Alex Riley, the IWC’s latest love child, has become the center of praise and vast amounts of attention as of late.
It seems as if the bright lights are shining on Mr. Riley.
Before I discuss the primary purpose of this article, let’s analyze the booking of Riley since his time on WWE NXT Season 2. Riley was undoubtedly the standout superstar on NXT Season 1 with his sole flaw being the generic moveset adopted from FCW and its trainers.
Riley was an exceptional promo man during his time on NXT. His promos had the substance and standards that promos by his pro, The Miz, lacked. While Riley was obviously an all-around great superstar, the mere fact that he was a heel played against him in the end.
Unsurprisingly, Riley was eliminated in favor of Perfect Jr. and Low Ki.
The Varsity Villain was too talented to return to the graveyard known as FCW. He was bestowed the role of Mike Mizanin’s apprentice shortly afterwards.
From the start, Alex Riley was written off as Miz’s lacky.
He was basically the guy to assist Miz and take the bumps when Miz is too busy tucking his tail between his legs.
As the months passed, the role of Alex Riley grew to a point where he was given a prominent role in everything Miz related. Riley stood in the same ring with The Rock, Miz and John Cena and wasn’t overshadowed by the super powers that stood before him.
As of late, Riley and Miz’s relationship had grown to a point where Miz’s failure was ultimately Riley’s fault.
The animosity exploded weeks ago during a segment on RAW.
Riley was once again the subject of Mizanin’s physical and verbal abuse. The vengeful Varsity Villain struck his mentor and administered one of the swiftest beatings in WWE history. While the beat down received raved reviews from the live audience and IWC, the events of next week would determine if the segment was successful.
As Alex Riley entered the WWE arena to Downstaits "Say it to my Face," the crowd roared, the theme was gold, and Riley displayed the look of a main event talent.
It’s safe to say all is right in the world of Alex Riley.
BETTER THAN THE MIZ.
I would’ve gladly jumped on Alex Riley’s bandwagon and declared him the future of the WWE. Thing is, I’ve been on Riley’s bandwagon since his debut last year. From the moment The Miz announced Alex Riley as his NXT rookie, there was one statement that etched into my mind.
Alex Riley is better than The Miz.
I’ll be the first to admit, my first impression of him was this; Alex Riley looked like The Miz’s mini me.
When the WWE aired Alex Riley’s debut promo, I was immediately convinced of his superiority to The Miz.
Let’s examine the traits of both Superstars shall we?
Both Riley and Mizanin are exceptional mic workers. Thing is, a Miz promo lacks the substance of a Riley promo. It’s hard to ignore that the majority of Miz’s 2010 promos echoed the exact same thing.
Really? Really? Really?
If not this, Miz promos revolved around his work ethic and the constant bashing he received from the like of JBL and Triple. I’ll be the first to admit that I respect Miz’s work ethic. On the other hand, I can’t say I enjoy listening to the same promo every episode of RAW.
Alex Riley bears a distinct advantage over Miz.
Riley is clever, innovative, and entertaining when it comes to cutting a promo. My personal favorite would be his infamous pigeon’s promo for WWE NXT.
When it comes to in-ring psychology, once again, Alex Riley tops his mentor. I’ve already expressed my feelings towards Alex Riley’s wrestling ability. It reeks of FCW and the obvious display of a generic moveset isn’t a consolation.
BUT, Riley is still better than The Miz.
Miz has improved tremendously in the ring but obvious lacks the basics Alex Riley seemingly possesses.
Just watch Monday Night RAW.
In the charisma department, Miz is arguably the most charismatic guy on the roster. Thing is, Miz has the charisma to connect but once he lost the WWE Championship, he looked as if he belonged in the mid-card once again.
On the other hand, Riley has gone from jobber to possibly a top babyface in the span of two weeks.
Riley accomplished this feat in three weeks while it took Miz over three years to do so.
A bright future, if booked correctly…the right place, at the right time.
Like I stated above, Alex Riley was a jobber to stars like Randy Orton, John Cena and John Morrison for this last five months. One beat down on Miz basically strapped a rocket to Riley’s back and sent him to the moon.
The next week, Riley debuted as a face with a golden pop and a theme that screams main event face.
As I watched Riley tag with John Cena on RAW, it was obvious how far Riley’s star has risen.
He’s in a high-profile feud, he has the support of the audience, and the momentum has certainly bounded with Riley.
One particular thing that I’ve noticed is that the turn came in a desperate time of need. Multiple main-event Superstars have exited the WWE over a timespan of two years. The subsequent drop in ratings for both shows can also be attributed to the lack of main-event talent.
For Riley to become this big in a short amount of time displays the fact that the WWE still has the ability to create new stars at free will.
The only thing that can ruin this brilliant plan is Creative and their infamous way of booking younger stars.
Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus and Wade Barrett are examples of poor booking.
Probably the single biggest reason their pushes failed is because they were never put over by proper talent. Fans can’t hold the Superstars to the same level as Orton, Cena or Miz unless they defeat them.
In the end, let’s await the WWE and their plans for Alex Riley.
Question is, will he succeed? Or become another staple to WWE’s deserving mid-card?