing. He explained his situation to Live Audio Wrestling, and pretty much Michael Landon’d things, saying NXT can wait.
I think the biggest thing people realize is yeah, there is way more money in WWE. Of course, but the indies are just great. I don’t know how else I can explain it any other way. I was at NXT the other day, the crowd was huge, they roared and everything but it’s just very, very commercial. It’s very commercial, the lights go on, they come off, they focus here, they focus there, this, that and the other thing, camera here, camera there, you know? It’s a really big production and there’s nothing wrong with that. I was fighting in the UFC, I’ve been part of big productions like that but the indies have this real gritty feeling to them. Especially when you’re in Europe or even here in America, you’re usually in a tight room or a tight, big room with 700-1500 people packed in there, going crazy, chanting, throwing stuff. I think it’s just a more raw element and for me, right now, I think that’s the only place I want to be right now. Don’t get me wrong, I would like to wrestle for WWE one day or maybe sooner than later if it happens but right now, I really like what I’m doing on the indies, I can be as creative as possible, no one tells me how to wrestle. They’re like hey, you’re in this match, you’ve got this much time which is awesome and I go do it. I really wouldn’t want to change anything at the moment.
So you still have plenty of time to go check out Riddle on the indies, and I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so, because he’s the real deal. It’s all but a certainty that he’ll end up in NXT at some point, but don’t miss him, baby, because he’s not going to miss a thing.