According to Alex Riley, an incident between he and John Cena "changed the path of my career."
Riley was asked about his past with Cena during a recent appearance on Jim Ross' Ross Report podcast:
"I’ll put it this way. There was an incident and it certainly changed the path of my career. I don’t want to discuss it right now, but I will one day, for sure. I will one day. It was a tough situation at times, I guess we can leave it at that. ... and, honestly, JR, I struggle with the morality of even talking about it and I’m not into blowing up anybody else at this point, but I promise you this, I will address it one day for sure. You don’t want to know. It was a tough situation.”
Riley enjoyed his greatest level of prominence in WWE in 2010 and 2011, working with and then against The Miz. Starting in the latter part of that year, Riley was relegated to the lower card of the WWE main roster -- status he held until the summer of 2013, when he transitioned to a commentary role on NXT, Superstars and Main Event.
Riley told Ross that he enjoyed commentary but "belonged in the ring.
"I should have been in the ring. Anybody that disagrees with that, I don’t know. I think that’s very foolish. But, for whatever reason, I wasn’t and I had skill. I had passion for the business, a lot of passion for the business, and they gave me the opportunity to be a broadcaster and I took it head on. That’s a hard job and I don’t think people [appreciate that]. You know, JR, people see it on TV and they say, ‘You’re just sitting there talking,’ but it’s not that. I mean, that show moves fast. It’s live. You’re in the booth, sometimes, sitting with two other people who have their own train of thought. If you haven’t worked with them ever, you have no idea where they might go with it and you have to get it all back to a certain subject that everybody’s either agreeing on or there’s a plan, a point you’re trying to make. And then, all of a sudden, Vince McMahon will yell in your ear, ‘Hey, we’re going to go this way,’ so it was a challenge at first, but certainly something that I really enjoyed. There was nothing worse for me than just sitting in the back.”
WWE released Riley this past May.