Since his resurgence in WWE this past April, Matt Riddle's journey has seen him shift between several narratives. Currently, he is enmeshed in a feud with the formidable Imperium, but not alone. Former WWE Champion Drew McIntyre has taken up the role of ally to Riddle.
Nevertheless, one seasoned critic maintains that the appeal and magnetism Riddle once held has faded significantly post his comeback. This critique emerged from WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray during an episode of "Busted Open Radio." Ray voiced his disenchantment with "The Original Bro," citing a noticeable decline in Riddle's entertainment quotient.
He explained, "I don't believe Riddle has recaptured the level of showmanship or the prior glory he enjoyed with Randy Orton. The dynamics of their duo illuminates Orton's pivotal role. It was a common belief that Riddle was the essential ingredient; however, it's now clear that Orton was the true catalyst." Ray clarified that while Riddle is still entertaining, he shone brightest alongside Orton.
Ray conjectured that WWE is attempting to recreate that magic by pairing him with McIntyre.
Riddle's Stardom: The Orton Factor
In retrospect, Riddle's ascension to stardom can be traced back to his partnership with Orton.
The duo clinched the "WWE Raw" Tag Team Championship not once but twice. Unfortunately, their reign was cut short after a unification match loss to The Usos. Orton then took an unexpected leave from WWE programming due to a severe back injury, and his absence has now extended past the one-year mark.
Speculation is rife, however, that Orton's return is on the horizon. As the wrestling community anticipates "The Viper's" reappearance, his erstwhile tag team partner Riddle is set to seek vengeance against Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER.
This showdown, not involving the championship, is slated for the July 17 episode of "WWE Raw." Riddle's performance in this match, and the unfolding of his storyline, could determine whether Bully Ray's critique holds weight or is proven wrong.