At this point, Alex Riley — or Kevin Kiley Jr., which is what he’s going by now — is well underway in his second career as an actor. He had a fun guest starring turn on GLOW, and talked to us recently about how much it meant to him to get that role. He’s still making the interview rounds in support of his appearance on GLOW, which means there are a lot of questions coming in about his long stint in WWE.
While Riley still isn’t telling the full story of his altercation with John Cena that reportedly altered the course of his career (and he says he’s not sure if he’s ever going to tell that story), he is talking about the intense frustration he felt at the end of his run with the company, when NXT wanted him to remain an announcer. On the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling, Riley opened up about how rough it was for him to be an announcer, when all he wanted to do was wrestle.
“Did I like [announcing]? I guess I’ve been asked this question before and this is how I’ve addressed it: No, I did not. I don’t mean to be blunt, but of course I didn’t. I went [to NXT] to be a wrestler, I wanted to be a wrestler very badly and I certainly was athletic enough and certainly had the tools and a lot of tools to be the best wrestler there. I always felt like I had what it took to be the WWE Champion.
“To be 250 pounds and [an] ex-professional football player, and to be sitting behind the desk was highly frustrating for me. That being said, I loved when the red light was on and I was talking WWE, because it was fun and I always was a huge fan of WWE and always knew the product better than anybody else ,and had a great perspective of what it took to not only climb through high school and college to be a semi-professional football player, because I’ve been an athlete my entire life, so you weren’t going to put anybody on that panel that had more athletic experience in different realms and who could give a perspective of what happens inside of the ring. I had my ass kicked in the ring a lot of times and I kicked a lot of ass in the ring so I had perspectives on both.
“But no, absolutely [I didn’t like announcing], because I felt I should have been in the ring and it was about two years of my career that I was in great shape, and [I] proved it when I came off the desk and I wanted to be out there. That being said, I was a part of the company and was able to work extremely hard and give them what I had behind the desk, so in that regard it was a good thing.”
If you’ve ever been in a situation before where you feel you’re not being used to the best of your abilities, it can indeed be incredibly frustrating. We understand where Riley is coming from, and are glad he’s found a new career that he enjoys.