Two weeks ago, the the wrestling world was shaken to its very core when news broke that Matt Striker's contract would not be renewed by WWE. Given the fact that Striker had been with WWE since 2005, this came as a major shock to most members of the WWE Universe.
Striker is most known for his stint as a SmackDown commentator from late 2009 to early 2011. After being removed from the announcing booth on the blue brand, Striker was added to the WWE Superstars broadcast team in mid-2011, where he remained before departing the company last month.
Striker commented on Riley replacing him in an interview shortly thereafter: "WWE gives opportunity, they gave me an opportunity, they're giving Alex Riley an opportunity and I expect great things for Alex Riley and I'm genuinely happy for him."
While Riley may not have much experience as a commentator, he seemed like a natural behind the booth last week on WWE Superstars. He has always been a good talker and it's nice to see that his tremendous talents are finally being put to good use.
Personally, I stopped tuning in to WWE Superstars when it permanently moved to Hulu Plus, but I watched last week's show just to hear how Riley performed on commentary. As noted before, he was impressive and complemented Tony Dawson nicely on commentary.
Following his feud with The Miz in the summer of 2011, Riley's television time was drastically curtailed and he has made only a minimal number of appearances since then. His numerous injuries might have played a factor in that, but it seems as if officials no longer have faith in his abilities.
Two months ago, I proposed the idea of pairing Riley and Miz together once again to chase the WWE Tag Team Championship. As beneficial as that would be for the Downstait duo, placing Riley on commentary for the time being is better than not utilizing him at all.
With Miz currently working as a commentator on WWE Main Event, it's possible we could see the two unite behind the booth at some point. They always had chemistry and one can only imagine what kind of commentary they'd produce. It would be fun to hear them calling the action inside the squared circle.
I doubt we'll see the Varsity Villain added to either the Raw or SmackDown commentary team any time soon, but I would love to see him work his way up the ladder and be featured on one of the two top shows down the line.
As much as I'll miss hearing Striker's vast knowledge of the pro wrestling business on commentary, it is nice knowing WWE found a suitable replacement for the former teacher on commentary in Alex Riley.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to drop a comment below with your thoughts on Alex Riley's newfound position as a commentator. As always, your criticism and overall feedback on my latest piece is welcomed and greatly appreciated.