Alex Riley has done it! At Capitol Punishment, the former NXT rookie defeated his former mentor, The Miz.
Though Alex Riley got off to a good start in the match, hitting The Miz with a few good shots before chasing him out of the ring, it seemed like The Miz was dominant for most of the match.
The Miz hit several sharp DDTs as well as a couple of big boots to the head, but he was unable to put Riley down for the three-count.
When Riley finally began to gain some solid momentum, Michael Cole stuck his nose into the match, distracting Riley long enough for The Miz to send Riley back into the ring, grab his briefcase and attempt to win the match once and for all.
Unfortunately for The Miz, the referee caught him and wrestled the briefcase away, leaving The Miz weaponless and on the receiving end of an impaler DDT.
The crowd erupted as Alex Riley celebrated, finally able to prove that he didn't need The Miz.
But now that the match is all said and done, now that we have a winner instead of speculation, where does Alex Riley go from here?
Many people think that Riley is now going to start his career anew on SmackDown. Many people also don't realize that Alex Riley was hired back to Raw just a couple of weeks after he was drafted to SmackDown.
WWE.com even has him listed as a Raw superstar, so don't expect him to jump brands (again) and start helping out with the main event scene on Friday nights.
With his win over the former WWE Champion, Alex Riley has more momentum than anyone in WWE right now.
With this high profile pay-per-view win, Riley has a solid argument to be considered the No. 1 contender to John Cena's WWE Championship. Expect him to make a statement about it on Raw.
But wait, what about the other Raw superstars who had big wins at Capitol Punishment? CM Punk defeated Rey Mysterio decisively after hitting a GTS; and Alberto Del Rio beat Big Show, not quite as forcefully, after interference by Mark Henry.
Expect both of these superstars to lay claim to the No. 1 contender spot on Raw as well.
So what is going to happen? I'm sure, like always, there will be some sort of match between the three (or four if R-Truth tries to weasel his way back into the title picture) superstars to determine who will become the No. 1 contender.
Here, The Miz will show up and somehow cost Alex Riley his shot at John Cena and the WWE Championship.
It's for the better. Riley vs. Cena will not be as big of a draw as Cena vs. Del Rio or Cena vs. Punk. Plus, I think Riley needs a little more time before he is placed in the main event.
His feud with The Miz is still strong enough to keep going for another month or two. Expect the two of them to keep this thing going, starting thing right back up on Raw.
But what lies ahead for the Riley/Miz feud? Many people are looking forward to SummerSlam, saying that the two will probably meet there, neglecting to realize that Money in the Bank is now only four weeks away.
What better way for them to continue their feud than to do it in the Raw Money in the Bank ladder match?
I personally pegged Alex Riley to win the Money in the Bank ladder match the night he turned on The Miz. I still have a feeling that he might, but whether WWE wants to give the briefcase to Riley, The Miz or someone else, the match would make an excellent setting for part two of the Riley/Miz feud.
From there we'll see what happens. If The Miz gets the upper hand at Money in the Bank, either by winning the match or costing Riley the match, expect them to meet one final time at SummerSlam.
If Riley wins at Money in the Bank, I don't know how well another match at SummerSlam would do, but it could happen.
Personally, I would like to see The Miz win the Raw Money in the Bank match, knocking Riley off the ladder to claim the prize.
Then, at SummerSlam, have the two meet one more time with the briefcase and the Money in the Bank contract on the line. I'd love to see Riley one-up The Miz one more time, with something on the line to add more intensity to the match.
By then, one of the two will move on to the main event and face whoever the current champion may be.
Since it looks like we will be getting Cena vs. Del Rio at SummerSlam, if we see Cena walk out on top, we can expect The Miz to join him in the main event.
If Del Rio becomes the new champion, I wouldn't be surprised to see him have to face Alex Riley sooner or later.
One way or another, things are looking good for Alex Riley. I predicted that he would become WWE Champion by the year's end and after watching him defeat the Miz, I only feel that my prediction is now even stronger.
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