Former UFC star and independent wrestling sensation Matt Riddle finally made his WWE debut, when his first NXT match aired Wednesday night.
And it was fantastic.
“Highly touted NXT signee Matt Riddle made quite the impression in his WWE Network debut,” WWE.com touted. “As Full Sail Live turned into ‘Bro’ Sail Live, with the entire house showering the NXT newcomer with his signature phrase, a challenging obstacle by the name of Luke Menzies waited for him in the ring.”
“In a highly physical battle, the two competitors took it to each other, but Menzies’ signature style of bone-rattling offense couldn’t contain the methodical and spry Riddle,” WWE.com noted.
“The King of Bros lit up Menzies’ chest with a series of kicks that echoed like the crack of a whip,” WWE continued with their play-by-play. “He then followed up with raining elbows and a senton splash before connecting with the Bromission that caused Menzies to tap out.”
“As made clear by the ‘Bro’ chants at the end of the match, Matt Riddle has officially arrived.”
All of this is true. Riddle made quite the impression. He’s definitely arrived.
But there’s more to say about Riddle’s debut, a wrestler many rightly believe will be a breakout top star for WWE.
For starters, anyone who followed Riddle on the indies and particularly Evolve Wrestling, knows he had a great entrance theme with Warren G’s “Regulate.”
Wrestling fans also know WWE likes to rebrand incoming indie talents with their own original entrance music. The NXT theme for Riddle is similar in style to his old one.
It’s pretty cool.
Riddle still rocks the “Bro” gimmick as WWE.com notes, but a big part of that was wrestling barefoot – which he still does. Riddle walks to the ring in flip-flops, and kicks them off simultaneously, which you just know might become one of the most over gimmicks on the main roster.
It’s just too awesome.
Here’s his flip-flop gimmick from an NXT house show in September.
matt riddle’s flip flop toss is amazing https://t.co/YPDHSMplEa
— mark (@haightsucks) September 22, 2018
Riddle had plenty of unconventional – yet so mat-based and traditionalist at the same time – moves in his relatively short match with Luke Menzies, that kept fans on the edge of their seats. Riddle wrestled basically the same style fans have fallen in love with on the indies.
Matt Riddle vs. Luke Menzies: WWE NXT, Oct. 31, 2018 https://t.co/QumhNtGIRV pic.twitter.com/EAXAHn7HdZ
— プロレス動画 (@v_prowrestling) November 1, 2018
Matt Riddle Is Money
If you haven’t watched Riddle’s debut yet, you owe it to yourself to do so on the WWE Network.
But the biggest takeaway is this: Whatever die-hard wrestling fans loved about Riddle on the independent scene – his style of wrestling, his theme music, his “bro” gimmick – NXT under HHH’s watch plans to keep that as intact as possible.
As a huge fan of the self-styled “King of Bros…”
This couldn’t make me happier.
Matt Riddle is in a league all his own
— Mya Rose aka ThaPhenoix (@myarose21) November 1, 2018
Weather you're a fan of his or not, Matt Riddle has something special. There hasn't been a guy come to wrestling and get it like this since Kurt Angle. He's going to be a HUGE star #WWENXT
— Mark Leslie (@markmeatsix91) November 1, 2018
Matt Riddle is money. Guy is already one of the most over guys on the roster. #WWENXT
— John (@JGor492) November 1, 2018
Matt Riddle is money. Expect him to make a lot of it for WWE in years to come.
His NXT debut was just a reminder.
Categorized: Ringside Intel Sports Wrestling