That’s quite the interview. There have been all kinds of wrestlers throughout WWE’s history and some of them have left the company under less than ideal circumstances. Sometimes a wrestler will not have things go their way during their time in the company, no matter how talented they are. Now a former WWE Superstar is explaining some of the things that happened to him as he was leaving the company.

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Former WWE Superstar Matt Riddle was interviewed by Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour and talked about his release from WWE, including the issues that led to it. Riddle was released from WWE in September 2023 following rumored positive drug tests and an incident at JFK Airport. Following his release, Riddle debuted for New Japan Pro Wrestling and is the reigning NJPW World Television Champion. Here are some of Riddle’s comments, with transcription courtesy of Fightful:

On The Airport Incident

“What happened there, we had a tour in India, it was a one day tour. We flew to India and then back from India. We got there, landed, had a couple hours at the hotel, went to the venue, did the show, flew back to the States. On the way back, you know when you fly you feel some pressure and stuff. I thought it was just air pressure. I had a really bad ear infection. Then, of course, you add a couple of cocktails on top of that. Then, you know, grab the mic, I’m talking some crap. Flights were delayed. It was a perfect storm. At the same time, I feel a lot of people would beat themselves up. At the same time, I look at it, I think it was a sign. I was overworking myself, maybe I hopped back into things a little too quick. Doing a four day tour and going to India for a day and back, it took its toll on me. That kind of thing took a toll on me.”

On Sexual Assault Allegations Against A Port Authority Officer

“I’m not going to go too much into detail with that incident. It was the same trip. I talked to internal affairs, I talked to the FBI. I’m not in trouble, I can assure you of that. I’m not going to go into details with the situation because they asked me not to, unless I want to press charges, and I didn’t want to press charges. That’s how that situation was handled. At the same time, if I wouldn’t have had a couple of drinks, I wouldn’t have put myself in that situation, and I wouldn’t have been there. At the end of the day, I put myself in the situation that I knew I could have possibly gotten into trouble.”

On Being Fired From WWE

I don’t think that’s the reason I got fired, but I don’t think it helps, especially with the UFC merging. It was written in my contract that I was going to make a million dollars this upcoming year, guaranteed, which is a lot more than I was making last year and a lot more than I was making the year before that. I think there was multiple variables that played into my departure. Plus, I failed a couple of drug tests. The writing, for me at least, the writing was on the wall. I’m good in the ring and entertaining, but especially with WWE and how they want to be perceived, I don’t think I was a good fit at the time.”

On His Failed Wellness Policy Tests

“I had two offenses. They didn’t make any of the offenses public. I think they wanted to keep it on the hush hush, which I understand. I got fined.”

“You’re allowed to smoke weed. I went to the strip club and did cocaine a couple times. I failed a drug test for that. That was for all of them, it was cocaine each time. It was just a random night. WWE tests you randomly, any week. Sometimes, you get tested at the end of one month and the beginning of another month. There was one week where I failed bang bang, didn’t know I failed the second one and by the time I failed the first one, I got two at once. I think that’s why they were a little more lenient. ‘We tested you back-to-back, you failed both times.’ I was like, ‘I’ll show you, no more problems, test me for the next ten weeks.’ I did that, I was fine, didn’t fail one test. When I thought I was in the clear, went out, partied a little bit, they gave me a random test at my house, I failed that, and shortly after that, they had me go to rehab.”

And On Being Sent To Rehab

“They can’t make you do anything, but it’s ‘go or…’ ‘Okay, I’ll go.’ I went for the 30 days, I left, and when I left, they made a recommendation that they wanted me to stay for another 30 days and I was like, ‘I said I would do 30 days, I don’t want to do another 30 days.’ I missed Christmas and New Year’s. I learned my lesson. Trust me, I don’t go out there and rage it up anymore like that. I learned my lesson. ‘No, we want you to do another 30 days.’ I wanted to test and get my black belt, I had been waiting 10 years. I had some money because RKBro was successful, and I wanted to buy a house. I bought a house, my aunt had cancer, so I went to see her. She’s good now. I was like, ‘Let me do these couple of things before I leave.’ ‘Okay.’ I went, did those, then went back for another 30 days. Got out and I was just waiting. This was a month before WrestleMania. ‘We don’t have anything for you. Maybe Raw After Mania.’ I thought they were going to fire me.”

Riddle had quite the with WWE. Check out some of his time in the company:

Opinion: Riddle was in a bad place in WWE, as he certainly had talent but there is only so much that the company can do when he has this kind of issues. The talent is obvious, but what can he do when he is unable to get out of his own way? Hopefully Riddle can keep his partying habits under control, though there is quite the chance that he does not want to, which is an issue all of its own.

What do you think of Riddle’s comments? How did you like his time in WWE? Let us know in the comments below.

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