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Alex Riley: Ready to be a champion
OTTAWA, Ontario – When he broke away from his mentor The Miz to forge his own path months ago, Alex Riley made it abundantly clear to the WWE Universe that he would bow to the will of others no longer. It’s such determined attitude that all but guaranteed this confident young Superstar would one day seize championship glory – a seeming impossibility while he was in the employ of The Awesome One.
That day has arrived.
This Sunday at Night of Champions, A-Ry battles John Morrison, Jack Swagger and U.S. Champion Dolph Ziggler in a Fatal 4-Way Match, one of the most chaotic encounters WWE has to offer. Speaking with WWE.com just moments after the bout was made official by SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long, Riley did little to downplay the importance of his U.S. Title opportunity. (MATCH PREVIEW)
“I have one focus that night, and that’s winning the title,” Riley said. “I’m in there with three guys who have all held titles before. I never have. I don’t plan on leaving Night of Champions without it, and Buffalo, N.Y., is gonna go ‘A-Ry’ that night.”
The Prince of Parkour boasts multiple Intercontinental and WWE Tag Team Championship reigns, while Swagger and Ziggler each have World Heavyweight Title victories to their credit. However, given the tension between Ziggler and The All-American American over the managerial services of Vickie Guerrero, going up against two previous World Title holders doesn’t faze the former season two NXT Rookie.
“There are a lot of things going on in other people’s minds, but I’m very clear-headed going into this,” Riley said, noting that Ziggler and Swagger’s desire for attention from WWE’s resident cougar hurts their respective chances of exiting this brutal bout with the star-spangled championship. “I have no real allegiance to anybody right now but myself. I have a great advantage going into Night of Champions, since becoming U.S. Champion is the only thing on my mind.”
Riley hasn’t been shy about expressing his distaste for Swagger and Ziggler, but don’t think he’ll go easy on Morrison just because they were successful in their tag team match against the blond blowhards on WWE Raw SuperShow this past Monday night. (PHOTOS)
“I’m going to do everything I can to win,” A-Ry affirmed.
It’s not hard to imagine that his quest for championship glory was partially spurred by his longtime association with The Miz. During Riley’s tenure as The Miz’s assistant, the egotistical “Awesome One” not only captured his first WWE Championship by cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Randy Orton last year, but defended the prestigious title on The Grandest Stage of Them All at WrestleMania XXVII. Being in such close proximity to WWE’s most illustrious prize had a profound effect on Riley, who shockingly spoke of The Miz with reverence despite their bitter past.
“I respect The Miz a lot,” Riley said of his WWE Pro-turned-employer. “I think he’s a very talented guy and I’ll always owe him for what he did for me. He gave me a job when I didn’t have one. I didn’t win WWE NXT season two, but because of him I stayed in WWE.
“Now I get the opportunity to control my own life,” he continued, “which is very important to me. This Sunday I’ll have the opportunity to go out there and show the world what I can do. And that’s really all I’ve been waiting for.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Can Alex Riley’s determination lead him to a United States Championship conquest at Night of Champions? And with a mere 25 percent chance of retaining his title, is Dolph Ziggler’s title reign coming to an end? Sound off on Facebook and Twitter, and catch all of the action by tuning in to Night of Champions, this Sunday, only on pay-per-view. (FULL COVERAGE)