According to Anderson, Riley was once tipped for big things in WWE and was progressing well. However, he didn’t show respect to Cena and officials lost faith in the promising superstar.
“I think Alex had a good look. I think his work was ok. He’s seemed to gel well when they put him with The Miz. But there’s a famous story that he was offered some help from John Cena and he seemed less than enthused or interested which would have immediately made [its] way back to the locker room and to the office. I’m sure it was around that time that his water got cut off.”
As Anderson pointed out, Riley was The Miz’s enforcer back in 2010 and 2011. The pair were eventually split and Riley was given a short-term push after turning on his former mentor. Unfortunately for the superstar, he soon found opportunities difficult to come by.
In 2013, following an unsuccessful period in the ring, Riley became a color commentator on Superstars and NXT. He briefly returned to full-time wrestling in 2016 and competed on the black-and-gold brand in an effort to revitalize him. He was released from his WWE contract one year later.
Riley discussed the situation between him and Cena earlier this year. As summarized by Pro Wrestling Sheet, he told Chris Van Vliet they didn’t like each other and that ultimately affected his career because of Cena’s influence and stature among officials.
The former superstar also explained their beef stemmed from a mistake one of them made. They ended up getting into an argument, but Cena didn’t accept Riley’s apology when he tried to make amends. Riley said Cena was “offended” over the incident in question.
As the Pro Wrestling Sheet article highlighted, Riley also claimed he doesn’t harbor any negative feeling toward Cena these days. He’d rather move on with his life without their feud always hanging over him.
Since parting ways with WWE, Riley has competed on the independent circuit. He also made an appearance in the Netflix series GLOW.
Cena has a reputation for burying younger talent. As The Inquisitr previously noted, Ryback blamed him for ending The Nexus’ push as well. The veteran defeated the faction at SummerSlam 2010, which brought an end to their momentum at the time.