Matt Riddle was on Corey Graves' "After The Bell" podcast this week to talk about his upcoming Fight Pit match with Seth Rollins at Extreme Rules.
Here are some highlights:
Riddle said he is taking some credit for the Fight Pit concept:
"Well, the fight pit was kind of, I'm not gonna take all the credit for it, even though I should. You know, the first time we did it, I had a t-shirt with my face on it that said fight pit. The fight pit is kind of my idea a little bit in the sense that I used to do matches on the independents and I'd call them Bloodsport, Matt Riddle’s Bloodsport, before I got signed here, and then it became Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport. I bequeathed it to him. I used to have this Bloodsport thing. I would take the ropes off the ring. You could only win by knockout or submission. It was almost like pro wrestling Kumite Bloodsport. Now as you can see over time and the evolution of WWE and Triple H and everybody involved, Bloodsport has now turned into the fight pit in WWE. It's a monstrosity of a cage that has a platform at the top which most cages don’t. They usually have the ring ropes and the turnbuckles, but the fight pit, all steel, all hard metal, and for me, it's a good time. I'm used to it. I don't wear pads. I don't mind getting hurt. Seth is going to mind. It's not the most forgiving match, and I guarantee by the end of Saturday night in Philadelphia after Extreme Rules, Seth Rollins is going to be feeling it bro.”
On if he has a chip on his shoulder because some people in the locker room did not like him when he first came to WWE:
"No. You know, I'll say this. I just come from a different world and mixed martial arts in a different time frame where trash talk is just part of what we do and we will say whatever we have to say to put asses in those seats and sell tickets.”
Corey said, “So you’re in the right place.”
Riddle said, “You would think, but a lot of times I'll say stuff, specially in interviews like this, and guys like guys like Brock, guys like Seth, especially the top guys like Randy, they'll hear what I say, they hear how I talk, and they find me extremely disrespectful and they don't like it. Then they work with me, they get to know me, and they're like, 'Oh, you're just trying to hype everything up and get buzz.' I'm like, 'Yeah, because that's our job.' I want people to think I really hate people and people really hate me so I can sell tickets to this fight. That's what I want. Because if I don't, nobody's gonna show up and I'm useless and I don't have any value. That's how I look at it.”
Riddle believes the Fight Pit Match will elevate him to the next level:
"That story with Randy, I enjoyed it and I felt like I got to build a relationship and a reputation with the WWE, but now I think with Hunter in play and now being a singles competitor without Randy, getting more competitive, getting meaner, getting angrier, you can see it in the promos. You can see it in the street fights. You can see it in the brawls. Instead of just being like a goofy sidekick that helps elevate his partner and his partner elevates him, now coming into my own as a mainstay single competitor in the WWE. I'm getting that respect as well. Not necessarily from the boys in the back. The boys in the back know I can handle myself. But the fans, because for so long they just saw me be like, 'Hey Randy', you know, I'm kind of such a goof, and now they see me coming out there talking trash and throwing zingers at Seth and then trying to hurt him. Seth is already on another level. I'm not saying he can't be elevated anymore, but right now this is about me. He's gonna help me out in this match regardless if he wants to or not, and this is going to help me get to that next stage, that next level, and hopefully that next championship because that's what it's all about bro."
On what the next level looks like for him considering everything going on in his personal life:
Well, I'll say this. My personal life is in shambles. I'm not gonna cry on this show, but my personal life is pretty brutal. It's been a rough year for me, a rough couple years dude. But yeah, professionally, though, my life is amazing. It's great. I think right now, I think for tag team wrestling when Randy was here, I was at my apex of tag team wrestling. I think right now when it comes to my singles career, I'm still in its infancy. I feel like especially this year, you know, take Money in the Bank for example. I was so close to getting that briefcase and then I got knocked up after already RKOing Seth off the top and doing all this crazy stuff. I wrestled Roman, hit him with an RKO, almost had him and almost had him again, but didn't. So I just feel like right now in my singles career, I'm like the little engine that can't (he laughs). I'm chugging along, but once I get to the top of the hill, I seem to run out of steam. You know, but right now, I think this match with Seth tomorrow will take me to that next level. I think it's a steady process uphill, but my engine can keep going. I got the fuel. I got the coal bro. I'm gonna keep throwing it in the fire and I'm gonna make it up over this hill, and I think I'm gonna see my next singles championship sooner than later. Definitely sooner than Seth, bro."
Click below to listen to the podcast.