In the world of MMA, Brock Lesnar was a former UFC heavyweight champion, while Matt Riddle was a middle-of-the-road welterweight. Both of their careers ended up taking a turn towards sports entertainment though, and while Lesnar is a long-time fixture at the top of WWE cards, Riddle is now one of the brightest prospects in all of pro wrestling and has a wealth of potential.
Last night, the two men came face to face for the very first time backstage at WWE’s Royal Rumble event in Houston. And apparently things weren’t all that smooth.
Pro Wrestling Insider is reporting that Lesnar and Riddle had a very real and not scripted interaction before the event, where Lesnar approached Riddle and wanted him to clarify some comments he has made about Brock in the past. Riddle has never been shy about expressing his opinions on guys like Lesnar, stating multiple times in the past that he would like to retire Lesnar at a future WrestleMania event.
It seems that Brock wasn’t too happy about that. His interaction with Riddle was said to be “tense”, and while it didn’t lead to any physicality, it was legitimate and not a part of any storyline.
Both men have been involved in these sorts of real situations before. Following a match with Randy Orton in 2016 where Lesnar used a legit elbow strike to bust Orton open, Brock was approached by an irate Chris Jericho backstage who wanted to know what happened out there. The two men nearly came to blows before being separated. In Riddle’s case, his derogatory comments about Bill Goldberg led to a very tense first meeting between the two, which he describes in very bro fashion in this video.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see the WWE try to capitalize on the real-life enmity between the two men at some point, but it likely won’t be anytime soon. Lesnar currently works on the pro wrestling organization’s flagship show, WWE Raw, as their champion, while Riddle works on their NXT brand. One day though, it might be a thing.