Matt Riddle’s recent call-up to the SmackDown brand reportedly “sent shock waves through multiple brands” in regards to its timing and NXT’s plans for him, according to Fightful.
Sean Ross Sapp reported (via WrestlingNews.co) that Riddle’s call-up had been planned for some time but the actual decision to move Riddle was made in a recent meeting that Vince McMahon had with other WWE officials.
Sapp reported that WWE officials originally were content with letting Riddle stay in NXT while Pete Dunne was away from the brand in the UK due to the coronavirus pandemic.
NXT’s original plans for Riddle during the pandemic were for him to feud with Indus Sher until Dunne could make his return, but those plans were dropped following the lack of confidence WWE officials had in Indus Sher and wanting Riddle to be promoted to the main roster instead.
Sapp reported that due to the change in plans for Riddle, WWE officials decided to go in a new direction for the NXT Tag Team Championship and felt Imperium were better prepared to carry the tag belts for the foreseeable future.
In regards to Dunne’s NXT status, Sapp reported that WWE officials currently do not have any plans for him nor anyone else from the NXT UK brand due to the on-going travel issues caused by the pandemic.