Former WWE star admits to failing multiple drug tests due to cocaine use


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Former WWE star Matt Riddle admitted failing multiple drug tests due to cocaine use prior to leaving the organization. 

Riddle made an appearance on “The MMA Hour,” where he was frank with host Ariel Helwani on the situation while with WWE.

“I went to the strip club and did cocaine a couple times,” he said. “I failed a drug test for that. … That was for all of them, it was cocaine each time. But it was honestly just random nights.”


Matt Riddle poses with belt

Matt “Riddle” Riddle attends the WWE SummerSlam after-party at Delano Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on August 21, 2021. (Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for WWE SummerSlam After Party)

Riddle added that the first drug test was a random one administered by the WWE. 

“Sometimes you get tested at the end of one month and the beginning of another month,” he explained. “So, there was one week where I failed, bang bang, didn’t know I failed the second one, and by the time I failed the first one, I got two right at once. So, I think that’s why they were a little more lenient with me.”

After getting notice that he had failed back-to-back tests, Riddle said he told WWE officials he would be better – until he wasn’t. 

“I was like, ‘OK guys, I’m going to show you, no more problems,’” Riddle said. “’Hey, you guys can test me for the next 10 weeks.’ And I did that, I was fine, didn’t fail one test, didn’t do anything.”

“When I thought I was in the clear, went out and 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.”


This wasn’t the only controversy Riddle, who fought in UFC and is currently signed with Major League Wrestling (MLW), dealt with while in WWE. 

In the summer of 2020, Riddle was accused of sexually assaulting a female wrestler, Candy Cartwright. She alleged the incident occurred after an independent show in May 2018, where Riddle asked Cartwright to have sex with him, and after she declined, he choked her and forced her to give him oral sex.

There was also an incident at JFK Airport in September 2023, where Riddle was “acting disruptive” as he transferred flights during a return from India. He admitted on the podcast that he had a “couple of cocktails” and took the airline microphone during a delayed flight and caused a ruckus.

Riddle also said a Port Authority police officer sexually assaulted him when they showed up to stop him from speaking into the microphone, posting a photo of the officer on his Instagram account in September 2023.

Matt Riddle holds up belt

Matt Riddle celebrates a victory during the New Japan Pro-Wrestling event on February 23, 2024, in Sapporo, Japan. (Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

“Nothing like being sexually assaulted and harassed at the jfk airport, no means no and just because I’m nice doesn’t mean yes!!! A—hole!!!” he wrote in the caption.

“I talked to internal affairs, I talked to the FBI,” he said to Helwani about the incident. “I’m not in trouble, I can assure you that. I’m not going to go into details with the situation because they asked me not to, unless I want to press charges, and I didn’t want to press charges. But that’s how that situation was handled.”

Riddle later filed a restraining order against Cartwright, saying he was harassed and stalked by her in person and over the Internet. He would later withdraw the restraining order in September 2020. 

When the WWE released him, Riddle didn’t think this out-of-the-ring incident was the reason. 

“I don’t think it helped – especially with the UFC merging,” he said. “And I was going to probably be making, well, 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. So, I think there was multiple variables that played into my departure. Plus, I failed a couple of drug tests.”

Riddle told Helwani he was in rehab for 30 days and was told to do another 30 days, which he agreed to. Riddle says he learned his lesson and won’t “go out and rage it up any more like that.”

Riddle, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, owns a 13-8 UFC record, which came from 2008 to 2013. He wrestled in WWE from 2018 to 2023, announcing his departure in late September last year. 

Matt Riddle poses

Matt Riddle attends the 15th annual Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards at Sahara Las Vegas on December 14, 2023. (Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)


Along with MLW, Riddle wrestles in New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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