WWE has set the date for Matt Riddle’s first appearance as a member of the SmackDown roster.
At the end of a hype video that aired on SmackDown tonight, it was revealed that Riddle will debut on next Friday’s episode of the show. It was officially announced two weeks ago that Riddle was being called up to SmackDown.
In Riddle’s final appearance for NXT, Timothy Thatcher defeated Riddle in their fight pit match on May 27.
Riddle & Thatcher’s partnership imploded in the match where they lost the NXT Tag Team titles to Imperium’s Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner last month. Thatcher was Riddle’s temporary partner while Pete Dunne is back in the United Kingdom due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kurt Angle was the referee for the fight pit match and appeared in a backstage segment on SmackDown that week to announce that Riddle was being called up. Angle said in an interview with Comic Book Resources that WWE offered him a job to be Riddle’s manager. Angle said he would have loved to manage Riddle, but he turned the offer down because it just wasn’t the right time for him.
“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 said. “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.”