A recent appearance on the Kurt Angle Show saw Randy Orton go into details on his relationship with WWE Raw tag team partner Riddle, including the reason the former UFC fighter rubbed him the wrong way when they first met.
The Viper spoke on how they first crossed paths (h/t 411Mania for the transcriptions):-
"The funny thing with Riddle, the first time I met him, we were in Miami. The entire locker room of NXT was in Miami, so now our locker rooms which aren’t the biggest, are jam-packed with NXT guys who aren’t working the show. But in the wrestling business, you bring your gear to the show. You’re always prepared. So, you’ve got all these NXT guys with all their s**t taking up all the space in the locker room. So, me being a vet and seeing this, it doesn’t help when I walk by Matt Riddle and my olive branch was basically me looking at Matt and said, ‘There he is, there he is.’ Just kind of an icebreaker expecting a, ‘Hey Randy, my name is Matt. Nice to meet you.’ Instead, Matt just kind of barely – with the blood-shot eyes – glanced over at me and he just kept walking. I remember thinking, ‘That mother…..’ So, for quite a while, I didn’t like Riddle."
Orton interpreted this as a lack of respect:-
"It was because of that little scenario. I took it as a lack of respect and when you come back there and you’re brand new and no one knows you, you wanna introduce yourself. We’re a band of brothers. I’ve gotta trust you with my body in that ring, and you the same. We should probably make an introduction at some point and probably shoot the sh*t a little bit.”
Fortunately, Randy's attitude towards Riddle softened when they started sharing a Raw locker-room following his tag partner's graduation from NXT to the main roster.
Orton had particular praise for the work Riddle is doing in backstage segments:-
“I love the guy now. I’ve been in the locker room with him now for about a year. I was there when a couple of weeks ago he forgot his verbiage live on RAW and scooted off on a scooter when he was doing his thing with Asuka in the back. That was some of the best sh*t I’ve ever seen. His backstage character – everything’s cool and the rambling nature of his promos – that works. In the ring, he goes. He reminds me of you [Kurt Angle]. That dude can do it all, and he busts his ass in that ring. Some of the matches he’s had with Sheamus – it’s not the style of match I like to have, but the Riddle/Sheamus matches have been amazing. I think he’s gonna do quite well.”
Riddle and Orton are currently teaming as R-K-Bro in Raw, with the former earning the latter's respect by felling him in a singles match. They are 2-0 at the time of writing, gradually building steam and popularity.
It seems, however, that those deliberately awkward, stunted locker-room skits may be an extension of their original dynamic.