|You go, A-Ry!|
Photo Credit: WWE.com
I'd say what happened Monday on RAW qualifies, right?
When Miz fired Riley from his "personal services" contract after several incidences of screwing up in his task of assuring Miz kept his WWE Championship, I thought it'd end with Riley getting his ass beaten and shipped off to FCW. I mean, that's what happens with these NXT alums not named Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, Heath Slater or Justin Gabriel, right? What happened next was amazing. It's not that Riley fought back, it was how well it played out. He looked natural in the brawl with his former mentor, so natural that I'm convinced that he has the physical abilities to be a future star in WWE. The even more surprising thing was the crowd reaction. I don't know whether it was a fluke crowd, whether fans found something in him that made them want to cheer him, or whether it was just a reaction to how much they liked seeing Miz get his, but Riley got an honest-to-God pop when he popped Miz.
In a perfect world, that's where we'd all remember where A-Ry was made. I mean, it was the perfect storm, with everything coming together to create a memorable performance. Sadly, there have been a ton of those moments in WWE that have led to guys going nowhere. Couple that with the fact that neither RAW nor Smackdown have a fully-formed midcard that means anything, and the prospects for a follow-up aren't promising.
However, for a second, let's pretend the WWE has consistently followed up on big moments in the last few years instead of delivering on one out of five or so. If they can put a buzz behind Riley that lasts, I think it pays off. Right now, in this moment, Riley is already a star, and he's a guy that I personally want to see on my TV screen. If the moment is too fleeting then at least we have the moment now, and for that moment, Alex Riley was the brightest new star in WWE.
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