Where in the World is Alex Riley?
Sam Pierce / December 3, 2012 - 10:48pm
I once said that Alex Riley could be the next John Cena. He seemed to have all the necessary components. A clean cut look, decent in ring skills and the ability to speak. It’s all you really need. His first year in the WWE saw him accompanying The Miz to ringside in the main event of WrestleMania 27. Just being involved on such a big stage, at so early in your professional career speaks volumes. However, it wouldn’t last long and now Alex Riley is nowhere to be seen.
Alex Riley seemed like an incredibly versatile guy. He’s comparable to an Edge or Chris Jericho in the sense that he could play a face just as well as a heel and vice versa. Yes, he owes a lot of his quick success to The Miz being his pro on NXT. Without him, he probably would’ve never gotten the chance to be involved with so many of WWE’s top stars.
After The Miz blamed Alex Riley for his WWE Championship reign coming to an end, Riley became a face and feuded with his mentor. This was Riley’s big first singles feud as he faced off against the Miz at Capitol Punishment in 2011. I sure as hell didn’t expect him to pick up the win but miraculously, he did. Okay, he just beat the former WWE Champion, The Miz, this guy’s got to be on the road to superstardom, right? Wrong.
The following month, Alex Riley was involved in the Raw Money in the Bank ladder match but fell short of victory. Soon after, he was involved in the United States title picture against then champion, Dolph Ziggler. I had such a strong feeling about Alex Riley’s potential success as a top face in the company, that I felt he could’ve skipped mid card status. I mean, he was already in the main event spotlight as a heel, why move him down? He never ended up winning the US title either because of a hip injury he suffered in October.
When he returned after being sidelined for a few weeks, Alex Riley was kept on low card talent shows like Superstars and non televised events. And to put salt in the wound, this past September, Riley said that he would be having elbow and knee surgery and has yet to return to the ring.
Maybe an extended amount of time off, for mainstream fans to forget who he was, is a good thing for Alex Riley. This way, he can come back to WWE TV with a fresh start and maybe even a fresh look, although I don’t believe he needs one. If it were up to me, he’d be contending for at least the World Heavyweight Championship by now. Let’s hope upon his return, WWE feels the same way I do and gives him the push he deserves.
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