Is WWE’s Matt Riddle a sexual predator? Inside the allegations
Whether or not you buy into the antics of professional wrestling, the athleticism and competition behind organizations like the WWE is very real. Then again, so is some of the behind-the-scenes drama. WWE is no stranger to controversy amongst its performers, but now Matt Riddle is facing allegations of being a sexual predator.
Here’s an inside look at everything we know about Matt Riddle’s accusations – could he really be a sexual predator?
Matt Riddle: WWE’s next addition
Matthew Frederick Riddle – or Matt Riddle for short – is a current American professional wrestler who competes with the WWE under the organization’s famous Smackdown brand. Riddle made his wrestling debut in early 2015, formerly competing as a mixed martial artist with UFC.
Bouncing around various independent organizations, Riddle reportedly signed his contract with WWE in July 2018. Riddle spent two years appearing on WWE’s NXT programs before finally moving to their TV show, SmackDown, in spring 2020.
It only took a handful of months for Riddle’s involvement with the WWE to propel his name into national attention – but not for the reason he may have hoped.
Matt Riddle: Alleged sexual predator
Amidst other wrestling stars being released for allegations of sexual misconduct – like Jack Gallagher, Ligero, and Travis Banks – the last thing the WWE needed was a scandal for one of their newer signings. But on June 19, such a scandal came when Candy Cartwright took to social media to voice her allegations against Riddle.
Candy Cartwright is an independent female wrestler and, according to her Twitter page, is also a self-acclaimed “Valet” and “Model.” Cartwright took to Twitter to express allegations against an unidentified male after she admitted, “I realize now, reading these other brave women’s stories, that I can’t be afraid anymore and I have to #speakout.”
Following her own Twitter thread, Cartwright continued by identifying her subject as Matt Riddle. Cartwright accused Riddle of trying to convince her to have intercourse in a van in May 2018, while riding with three other wrestlers who had fallen asleep. Cartwright described feeling “incredibly uncomfortable in that setting.”
But it didn’t stop there – Cartwright then alleged in a third Tweet, “When I said no, he grabbed me by my throat, choked me and said “what if I just made you?” Cartwright gave public admission on Twitter how she performed oral sex on Riddle in order to avoid having intercourse – an act Cartwright labeeld, “incredibly humiliating.”
Matt Riddle reacts to Cartwright
Utilizing the trending “#speakout” on Twitter, Cartwright’s post quickly went viral, as the allegations spread against Riddle. Almost as soon as the allegations were made public, Riddle released an official statement, with his lawyer, denying such reports.
The statement read, “The allegations by this independent female performer are completely false and another attempt to harass and humiliate Mr. and Mrs. Riddle and to try to tarnish their reputation in the community.” It also acknowledged, “We have been aware for the last two years of this performer stalking the Riddle family.”
In response to Riddle’s accusations of stalking, Cartwright responded with a photo of the two kissing one another – dated back only as far as May 2019. With the photo, Cartwright announced, It’s been two weeks and I’m still getting hate messages/threats and seeing stuff like this. If I’ve been “stalking for years” then why is this from 2019?”
Riddle wrestles with sexual allegations
One of the largest additions to the public online dispute between Riddle & Cartwright came in a July 8 Twitter video made by Riddle. Responding directly to Cartwright’s public comments, Riddle again denied her van story, but did reveal something juicy – the truth of an affair Riddle had with Cartwright during his current marriage.
During his video, Riddle described Cartwright’s story as “fabricated,” and just an angry lash out. Riddle, however, admitted, “You know why you’re mad? Because yes, you’re right, we had an affair, you have plenty of evidence of that. You know what? I never denied it because it happened.”
Riddle went on to reveal he didn’t want to discuss the affair and stated, “I feel like a real piece of crap cheating on my wife and doing that and now having to talk about it publicly, but I have to.” Again he concluded the two-minute video with a strong denial of ever sexually assaulting or abusing anyone.
Matt Riddle’s future: Performer or predator
Once again Cartwright was quick to address Riddle’s denouncement of her allegation, and suggested, “Everything he said in the video is just meant to distract people. I know having an affair was wrong and I’m sure it brought a lot of pain to his family, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he assaulted me. Multiple times. . . .”
The WWE had made statements regarding allegations of Riddle’s alleged misconduct as early as June 2020. The statement expressed, “We take any allegation of this nature very seriously and are looking into the matter. . . WWE has zero tolerance for matters involving domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault.”
While the WWE continues to investigate the matter, Riddle’s competitive matches continued to play out as usual. In the meantime, fans of both WWE and movements like #speakout await their own match – findings on whether or not Matt Riddle played the role of the sexual predator of which he’s been accused.