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Matt Riddle’s NXT run might have just ended in the very cool FIGHT PIT

NXT ended on May 27 with something we haven’t seen before in WWE - a cage fight. It also may have been the end of Matt Riddle’s run with the brand.

Triple H & team’s spin on the no ropes match that can only be won by knockout or tap out gave us the NXT FIGHT PIT... a cage with an elevated platform around a black mat. After special guest referee Kurt Angle gave Riddle and his opponent Timothy Thatcher their instructions, the combatants started on the platform. But they wasted little time springing into action.

Riddle landed the first big shot of the fight when he ran the fence a la UFC’s Anthony Pettis and connected with a kick to Thatcher’s face. Thatcher was able to answer Angle’s count, but came up with a mouthful of blood. He spit out a couple “teeth”, checked with the medical team, and fought on.

The middle act was a worked MMA fight fought largely on the mat. But when Riddle powered out of a triangle choke, Thatcher grabbed the platform and pulled himself up. The King of Bros followed, and the pair hit each other with a mix of wrestling moves and submission holds.

It looked like Riddle had secured a win with a Floating Bro from the platform onto Thatcher’s ribs below.

But Thatcher pulled himself to his feet and cinched in rear naked he would not let go of despite Riddle’s best efforts. Once he took it to the mat, Angle had no choice but to call it.

Rumor has it Matt will debut on SmackDown Friday night, and if this is the end, it was a hell of a way to go. If not, his series with Thatcher is tied at one match a piece. Just saying...

The FIGHT PIT has real potential, especially with guys like Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish on the roster. It probably shouldn’t be used often, but it’s a great addition to what continues to be WWE’s most innovative brand.

Let us know what you thought of the cage fight, and/or Riddle’s future, in the comments below.

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