How WWE Should Book Matt Riddle On Smackdown

Matt Riddle
Photo Credit: WWE

On the May 29th edition of Smackdown, Kurt Angle appeared in a promo to announce Smackdown’s latest signing: The Original Bro, Matt Riddle.

Interestingly, Angle used the phrase “newest face of Smackdown” and I think he’s going to be right about that. Matt Riddle is entertaining as all hell and has the skill in the ring to match his skill on the mic.

The man has always been entertaining, from his career in MMA to transitioning to wrestling and gaining popularity on the indies, to then finally making his way to WWE and becoming a staple in NXT.

Now I imagine WWE have some big plans for Riddle with the fact that they got Angle to go on and hype him up. I personally can’t wait to see where he goes, I think it’s safe to say he is a future world champion.

But in the meantime, we have his debut approaching soon and this is what I think they should do.

This upcoming Friday, we have the final of the Intercontinental Championship tournament between AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan. It is going to be a classic, no doubt. I’m actually surprised we are getting it on Smackdown instead of waiting until Backlash, but I digress.

I would have AJ Styles take the win here. This gives him the well-deserved Grand Slam champion status and he really needs a win after a string of losses and unfortunate events (I still believe that he won the Money in the Bank match)

In the build-up to the match, Bryan has been saying how he is going to be a fighting champion as opposed to Styles who cowers away from a fight. The following week on Smackdown I would have Styles come out and cut a promo about how this title is his and he is the best champion in the company.

Vince McMahon, AJ Styles & Daniel Bryan
AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan are the perfect picks to help establish Riddle on NXT (photo: WWE)

He will not defend the title unless the challenger earns it. No open challenges, no easy paths to a title match. And right now, there is no-one back there that has earned the right to step in the ring with the phenomenal AJ Styles.


Enter Matt Riddle.

A promo between Styles and Riddle would be amazing. The key point to hit is that Riddle understands earning a title shot coming from the UFC but he promises he is coming for Styles and when they face off it will be “phenomenal… bro”.

The following week you have Matt Riddle’s in-ring debut and who better than the man that just lost to Styles, Daniel Bryan. The wrestling skill these two superstars possess is incredible and having that mixed in with the fact they are both extremely skilled strikers serves to create an instant classic.

Matt Riddle is already very popular and well known in the industry, however this match will showcase his talents to the wider, more casual fans of the WWE universe.

Of course, I would have Riddle go over Bryan after a long and gruelling match. Afterwards, the next person I would have him face is Sheamus. Sheamus has been on a run where he has been facing “smaller” guys. Matt Riddle, although shredded, is skinny and doesn’t take himself too seriously so I think he would match up well with Sheamus’ current gimmick.

Again, I would have Riddle go over. Meanwhile AJ Styles has been cutting promos about how Riddle doesn’t deserve the championship. No one does.

After beating Sheamus, I would have it announced (either on backstage or social media) that the following week on Smackdown, there will be a fatal four way to determine the number one contender for the Intercontinental Championship. The match will be Sheamus v Bryan v Shinsuke Nakamura v Riddle, with Matt set to win.

Photo: WWE

The reasons for my picks in this match, firstly, is the fact that Sheamus was recently featured in the tournament for the vacated title where he came up short and was Riddle’s most recent opponent. Daniel Bryan, obviously, came very close to winning the title so it would be relevant to keep him in the picture for now. Also, as I mentioned when Riddle debuted against him, I think they will have amazing chemistry in the ring. Daniel Bryan is good at making his opponents look like a million bucks.

And finally, Shinsuke Nakamura as he was recently holding the title himself and with his strong style wrestling, it would be cool to see him face off against a great striker in Riddle. The match can also feature a face-off with Nakamura and Bryan which I imagine would be interesting to see.

It makes sense, out of those featured in this match, for Nakamura to take the pin from Riddle. The following week on the go-home show before Extreme Rules, have Riddle in the ring cutting a promo about his match on Sunday when AJ Styles comes out and sneak attacks him, laying him out.

At Extreme Rules, I would place this match somewhere in the middle of the card. Give it enough time to really display just how good Matt Riddle is and allow him the win over Styles.

Now I know what you may be thinking: it is very soon after AJ won the belt and even sooner after Riddle’s debut. However if WWE want to treat NXT as a third brand as opposed to “developmental” they need to stop forcing talent to “prove” themselves when they move to Raw or Smackdown.

There is no point in putting Riddle in a pointless feud with a gatekeeper of the brand when most fans already know that he is great. With Styles, you don’t need to give him a long run with the Intercontinental title as it was really only on him to prevent it staying vacated and also to grant him Grand Slam status.

After this, I would have Riddle feature frequently in matches. There is a slew of talent on Smackdown that he can have barnburner matches with for example: Cesaro, Drew Gulak, and especially Dolph Ziggler. Could you imagine how well Ziggler could sell Riddle’s offense? That would be PPV worthy.

Matt Riddle
Photo Credit: WWE

You could even have you “cross-brand invitational” extend to guys like Pete Dunne (travel permitting) and a role reversal rematch with Timothy Thatcher on NXT both of which having pre-existing storylines with Riddle, or guys like Andrade and Aleister Black on Raw.

Doing this will create more buzz, not just for Riddle, but also for the Intercontinental title. It is an incredibly prestigious title so make it appear desirable by having guys from other brands coming over to get a shot at it.

The sky is the limit for the original bro, and I can’t wait to see what WWE have in store for him. I can see World championships in his future and it is going to be some ride.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and if you know any other characters or storylines you would like to see me rebook, let me know on Twitter @epicfail318.

Until next time, brooooo.