Matt Riddle claims he was going to make $1 million per year on WWE deal prior to release

Photo Courtesy: WWE

Riddle dives into his exit from the company.

Matt Riddle’s five-year run with WWE came to an end when he was released from the company in the fall of 2023. To start 2024, Riddle competed for MLW, New Japan Pro-Wrestling and is making the media rounds to speak about his time in WWE and future plans. 

One of the outlets he appeared on was The Kurt Angle Show. Riddle agreed with the point that Endeavor’s merger of WWE and UFC factored into his release. He brought up his history with UFC CEO Dana White.

Riddle then recounted former WWE executive John Laurinaitis offering him a substantial raise that would increase every year. He claimed that he was going to make $1 million a year. In 2023, he made $750,000. Circling back to the topic of his release, he said his behavior did not help and he ‘ruffled some feathers’ within the H.R. department. 

I think that definitely didn’t help things (Riddle responded when asked if WWE-UFC merger sped up his release). I know me and Dana White don’t have the greatest relationship and I know he’s definitely a big part of that and yeah, it definitely played a part. Also, I know they were making budget cuts regardless and I was getting paid quite a pretty penny. I don’t know if it was right before RK-Bro or right after, (John) Laurinaitis pulled me into the office and I thought I was in trouble. I was like, ‘Aww.’ You know, I didn’t get my vaccine yet and I was like, ‘Oh man…’ And went in there, like, ‘Hey, we want to give you a raise’ and they gave me a substantial raise and it increased every year and this year, I was gonna get paid a million a year. I was at 750, and I mean last year, I cleared my bucket. I did extremely well, so, I think that was a big contributing factor. I was gonna get paid a million dollars starting next year but I also think the merger didn’t help and then also, my behavior didn’t help either and I ruffled some feathers with H.R. in the last couple of months. I was asked a couple questions and this, that, plus other things so, I think there was multiple reasons why they got rid of me but, it is what it is. One door shuts, another door opens and you just learn from your mistakes and stuff. I don’t know.

Riddle made his New Japan Pro-Wrestling in-ring debut at Battle in the Valley. He reunited with Jeff Cobb to defeat Zack Sabre Jr. and Bad Dude Tito. 

Coming up in February, Riddle is going to be joining NJPW’s The New Beginning tour and he’ll be challenging Hiroshi Tanahashi for the World Television Championship. He stated that he has a year-long Japan visa. 

I got a year visa (to be in Japan) so I plan on working throughout the year and I’ll be there in February. I’ll be there in Sapporo wrestling (Hiroshi) Tanahashi for the TV Title… I didn’t know they were gonna throw me in there like that. But, I’m pretty stoked, I’m honored honestly and flattered that they would put me in such a position and all I can do now is not disappoint and I know my style, I know my athleticism, I know what I bring to the table, I’ll thrive over there and given the opportunity which they’re giving me, I think I’m gonna make some noise and that’s my plan. Just make some noise and kind of bring in a more aggressive bro. People still want the bro, which is okay, but I wanna bring back that more aggressive version of me. Not the kind of goofy, whatever…

To read more from Riddle about his time in WWE, head over to this link

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit The Kurt Angle Show with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

About Andrew Thompson 8594 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.