Orton Recalls First Backstage Meeting With Riddle In WWE, Why He Initially Didn’t Like Him

May 9, 2021 - by James Walsh

On a recent edition of The Kurt Angle Show, Randy Orton discussed his first backstage meeting with Matt Riddle, why he initially didn’t like him, and much more. You can read his comments below.

Randy Orton on why he initially didn’t like Matt Riddle: “I think he’s gonna do fantastic, and I think he’s already kind of outshined most of his class of NXT that came up over the last year – but you have a lot of those guys that are doing well. 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 shit 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. 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 shit a little bit.”

On how his stance has changed on Riddle: “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 shit 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.”

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