Matt Riddle on Failing Multiple Drug Tests for Cocaine in WWE, JFK Airport Incident, & Claims of People in WWE Making Unwanted Conduct Towards Female Talent

A recent episode of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani podcast featured former WWE talent Matt Riddle as the guest. One of the topics discussed included Riddle’s thoughts about his incident at the JFK Airport this past September.

“What happened there, we had a tour in India, it was a one day tour. We flew to India and then back from India. We got there, landed, had a couple hours at the hotel, went to the venue, did the show, flew back to the States. On the way back, you know when you fly you feel some pressure and stuff. I thought it was just air pressure. I had a really bad ear infection. Then, of course, you add a couple of cocktails on top of that. Then, you know, grab the mic, I’m talking some crap. Flights were delayed. It was a perfect storm. At the same time, I feel a lot of people would beat themselves up. At the same time, I look at it, I think it was a sign. I was overworking myself, maybe I hopped back into things a little too quick. Doing a four day tour and going to India for a day and back, it took its toll on me. That kind of thing took a toll on me.”

Riddle also gave his thoughts about the sexual harassment allegations he made against a Port Authority official during this incident.

“I’m not going to go too much into detail with that incident. It was the same trip. I talked to internal affairs, I talked to the FBI. I’m not in trouble, I can assure you of that. I’m not going to go into details with the situation because they asked me not to, unless I want to press charges, and I didn’t want to press charges. That’s how that situation was handled. At the same time, if I wouldn’t have had a couple of drinks, I wouldn’t have put myself in that situation, and I wouldn’t have been there. At the end of the day, I put myself in the situation that I knew I could have possibly gotten into trouble. I don’t think that’s the reason I got fired, but I don’t think it helps, especially with the UFC merging. It was written in my contract that I was going to make a million dollars this upcoming year, guaranteed, which is a lot more than I was making last year and a lot more than I was making the year before that. I think there was multiple variables that played into my departure. Plus, I failed a couple of drug tests. The writing, for me at least, the writing was on the wall. I’m good in the ring and entertaining, but especially with WWE and how they want to be perceived, I don’t think I was a good fit at the time.”

Riddle also revealed that he had failed multiple drug tests for cocaine during his time in WWE.

“I had two offenses. They didn’t make any of the offenses public. I think they wanted to keep it on the hush hush, which I understand. I got fined.

You’re allowed to smoke weed. I went to the strip club and did cocaine a couple times. I failed a drug test for that. That was for all of them, it was cocaine each time. It was just a random night. WWE tests you randomly, any week. Sometimes, you get tested at the end of one month and the beginning of another month. There was one week where I failed bang bang, didn’t know I failed the second one and by the time I failed the first one, I got two at once. I think that’s why they were a little more lenient. ‘We tested you back-to-back, you failed both times.’ I was like, ‘I’ll show you, no more problems, test me for the next ten weeks.’ I did that, I was fine, didn’t fail one test. When I thought I was in the clear, went out, partied a little bit, they gave me a random test at my house, I failed that, and shortly after that, they had me go to rehab.”

On the topic of if WWE made him to go rehab, Riddle stated:

“They can’t make you do anything, but it’s ‘go or…’ ‘Okay, I’ll go.’ I went for the 30 days, I left, and when I left, they made a recommendation that they wanted me to stay for another 30 days and I was like, ‘I said I would do 30 days, I don’t want to do another 30 days.’ I missed Christmas and New Year’s. I learned my lesson. Trust me, I don’t go out there and rage it up anymore like that. I learned my lesson. ‘No, we want you to do another 30 days.’ I wanted to test and get my black belt, I had been waiting 10 years. I had some money because RKBro was successful, and I wanted to buy a house. I bought a house, my aunt had cancer, so I went to see her. She’s good now. I was like, ‘Let me do these couple of things before I leave.’ ‘Okay.’ I went, did those, then went back for another 30 days. Got out and I was just waiting. This was a month before WrestleMania. ‘We don’t have anything for you. Maybe Raw After Mania.’ I thought they were going to fire me.”

Riddle also claimed that he had witnessed several people within WWE making unwanted advances and inappropriate conduct towards female talent during his time in the company.

“I’ve never heard anything about Vince. I’ve seen certain people, I’m not going to mention names, I’ve seen certain people make passes at certain female talent by saying, ‘Come to my locker room’ or that creepy kind of thing. The woman I talked to didn’t go and was above that. She’s a stallion and was like, ‘I’m not doing that.’ Like, ‘Here’s my number; come to my locker room.’ That’s where it ended, but it could have escalated, and if that person was in fear of their job or wasn’t as over as they are, they probably would have gone there because ‘what am I supposed to do?’ Damn, I probably would have went there, ‘I just need the job.”

Riddle also gave his thoughts about the recent sex trafficking lawsuit allegations against Vince McMahon.

“Some of the things I’ve read are pretty disturbing, if true. At the same time, I’ve read the texts, which can be considered kind of disturbing, in a way. The hard part for me with all this is….it’s a finicky area. It seems like he ends up in these situations. There are always large sums of money involved. I don’t know. I have no idea. I know my situation and how it was. For me, I feel like that’s how I feel about situations because that was my experience, being falsely accused. I don’t know, maybe he’s falsely accused, but those texts, there are good amount of texts. It’s a pretty big trial situation. A lot of money involved. NDAs were issued and signed at one point. I don’t know. There are a lot of red flags, for sure. I don’t think it was great. There are a lot of red flags in professional wrestling, period. There are a lot of red flags in Hollywood, period. It’s not a knock on Hollywood or wrestling. When you run billion dollar industries that are fueled by athletes or good looking people or actors or entertainers, and how you choose said entertainers, there’s a lot of room for mess. With WWE, my situation, sent me to rehab. I won’t say anything bad. They did the best they could and what they thought was best for me. I honestly think that. I think they thought putting my in rehab throughout the holidays for the remainder of the year, they thought it was the best thing for me. I disagree. Maybe the first month, take the holidays, but another 30 days was a little rough and you overdid it, but I get why you did it. You’re protecting yourself and investment and you’re looking out of me. Nine times out of ten, WWE did the right thing, but there are still going to be a couple of bad apples. Entertainment is a weird world and it’s a lot of politics and navigation. I feel WWE does the best they can. MLW and New Japan do the best they can, and that’s why I align myself with these companies.”

Transcript h/t: 1 & 2