The most recent episode of Friday Night SmackDown revealed NXT Superstar Matt Riddle will be promoted to the company’s blue brand, following his loss to Timothy Thatcher in NXT’s first ever Cage Fight match. WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle was the referee for the Cage Fight, and also announced the “King of Bros” move to SmackDown on a pre-recorded segment Friday night.
Angle will be cohosting the Olympic Channel’s upcoming Rulon Gardner Won’t Die documentary, which chronicles Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardner’s journey from the youngest of nine children growing up on a Wyoming farm, to shocking the world at the 200 Sydney Olympics. During CBR’s interview with Angle regarding his participation in Rulon Gardner Won’t Die, the 1996 Olympic gold medalist revealed WWE offered him the chance to be Matt Riddle’s manager, though he ultimately turned it down.
“I think that Matt Riddle is going to be one of the faces of the [WWE], he has all the ability. His personality is great. At first, it’s a little odd. But once you get to know him, he’s very likable,” Angle told CBR. “And that’s what he’s going to get from the fans. They’re going to love this kid. And he proves it in the ring. He’s phenomenal in the ring. There’s no doubt about that. But his whole bro gimmick thing works really well. And he’s going to do extremely well. WWE has offered me a job to manage him. Unfortunately, I turned it down due to a few different reasons, but I would have loved to manage him. It just wasn’t the right time.”
When we brought up the possibility of Angle and Riddle being reunited in the future, Angle replied, “You never know [laughs].”
Riddle started his career as a mixed martial artist, competing on the seventh season of The Ultimate Fighter on SpikeTV. He then pivoted to professional wrestling, working the independent circuit before signing with the WWE in 2018. Riddle made an appearance in the crowd at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4 before being moved to the WWE’s NXT brand, where he went on to win the tag team titles with Pete Dunne from the Undisputed Era’s Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly at NXT TakeOver: Portland. The self-proclaimed “BroserWeights” would be forced to split up when Dunne couldn’t travel to the WWE Performance Center due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, leaving Riddle to pick Timothy Thatcher as Dunne’s replacement. This new team ultimately lost the tag titles to Imperium’s Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel, leading to a Riddle/Thatcher feud that culminated in the Cage Fight, which Thatcher won.
Angle was one of the many releases by WWE in May, though he has now returned as a guest-referee and in an on-air segment to announce Riddle’s callup to SmackDown.
Kurt Angle and Rulon Gardner will co-host the pre-show to the Olympic Channel’s upcoming Rulon Gardner Won’t Die, which is a part of the network’s Five Rings Films documentary series.
WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle revealed he was offered a manager position for SmackDown's newest superstar, Matt Riddle.