WWE star Matt Riddle recently spoke with the National about a wide range of topics, including his amateur wrestling background, his MMA career, and how he feels about the WWE Universe returning to events. Highlights from the interview are below.
Talks his amateur wrestling background in high school in college:
“I think the one thing I missed when I was doing amateur wrestling was that I was performing in a sport, but I wasn’t a star. It’s one of the things that is a lot of hard work with no real payoff.”
His MMA career and his return to wrestling:
“After I was done with mixed martial arts, I felt like wrestling came full circle. It’s what I started with, it’s my first love. And then I did all the amateur, jitsu and MMA. And then I came right back to pro wrestling. And I feel like it’s just been a perfect circle of life.”
On the entertainment aspects of wrestling:
“In a fight you just focus on the sport. You don’t let any of this get to you and this is all you worry about. And then before and after, you can acknowledge the fans and the crowd but focus. Well [in wrestling], I had to focus on that but I also had to focus on all the people ringside … So my hardest thing was trying to connect with the crowd while performing.”
“Honestly, I think having the crowd back is going to help out a lot. A lot of times when you don’t have that crowd there, you do what you do, but you don’t feel it, you don’t know if it’s going to get the reaction you want it to get because the crowd isn’t there to personally react to it. I can’t wait to hear that crowd pop. I think even the fans watching at home can’t wait to hear those fans screaming and making some noise. You do not want to miss it.”