Arn Anderson recently spoke on his YouTube channel about why Alex Riley didn’t quite pan out in WWE.
Riley signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2007, and was announced for the second season of NXT in 2010. He was moved to the main roster later that year.
“I think Alex had a good look and I think his work was okay,” Arn said.
Riley was paired with the Miz until 2011, and his career started to slump. Riley remained with the company until he was ultimately released in 2016.
Arn revealed that there was a story going around about Riley not being interested in the advice John Cena tried to offer up. This was around the time he had the plug pulled on him.
“He seemed to gel well when they put him with The Miz (in 2010), but there’s a famous story that he was offered some help from John Cena and seemed less than enthused or interested, which would have immediately made its way back to the locker room and to the office,” Arn said. “And I’m sure it was around that time that his water got cut off.”
Riley had previously spoke on the issue and confirmed there was indeed an incident involving Cena that impacted his career path. In that discussion, he said he battles himself on whether he should speak out about it eventually, but it wasn’t the right time to do so at the time.
“I guess I’m not saying anything that other people haven’t already kind of said,” Riley said. “It is kind of out there but I’ll say this. There was an incident and it certainly affected the path of my career, however I am not going to talk about it right now and I’ve kind of gone back and fourth in my own times morally with do I say anything or do I not. I am not in the habit of destroying anybody’s career so it is just something at this point that I don’t want to address further than that but one day I certainly will. It was a hard situation to deal with.”
Back in January, Riley spoke with Chris Van Vliet about the matter. He didn’t reveal any specifics, but did say it was essentially just two guys that simply didn’t like each other.
“It is hard to put a label on it,” Riley said. “I think it came down to in the end, two men just not liking each other. As sad as that is, it had an impact on my career. He is who he is. I don’t think that goes without saying in other businesses, I just happened to be in a situation where right from the start he didn’t like me. I just don’t think he did. I tried to change that, I worked very hard, tried to grow and learn and fit in in the way a wrestler fits in. He wanted me to fit in. It just kind of got to the point a little bit with, even some of the other guys were asking what was up.
“It was a tough situation,” Riley added. “I would hear from other wrestlers from time to time (that Cena didn’t like me). It certainly didn’t seem that way when we would interact. It is a tough thing. It’s wrestling. It is something where you do the best you can to learn in a way that is productive and that will get you better. I tried the best I could and it just didn’t work out.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Arn Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.