Alex Riley On Being Frustrated Doing Commentary, Plans To "Go For It" In WWE
December 11, 2020
WWE Superstar Alex Riley recently appeared on “The Wrestling Compadres Slamcast and spoke about the status of his knee, his plans for his WWE return and how frustrating it was being a WWE announcer when he wanted to be in the ring.
On the status of his injured knee following his third surgery on it:
“The rehab [has] taken a little bit longer than I would have originally liked. When the doc got in there, he saw a couple of other things and tried to do this stem cell procedure. Basically, when he got in there [he noticed] I was missing a lot of cartilage kind of on the lateral side of my knee, so he kind of did this procedure that hasn’t really been approved yet, but it was Dr. Andrews down in Pensacola [Florida], who is a fantastic doctor and gets a lot of professional athletes. Like, he did a stem cell procedure, and unbeknownst to me and the WWE, it took a little bit longer for the recovery. But I’m glad he did it. My knee feels great.” Riley added, “until my knees completely give out, not one of them, but both of them, I will be in there fighting it out.”
On if being an athlete helps you break into pro wrestling:
“I think being an athlete and being used to the contact and the brutality of tackle football certainly helps. I think it’s something that will get you used to what you have to do as an athlete in the WWE. Now, mentally, I don’t think so. I think it hurts you because wrestling is something that is very individualistic and even your coaches, they know from what they did and what they were successful at, but nobody can tell you how to be you. And I think what happens to athletes that come in here is that they’re so used to ‘run to that line and catch the ball and we’ll pat you on the back and say ‘good”. That’s not how this business works. This business is ‘you have to create a path. You have to create a line of your own and then maybe we’ll throw you the ball, maybe we won’t’.” Riley continued, “you have to think for yourself [in professional wrestling]. You have to have your own ideas. You have to have your own beliefs. You have to believe in something so strongly and really be willing to die for it, in a way, because you’re going to be tested when it comes to that and your character, who you are, [and] what you stand for has got to come from inside and nobody can tell you that. And I think that was a lot of what my struggle was at first. I didn’t really know who I was unless a coach was telling me where to go or ‘do this drill’ or do that.”
On Titus O’Neil and Mojo Rawley:
“[O’Neil]’s a big guy. He [has] got a lot of talent. He’s certainly a good athlete. And when it comes to professional wrestling, you put him out there and JBL says it all the time, and I don’t know if I completely agree with it, but he has everything that it takes to be a world champion. And when you’re being told things like that and it just is not happening [it is frustrating]. Titus came in a year and a half after I was in FCW and when it’s not happening, he just made the choice where he’s going to start kicking in doors until he gets at least somewhat of what he thinks he deserves. So he [has] done a great job in that regard. He has not quit. He [has] fought and he’s being rewarded for it.”
On his announcing gig and how he’d rather be in the ring:
“When they had taken this from me and for whatever reason I was doing the commentary, and, again, certainly a good opportunity to do it, but do I think I should have been in the ring [instead]? 100%. Did it feel like a cage? Yes. In the regard that I was sitting there every single Monday night watching people out there that I felt that I was better than, but I couldn’t get in there.” Riley added, “I’m sitting there every night talking about people, telling people how great they were or how great they are and how bad I was and that’s B.S.”
On how he plans to “go for it” when he returns:
“When I come back, I promise you, I’m going for it. Now whether I become WWE [World Heavyweight] Champion or I’m in NXT for the next three years, regardless of where I am or where I’m placed, I’m swinging for the fence, so it’s going to make a loud noise and I’m sure you guys are going to hear it, but I have no more, I don’t want to say I have no more fear because I certainly fear things, but very little. Very little at this point.”
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