WWE Capitol Punishment: The Miz vs. Alex Riley

Josh BarnettCorrespondent IJune 19, 2011

No one heads into the Capitol Punishment pay-per-view this evening with more to lose than The Miz, and more to gain and win than Alex Riley. After what I thought was an extreme push from WWE at the end of last year with guys like John Morrison and R-Truth around.

Riley rode the former WWE champions coattail all the way to the main event in WrestleMania 27. Miz became the top heel on Raw and held an unbearably long championship reign, which ended at Extreme Rules in favor to John Cena. My apologies to all The Miz lovers, but like I said, guys like Morrison, R-Truth and Christian were there also.

I sincerely hope that no one sees The Miz's view that he should have another championship opportunity. It is like Cena said a few weeks back: He is out of excuses. I cannot remember even one of his championship defenses where Riley did not play a major part. OK, one of the Jerry Lawler matches but then Michael Cole. A truly honest championship defense was not there in months. 

The "I Quit" match was one of the biggest jokes on the part of The Miz, maybe ever since he went in the main event scene.

Trying to play a recording of Cena quitting in his own words! Really? Sounds like a desperate man to me. It was almost as bad as the championship match on Raw a few weeks before when he hit Cena with the belt, and then blamed the Raw and "I Quit" match on Riley. Really?

Then finally, the turn we have all been waiting for.

The IWC had been calling for a Miz vs. Alex Riley feud for a few months prior, but many expected Miz to turn babyface by now. What has transpired since the Riley turn is a closing of the window for The Miz to be a big time babyface, and the finding of the next big time breakout star. 

Riley has made tremendous waves with the crowds since the turn. Between the crowd's hate for The Miz and the beatings Riley has dished out to The Miz, Riley has suddenly catapulted into the pay-per-view scene. It proves a few things: Riley does not need Miz, and he is also believable to the fans as at least a mid-card guy.

We know he is a favorite among management, so it is not unrealistic for him to potentially be the surprise winner of the Royal Rumble. I am not predicting that except as dark horse, so no one go crazy on me. While Morrison will win the Rumble, Riley could be the U.S. champion for a few months by that time and ready to be a headliner as World Champion soon after WrestleMania—an event which he will be on the card. 

Alex Riley has the look, size and wrestling of a guy WWE would push similar to the way they did The Miz last year. Not to mention, his time with Miz allowed him to develop tremendous mic skills. He is also young, which leads me to believe WWE has a future multi-time World Champion on their hands and a believable babyface for the future. If the need comes up, he also has the ability to be a good heel because of his experience.

For me, this recent turn was very reminiscent in a less electric way of Batista's break from evolution, which leads me to my final note.

He (Batista) will not be at Capital Punishment or anywhere in WWE anytime soon.