WWE Is ‘Looking Into’ Candy Cartwright’s Assault Accusation, but Not Pulling Matt Riddle From ‘SmackDown’ Debut (Exclusive)

Fellow pro-wrestler Cartwright says Riddle choked her in a car and pressured her into performing oral sex on him in 2018

matt riddle candy cartwright
WWE.com/Shine Wrestling

WWE is “looking into” Candy Cartwright’s accusation that Matt Riddle choked her in a car and pressured her into oral sex in 2018. A person with knowledge of the pro-wrestling company’s booking plans told TheWrap that WWE is not pulling Riddle from his “Friday Night SmackDown” debut on Fox this evening.

Tonight’s “SmackDown,” and thus Riddle’s debut, was pre-taped, a second person with knowledge of the plan told us.

“We take any allegation of this nature very seriously and are looking into the matter,” WWE initially said in a statement to TheWrap.

Hours later, the company sent us this: “Individuals are responsible for their own personal actions. WWE has zero tolerance for matters involving domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault. Upon arrest for such misconduct, a WWE talent will be immediately suspended. Upon conviction for such misconduct, a WWE talent will be immediately terminated. WWE’s ability to fine, suspend or terminate a WWE talent will not be, however, limited or compromised in any manner in the event incontrovertible evidence of such illegal misconduct is presented to WWE.”

Still later, Riddle’s lawyer sent us the following statement:

“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.”

“We have been aware for the last two years of this performer stalking the Riddle family.”

“In 2019, our firm had drafted a pleading against this performer to seek an injunction for cyberstalking in the Circuit Court for Orange County, Florida.”

TheWrap reached out to Cartwright via email, but we did not hear back. We also reached out to Fox Sports for comment regarding the decision to air Riddle’s debut tonight, though we did not immediately hear back.

Having joined the “SmackDown” brand, Riddle is now a member of WWE’s main roster. The former mixed martial artist, who calls himself the “King of Bros,” had thrived in the NXT ranks. Riddle has made headlines on wrestling blogs for feuding with legendary professional wrestling Bill Goldberg, known as “Goldberg” in WCW and WWE, away from the mat.

Cartwright has wrestled off-and-on in Shine wrestling since 2016. She is currently the Evolve Wrestling social media ambassador.

I’m posting this because I have been so sad for so long,” Cartwright wrote on Twitter Friday morning. “I didn’t realize that what he did to me was not ok. I realize now, reading these other brave women’s stories, that I can’t be afraid anymore and I have to #speakout

“Back in May of 2018 I was riding with Matt Riddle and a few other wrestlers. During the van ride, when the 3 other wrestlers had fallen asleep, Matt asked me to ‘hop on his dick,’” she continued. “When I refused (although we had previously been together I was incredibly uncomfortable in that setting ) When I said no, he grabbed me by my throat, choked me and said ‘what if I just made you?’ I ended up giving him oral sex (praying someone wouldn’t wake up) to get out of having intercourse with him. It was incredibly humiliating.”

Cartwright concluded her thread: “It is never ok to put your hands on a woman, it’s also not ok to not listen when she says no.”

Cartwright’s tweets are posted below.

The professional wrestling world was rocked on Thursday and Friday when (mostly) women posted their stories of misconduct and abuse in the business with the hashtag #SpeakingOut.

“SmackDown” airs Friday nights from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fox.