As noted earlier this week, there is a lot of heat on Matt Riddle and a lot of the NXT wrestlers want nothing to do with him. Tommaso Ciampa was one of the people who has been outspoken publicly about him.
Despite denials from some people in the company, Dave Meltzer reports that Riddle being dumped quickly from the Men’s Royal Rumble match was done to send him a message from Vince McMahon.
Dave Meltzer wrote, “We’re told that Riddle’s Rumble performance was because he has a lot of heat right now with Vince McMahon and this was to send a message.”
There have been some people on social media speculating that the Matt Riddle/Brock Lesnar confrontation was a work since the WWE Performance Center YouTube account posted a video of Riddle trash talking Lesnar. If this is a work, then it would be long-term booking for a potential Riddle/Lesnar match at next year’s WrestleMania 37 with the idea being to make their feud seem as real as possible since they both have MMA backgrounds.
Meltzer noted that, if this is a work, there is one flaw. The flaw is that WWE would have made Riddle look better in the Rumble. With that being said, if the plan is to do Lesnar/Riddle next year or the year after, there’s plenty of time to make Riddle look strong. Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker had a confrontation at a UFC show many years ago and it was played off as being a shoot when, in fact, they had planned the confrontation so this would not be the first time Paul Heyman has tried to work people in this manner.
I spoke with a veteran wrestler on Monday about the Riddle/Lesnar confrontation and this person tells me that there are at least a few people in the company who think the Riddle/Lesnar backstage confrontation was a work.
“I’ve been around this long enough to know that there is certainly a possibility that this is something they have worked out privately,” said the veteran wrestler.
Check out the Riddle interview filmed after he was eliminated from the Men’s Royal Rumble.