Matt Riddle on NXT vs. Indies, CM Punk’s UFC future
From John Pollock:
Matt Riddle was a guest on the most edition of The LAW: Live Audio Wrestling and can be heard in full at http://fightnetwork.com/law/full-interview-matt-riddle-with-john-pollock/.
Riddle discussed his recent match with Katsuyori Shibata, why he isn’t in a rush to get to the WWE, comparisons to Kurt Angle, philosophy on comedy matches, CM Punk’s UFC future and more.
Below are some highlights of the interview (transcribed by Sam Pierce):
Wanting to stay on the indies as opposed to NXT at the moment:
Yeah, I agree with that. I think the biggest thing people realize is yeah, there is way more money in WWE. Of course, but the indies are just great. I dont know how else I can explain it any other way. I was at NXT the other day, the crowd was huge, they roared and everything but it’s just very, very commercial. It’s very commercial, the lights go on, they come off, they focus here, they focus there, this, that and the other thing, camera here, camera there, you know? It’s a really big production and there’s nothing wrong with that. I was fighting in the UFC, I’ve been part of big productions like that but the indies have this real gritty feeling to them. Especially when you’re in Europe or even here in America, you’re usually in a tight room or a tight, big room with 700-1500 people packed in there, going crazy, chanting, throwing stuff. I think it’s just a more raw element and for me, right now, I think that’s the only place I want to be right now. Don’t get me wrong, I would like to wrestle for WWE one day or maybe sooner than later if it happens but right now, I really like what I’m doing on the indies, I can be as creative as possible, no one tells me how to wrestle. They’re like hey, you’re in this match, you’ve got this much time which is awesome and I go do it. I really wouldn’t want to change anything at the moment.
Taking regular dates in Japan, if that is possible with his current schedule:
Right now, at the moment, no. Then again, I haven’t been asked or offered any opportunities in Japan. If a couple promotions in Japan hit me up and wanted me to do a couple week or month-long tour, I’d be more than happy to and I’m pretty sure all the companies I work with would be more than happy to allow me to go to Japan and defend my belts or do whatever, you know?
His thoughts on doing matches heavy on comedy:
I like it. I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t want it to be my thing but I think that’s what makes it so good. If you get a guy like me or Jeff Cobb or Tim Thatcher or a very serious wrestler and they’re in there, doing the thumb in the bum and doing slo-mo spots and singing I believe you can fly and doing all this whacky, funny stuff, I think it makes it better, you know? I think if it were just a bunch of comedy guys doing a comedy match again, it would be whatever but having a couple serious characters in there like Tommy End or Aleister Black, I think his name is now but you know what I mean.
His thoughts on CM Punk fight at UFC 203:
That’s exactly what I thought was going to happen. I mean, what was he thinking?
Whether or not he thinks CM Punk will fight again in the UFC:
No, not in the UFC.
If CM Punk should fight in an another promotion:
If he really wants to be a mixed martial artist, yes – It’s not like another promoter wouldn’t book him, I guarantee if he goes UFC, you have to pay me whatever or release me so I can go fight, I’m pretty sure the UFC would release him.