NXT’s King of Bros, Matt Riddle, looked the part of a king in dispatching tough Luke Menzies in his NXT debut. The former Evolve champion and NXT newcomer came to the ring with chants of bro from the Full Sail crowd and a star was born. Sometimes the lights are too bright even in NXT for some wrestlers and they go back to the independent ranks sometimes never to be seen on the big stage again.
Matt Riddle is different. He was comfortable and relaxed with the spotlight. He stood on the turnbuckles and soaked in the adulation like a drug. Speaking of…. I first saw Riddle in the Ultimate Fighter and I rooted for him to win because his carefree attitude was infectious. The future King of Bros always smiled and was happy to be there. His UFC career ended after a couple positive marijuana tests.
Riddle has found significant success in pro wrestling in a short time prior to signing with NXT. He was the Evolve champion, WWN champion, and one half of the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla tag champs with Jeff Cobb when they were known as the Chosen Bros. Riddle won the Evolve strap with a win over current NXTUK grappler Zach Sabre Jr at Evolve 102. He held the belt for 121 days before losing to Shane Strickland at Evolve 108.
After a dustup with Kassius Ohno last week, Riddle has been booked with Ohno at NXT 478. Ohno will be good opposition for the youngster. He is strong and agile for a guy who looks like he spends more time on the couch than in the wrestling ring. It’s a good matchup for Riddle. The 32 year old billed from Las Vegas certainly could make a run at either one of the NXT belts in the near future.
There are plenty of great options for the bro after Kassius Ohno. The NXT talent pool is deep and Tomasso Ciampa’s belt has a huge target on it. Riddle has the makings of a giant superstar. After a lot of seasoning in NXT he could make a run in WWE. The athleticism is there to be able to compete with bigger guys the way two-time WWE champion AJ Styles does as well as current champ Daniel Bryan.
The threat of the submission makes him dangerous against wrestlers of any size, so he is capable of winning a title from anyone. Riddle is green on the mike, but he has the raw skills, and the in ring skill is there. He is an exciting prospect that will be fun to watch going in 2019.