Virginia native Alex Riley is an American professional wrestler and commentator, born Kevin Robert Kiley Jr. on April 28, 1981. Alex Riley is best known for his stint in WWE, sporadically in the main roster and as a commentator for the NXT developmental territory although he is famous for his time at the Florida Championship Wrestling. He was also a participant in the second season of NXT, placing third in the competition. Check out these cool things to know about his life.
Alex Riley: 6 Interesting Things To Know About The NXT Wrestler!
1. Ring Names:
- Alex Riley
- Carson Oakley
- Kevin Kiley
- Kevin Kiley Jr.
- “The Rare Breed”
- “The Varsity Villains”
Allex whose real name is Kevin Kiley, Jr. was born to a father who was an ESPN sports commentator and to his mother who was Miss Virginia, and he has a younger brother.
4. Education and college football career:
Kiley attended Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, VA, where he played football and basketball. He attended Boston College, majoring in communications. He played for the Boston College Eagles as a quarterback before becoming a linebacker during the 2001 season.
5. Controversies and Personal facts:
- Kiley was arrested in Tampa, Florida on November 17, 2010, 1:14 am for driving while intoxicated and refusing to be tested. He was released at 9:33 am after posting a $500 bond.
- Alex Riley is Catholic and has a tattoo of a Celtic cross on his back.
- In March 2021, Alex Riley revealed on his social media that he suffers from bipolar disorder.
- On the infamous incidents with John Cena, Alex Riley said : “I no longer hold a grudge against him” because he reflected on the problems he had with John Cena when the two men worked together in WWE. Most interestingly, Cena never spoke publicly about the problems he had with Riley, not even when he was released from his WWE contract in 2016 thanks to this incident.
- During the time that Alex Riley said that John Cena caused the end of his fighting career due to an incident that happened in the locker room, he was anti Cena. But during an interview with Chris Van Vliet, he changed his sentiments saying:
- “I think in the end, it came down to two men not liking each other. As sad as it is, this conflict had an impact on my career because we all know who John Cena is. He didn’t like me from the beginning . I tried to change the best I could, working very hard, growing, learning, trying to fit into the group the way he wanted. It got to the point where my teammates were asking me what was going on. It was a difficult situation. I heard other fighters say that he didn’t like me, but when we interacted it didn’t seem like that. This is wrestling, it’s something where you give your best effort, you learn to be productive and try to improve. I honestly did my best, but it just didn’t work.”
- “I don’t have any hard feelings towards Cena. I made a mistake or he made a mistake where we actually crossed paths and we kind of had an argument. Right away, the next day I tried to apologize for what happened and he was pretty offended I think. We were two grown men who didn’t see eye to eye. I don’t hold a grudge. I don’t want this situation to be my cross for the rest of my life. I think we worked it out in the end. I have a lot of respect for John, his work ethic, and everything he has done. I didn’t expect to be on the wrong side.”
6. Career Profile: Beginnings, NXT, Retirements, And Return
WWE (2007-2016) and Florida Championship Wrestling (2007-2010)
The American pro-wrestler signed a developmental contract in 2007 with World Wrestling Entertainment and went to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), the federation’s school club. He played his first match on the 30th of October and lost his first match to Shawn Osbourne. In 2008, BabyFace changed his ring name to Carson Oakley. He faced FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion Sheamus O’Shaunessy in a championship game in which he lost.
Alex then comes back with FCW’s Scotty Goldman Challenger Team Championship from the Hart Dynasty, but loses the game on November 20. This was around the time that he changed his ring name to Alex Riley.
In 2009, the American pro-wrestler became an assistant to general manager Abraham Washington and secured an FCW Heavyweight Championship title match but lost in August 2009 to a Triple Threat match against champion Tyler Reks and Johnny Curtis .
By March 18, 2010, Alex R won the FCW Heavyweight Championship for the first time in a Triple Threat match with champion Justin Gabriel and Wade Barrett. On May 30th, Alex Riley defeated Justin Gabriel to retain his title but ultimately lost his title on July 22 against Mason Ryan in a Triple Threat match that also included Johnny Curtis.
NXT and Alex’s alliance with The Miz (2010-2011):
Alex Riley participated in the 2nd season of NXT and met The Miz. He beat Kaval in his first match but a few weeks later, he lost to Titus O’Neil and Eli Cottonwood to Lucky Cannon, Michael McGillicutty, and Kaval after the latter brought his Warrior Way to the ring.
Later in the night, Alex Riley took fourth place in the first season 2 of Pro’s Poll NXT. On Raw, he won a 6-man tag team match with Husky Harris and Michael McGuillicuty against Kaval, Percy Watson, and Lucky Cannon.
The next day, Alex Riley wins the power punch challenge in a winning effort that entitles him to appear the following week on Raw. Alex Riley then lost the previous night’s 6-man tag team rematch but during the voting the same night, he was number 5 in the ranking. By August 16th, on Raw, Alex Riley attacked Daniel Bryan and in the NXT final, he and the other rookies fiercely attacked Kaval.
Working as Miz’s manager:
During the month of September, after his elimination from NXT, Riley began to appear alongside Miz as a manager. Alex Riley helps The Miz win his matches over the next several months and takes his place in a few matches, including the King of the Ring and the Royal Rumble.
Alex Riley left his position as Miz’s manager on February 28, 2011 following a loss to John Cena in a steel cage match that provided for Riley to be fired as Miz’s manager in the condition of a loss. However, Alex Riley remains in WWE as a communications consultant also known as a WWE commentator. During WrestleMania XXVII, Alex Riley was ringside during the main event between John Cena and Miz for the WWE Championship. The match was won by The Miz and the day after the 2011 draft, Alex Riley moved to SmackDown following the supplemental draft on April 26.
Not all is lost as Alex Riley continues to intervene on behalf of his mentor, especially during the two matches in which The Miz attempts to reclaim the WWE Championship held by John Cena, first the day after Extreme Rules in 2011, where he gives Miz the belt to hit Cena, and then during Over the Limit 2011 in an “I Quit” match .
From being The Miz’s manager to becoming rivals (2011):
During the May episode of Raw, The Miz accuses Alex Riley of losing it, sends him back, and then hits him. A fight breaks out between the two men. He is cheered by the crowd and thus becomes Baby Face. During Capital Punishment, he defeats The Miz.
On the Raw episode on June 20th, Alex Riley teams with John Cena and Randy Orton against The Miz, R-Truth, and Christian in a 6-Man Tag Team Match where the fans choose the stipulation that it will be an elimination match. Alex Riley was knocked out by Christian after a Skull Crushing Finale by Miz, but his team won the match. By June 27th, Alex Riley defeated The Miz and Jack Swagger in a Tornado Tag Team Match, where he teamed with Rey Mysterio.
During the Money in the Bank (2011) games, Alex Riley competed in the Raw Money in the Bank Ladder match, but did not win the match. On the following Raw, he competed in a tournament to become the new WWE Champion. In a losing effort, Alex Riley is eliminated by The Miz in the first round. The American pro-wrestler secured a United States Championship match at Night of Champions 2011 against Jack Swagger, John Morrison, and champion Dolph Ziggler, but Ziggler managed to retain the title from him.
Solo career (2011-2013):
In late 2011, he made a series of matches against Michael McGillicutty on Superstars.
Since the beginning of 2012, Alex Riley has chained a series of 14 consecutive losses that culminated on May 2 on NXT in a tag team match with Tyson Kidd against JTG and Johnny Curtis. After two months of absence, Alex Riley returned during the SmackDown on the 3rd of July and participated in a qualifying match for Money in the Bank (2012) that he lost to Dolph Ziggler. Since then Alex Riley resumed his losing streak and during the Raw episode of 6th August, he stopped his losing streak by beating Dolph Ziggler thanks to a distraction by Chris Jericho with a Roll-Up.
Alex Riley was unfortunately absent for several months due to elbow and knee injuries but made his comeback during a house show on January 18, 2013 losing to Jack Swagger.
During the NXT episode on January 30th, Alex Riley and Derrick Bateman lost to Kassius Ohno and Leo Kruger in the first round of the WWE Tag Team Championship NXT tournament. On the NXT February 13th episode, he lost to Corey Graves. Alex Riley then
participates in the Battle Royal Match to become the No. 1 challenger in the WWE Intercontinental Championship, but it is Justin Gabriel who wins.
On May 16, 2013 Alex lost to Cody Rhodes and although he is back at WWE Superstars he goes into commentating. Since Matt Striker left WWE, Alex Riley has taken over his role. He made his debut at the WWE Superstars tapings on June 27, 2013 to comment on the programs. By August 2013, Alex joined the NXT roster as a commentator.
Return to wrestling:
On March 11th 2015, Alex Riley defeated CJ Parker in his first televised game since 2013. The following week, he lost to Kevin Owens, the NXT Champion. He was out after eight months of inactivity due to injury and on January 27, 2016, Alex returned to NXT and defeated Bull Dempsey.
On April 2, 2016, the third day of Wrestlemania Axxess, he defeated Riddick Moss.
On May 6, 2016, WWE announced on its official website the dismissal of Alex Riley and by May 11, 2016, he played his last match in NXT against Shinsuke Nakamura, which he lost.
In May 2019, through his Instagram account, Alex Riley aka Babyface announced that he would be returning to wrestling.