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Matt Riddle Beats Former WWE Champion In SmackDown Debut

"The Bro That Runs The Show".

WWE.com

Matt Riddle wrestled his first match as part of the SmackDown roster on last night's episode, and it was a biggie.

Riddle crashed AJ Styles' Intercontinental Title celebrations before beating the former two-time WWE Champion in an ultra-competitive 13-minute match - he countered AJ's 'Phenomenal Forearm' into his own 'Bro Derek' finish for the pin.

This is a hot start for the former NXT man on SmackDown; despite the regrettable overhang of controversy leaked earlier in the day, WWE had already pre-taped Riddle's debut and decided to air it anyway. It remains to be seen if he'll be taken off TV in the short-term whilst things are sorted out legally, or if they've already filmed more footage.

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In terms of a pure in-ring debut on a new show, this was one of the best. Riddle beat the new IC Champ clean as a whistle, then celebrated with Daniel Bryan, Drew Gulak, Heavy Machinery and others. He was clearly presented as a major player in SmackDown's future plans.

It's expected that Riddle will go on to challenge AJ for his title, possibly in time for Extreme Rules on 19 July.

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Lifelong wrestling, video game, music and sports obsessive who has been writing about his passions since childhood. Also a pro wrestling commentator and former manager with a love of sparkly jackets.