Alex Riley‘s time in WWE was … tumultuous, let’s say. He went from NXT standout and protege of The Miz to reportedly running afoul of John Cena and ending up off TV for a very long time before heading down to NXT. He passed up a potential career as a commentator in favor of wrestling, and occasionally made some ill-advised attempts at making things happen for himself on social media. And then he was gone.
So basically, you could say his WWE run was about the opposite of CM Punk‘s. Riley floundered and had to scratch and claw for anything at all (from his perspective), and was given up on. Sort of different from a main eventer taking his ball and going home when plans aren’t to his liking. On the latest episode of Jim Ross’ The Ross Report podcast, Riley was asked what he thinks of how CM Punk parted ways with the company. Sadly, every time Ross asked a question, he didn’t end it with “SAY IT TO MY FAAAAAACE.”
“I don’t understand, and I didn’t really keep up with much of the complaints. I know there was something about a medical thing or something, but that’s the gig, that is what you signed up for. I don’t know what he ended up making because that wasn’t disclosed, but he ended up making a lot.
“If somebody is going to pay me over a million, or it doesn’t matter, but I think if you’re making that kind of money, if you are breathing you are working. I was begging for somebody to give me work, I mean begging. Asking people everyday, why am I not being used? Why can’t I do this, and never really getting an answer, so only receiving the runaround, so to hear him push for other opportunities and get it, and then exit in the fashion he exited, I don’t know, I can’t sympathize with that because I wouldn’t do that, I don’t know the details of what he went through, but who knows.”
As with most things, gotta hear both sides. From Riley’s point of view, I totally get it. The only thing I really take issue with is the “if you’re breathing, you’re working” mentality. Athletes really need to get away from the mindset that they need to work hurt. Of course, that’s a very dangerous proposition in pro wrestling, where you’ve got absolutely no job security at all if you get injured. BUT STILL.
Oh, and on the subject of that Cena run-in: Riley says there was “an incident” that “changed the path” of his career, but he’s not quite ready to go on the record with everything that went down just yet. So stay tuned for the day Alex Riley spills the beans on that bad boy.
(Transcript courtesy of Wrestle Zone)