Matt Riddle failed WWE drug tests after doing cocaine at strip clubs

Matt Riddle finally opened up about the circumstances around his WWE release, including failed drug tests stemming from cocaine use at strip clubs.

The former United States and Raw tag team champion, who is now wrestling for MLW and New Japan said during an appearance on “The MMA Hour with Ariel Heilwani” on Wednesday that he was let go by the company in September because of multiple failed drug tests. 

He said he was also fined for them and WWE kept his wellness policy violations “hush, hush.”

Matt Riddle (L) and Misha Montana attend the 15th annual Fighters Only WorldMixed Martial Arts Awards at Sahara Las Vegas Getty Images

“You’re allowed to smoke weed,” said Riddle, whose on-screen character was allowed to reference marijuana use. “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.”

After failing tests on consecutive weeks, Riddle said he told WWE to test him for the next 10 weeks and he passed all of them, but slipped up shortly after.

“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,” said Riddle, who will be wrestling at MLW’s Intimidation Games show at Melrose Ballroom on Thursday night.  

The former UFC fighter and current New Japan Pro Wrestling Television Champion said he agreed to do 30 days of rehab and missed the holidays in 2022, but WWE wanted him to do 30 more days consecutively — which he pushed back on. 

Riddle, who has been having success teaming with Randy Orton in RK-Bro, claimed he wanted to do the test to get his black belt, buy a house and see his aunt who was battling cancer at the time.

He did them and went back for the next 30 days of rehab and waited for WWE to contact him about their plans for him before returning to confront The Miz on the “Monday Night Raw” after WrestleMania 39.

“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.”

Matt Riddle appeared on “The MMA Hour” on Wednesday. MMA Hour

Months later in September 2023, Riddle was involved in an incident at JFK airport after which he accused a Port Authority officer of sexually assaulting him.

He said he did not press charges after talking to the FBI and internal affairs.  

In video captured at the terminal, Riddle appeared to be intoxicated during a flight delay and jumped on the microphone to joke about it for all to hear. 

He was coming off quick trip to India for WWE’s “Superstar Spectacle” and developed an ear infection and “had a couple of cocktails on top of that.”

Matt Riddle Getty Images for WWE SummerSlam After Party

“Grab the mic, I’m talking some crap. Flights were delayed,” Riddle said. “It was just a perfect storm. … 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 like a four-day tour and going to India for a day and back, it took its toll on me. And I think those kind of things kind of thing took a toll on me.” 

Riddle, who claimed he’s learned his lesson, believed it was the collection of things and other factors that ended up getting him fired, including WWE’s merger with the UFC after being bought by Endeavor. As entertaining as he was, along with his skills in the ring, he believes he wasn’t a good fit for WWE at the time. 

“It was written in my contract that I was going to make a million dollars this upcoming year guaranteed, which was a lot more than I was making last year and a lot more than I was making the year before that.” Riddle said. “So I think there was multiple variables that played into my departure. Plus … I failed a couple of drug tests. You know, the writing, for me at least, the writing was on the wall.”

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