What ONE WWE PPV Inspired Matt Riddle To Become A Wrestler?

"This brand, this sport is going towards guys like me".

Jonathan Bachman/AP

SmackDown newcomer Matt Riddle was the latest guest on WWE's 'After The Bell' podcast with announcer Corey Graves. The chat was typical stuff for the most part, but did include one insightful gem about Riddle's decision to trade MMA for pro wrestling in 2014.

One pay-per-view in particular prompted that career change.

Riddle remembers tuning into WrestleMania XXX and watching as Brock Lesnar ended The Undertaker's long-standing winning streak. Then, he saw Daniel Bryan emerge as the most unlikely WWE Champion in years. Matt, who'd already been sitting on the fence and debating some pro wrestling training, knew then and there that he needed to give it a shot.


He told Graves that "this brand, this sport" just seemed so exciting after 'Mania XXX. Caught in the hype, he signed on to train and started taking bumps that October. Due to the advent of the WWE Network, Bryan's win and the freshness of both, Riddle believed that wrestling was heading for another boom period too.

The laid-back former NXT star said, "I had to do this. I had to commit myself".


Thankfully, he didn't try to tie wrestling dreams in with some far-fetched childhood tale about frostbitten feet. Who'd do that?!

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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.