Back From Rehab, Pro Wrestler Gets Drunk During Flight Delay, Demands Passengers Fly Delayed Plane

World Wresting star Matt Riddle caused a stir earlier this month when he accused a TSA screener of sexual assault. Now it turns out there’s video of his behavior at the airport that sheds light on why he was banned from travel that day.

Recently out of rehab, he reportedly threw back too many drinks during a delay of his flight from New York JFK to Orlando. He started interrogating other passengers about what was happening, grabbed the gate’s microphone and shouted, asking when the plane would take off – and then he demanded to know if other flyers in the gate area could pilot the plane?

Language in this video is – not surprisingly – very much not safe for work (and not safe for work from home either):

Everyone else finally boarded that September 9 flight. Riddle didn’t. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt’s rehab didn’t stick. The two-time “Raw Tag” champ failed a drug test last year before a big event (“SummerSlam”). And his substance abuse has put his career – and not just as an airline passenger – at risk.

Riddle, who was accused by a fellow wrestler in 2020 of sexual assault, seems like the kind of guy I wouldn’t want on board even when sober to be honest. You never know who an airline will seat next to you, and anyone who can pay for a ticket can fly.

Airlines are ‘common carriers’ and very much small-d democratic. While there are background checks of passengers, that’s only against government watch lists. Forget extra legroom, when my wife and daughter travel I’d pay a premium for a family seating section that requires additional screening. Perhaps airlines are leaving ancillary revenue on the table.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Matt Riddle failed multiple drug test and was bounced from the UFC before his wrestling days. Dude needs to get his shit together.

  2. Matt Riddle is an idiot. In wrestling parlance, he wasn’t a bad worker, a decent promo, and had a good look. But he failed in the “dependable” realm.

    You certainly don’t want to read the texts his ex leaked.


    Seriously, the guy is an idiot.

  3. WOW,

    I’m completely shocked and it takes a LOT to shock me. He needs professional help, that stuff was difficult to watch and read.

  4. @Gary Leff:

    “…and anyone who can pay for a ticket can fly” and;

    “Airlines are ‘common carriers’ and very much small-d democratic”

    Isn’t it about time for that to end?

    Haven’t most of us learned by now that flying would be much more pleasant if airline prices were higher and the riff-raff that can’t function in polite society were relegated to taking a real bus like Greyhound? Greyhound’s drivers can at least dump off the miscreants at the next stop and they get a (sometimes) long cooling-off period to reflect on their actions before the next bus comes along.

    I started flying at the end of the period before airline de-regulation and while it wasn’t like an episode of the TV show ‘Pan Am’, it sure was comfortable and pleasant, even in coach.

  5. I would also like to see a “family” section in the economy class on airlines. The seats are so narrow that is difficult or impossible to avoid touching other passengers. In some countries, there are family sections in trains, buses, and restaurants, where groups including women, children, or both are allowed, but groups of men only are seated elsewhere. Ideally, men would behave themselves, but the reality is different.

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