WWE and the Curious Case of Alex Riley

The Doctor Chris MuellerFeatured ColumnistOctober 31, 2011

Alex Riley came out of NXT looking like he would be WWE's next big thing. He was paired with Miz and became an important part of Miz's title reigns.

Once he and Miz broke up, Riley went on a mission to take revenge on his former mentor. He gained a couple wins over Miz and looked to be on the fast track to success in WWE.

Pushing Riley made sense. He is good on the mic, good in the ring and has the right look that WWE wants in its major stars.

He was put in angles where he got to be in the ring with some of the WWE's biggest legends. He has taken a Sharpshooter from Bret Hart, a Stunner from Stone Cold, a Rock Bottom and People's Elbow from The Rock and a Superkick from Shawn Michaels.

How many guys with such a little amount of time under their belt can say they have gone through all that? Very few I can assure you.

To me, Riley looked like the luckiest guy in wrestling. He held clean wins over former world champions and had a bight future.

Then, a few months ago, it all came to a sudden stop. Riley stopped appearing on TV regularly, and eventually he stopped appearing on SmackDown and RAW altogether.

I have to wonder what stopped Riley's push. He didn't fail a wellness test and he didn't botch anything to where the WWE would want to make him wait a little longer so I am confused.

The youth initiative in WWE seems to have slowed down over the past few months, and Riley has been one of the victims of that.

While Alberto Del Rio is considered a fresh face to the main-event scene in WWE, for the most part, it is the same people it has been for years.

Last year, guys like Wade Barrett, Sheamus, Drew McIntyre, Alberto Del Rio and The Miz were all getting pushed due to the WWE wanting more youth at the top.

Now we have two guys who have been around for over 15 years competing over the World Heavyweight Championship. Not that I have anything against Big Show or Mark Henry, but there could be a little more variety in there.

Dolph Ziggler is another young guy who seemed to be the next main-eventer in WWE, and he even had a Royal Rumble main-event match with Edge, but he too was taken out of the World Title picture.

I am hoping this is temporary because I really like the upside potential Riley brings to the table. He is young and motivated enough to be with the WWE for years and hopefully he does not end up like Kaval, an NXT standout who got no push.

What do you guys think, does Alex Riley deserve a push?