WWE Bids Farewell to Matt Riddle and 22 Other Wrestlers
Unanticipated Release of Matt Riddle
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter and professional wrestling star, Matt Riddle, has been released from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). This unexpected announcement followed Riddle’s inability to return to the ring due to health complications, including a double ear infection and bronchitis, and an unrelated incident at JFK Airport. Despite speculation of his impending return, Riddle’s departure implies that he was not part of WWE’s immediate future plans.
Prior to his release, Riddle had been actively involved in his regular grappling training and was reportedly in high spirits. However, he is currently under a 90-day non-compete clause, restricting him from signing with another organization until December 21.
WWE’s Wave of Releases
Alongside Riddle, WWE announced the release of 22 other wrestlers. This list includes renowned names such as Dolph Ziggler, Mustafa Ali, Elias, Shelton Benjamin, and Rick Boogs, among others. The dismissal of these talents aligns with a larger trend within the company, with several talent cuts taking place during the week.
These released wrestlers have received an outpouring of support from fellow WWE stars, including The Rock and John Cena. Many of the released talents, such as Elias and Dolph Ziggler, have publicly expressed their gratitude for their time with WWE.
Riddle’s Journey in WWE
Riddle, who started training as a professional wrestler about a decade ago, signed with WWE in 2018. Over the course of his career, he won the NXT Tag Team Championship with Pete Dunne, the Raw Tag Team Championship with Randy Orton, and the WWE United States Championship. His career in WWE was also marked by notable accusations against him during the SpeakingOut movement, a real-life feud with Seth Rollins, and multiple drug suspensions.
Riddle returned to WWE Raw after WrestleMania 39, albeit with a somewhat diminished role in the absence of his injured partner, Orton. Riddle’s short-lived return ended with an incident at JFK airport and he hadn’t been seen on television since.
Uncertain Future and Industry Impact
With Riddle and other wrestlers’ departure, the future of WWE’s roster remains uncertain. This wave of releases may have a significant impact on the industry, potentially leading to reshuffling within other organizations as they may capitalize on the availability of these talented individuals.
The wrestling community will be closely watching the next moves of these released talents, particularly Riddle, who despite his controversies, has showcased his capabilities in the ring. The upcoming months will certainly be a pivotal period for both the athletes and the wrestling industry as a whole.
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