After years of rumors, former WWE star Alex Riley has finally talked about what happened between him and John Cena.
Speaking with Chris Van Vliet, Riley said: “I think it came down to, at the end, two men just not liking each other. As sad as that is, it had an impact on my career because he is who he is.”
“I just happened to be in a situation where, right from the start, it was just … he didn’t like me,” Riley added. “I just don’t think he did. I tried to change that the best I could. I worked very hard and tried to do the best I could to grow and learn and fit in in the way a wrestler fits in and he wanted me to fit in. It just kinda got to the point where, a little bit, even some of the other guys would kinda be like, ‘what’s up with that?’ ‘I don’t know.’ So it was a tough situation.”
Riley, real name Kevin Kiley, then explained that it all stemmed from one specific incident.
“There was one mistake that either I made, or he made, where we got really crossed. And we kind of got into a little bit of an argument. And I didn’t think it was going to … I went to him immediately the next day and tried to apologize for whatever had happened. I think he was pretty offended. Again, it was two grown men that just didn’t see eye-to-eye at the time.
I’m not holding any grudges or anything like that. I certainly don’t want it hanging over my neck for the rest of my life.
The incident in question reportedly occurred in 2012 while Cena was ribbing Alex backstage. It’s unclear what happened exactly, but Riley allegedly reacted angrily and it didn’t go over well.
The wrestler told Van Vliet that while it was a tough situation during his time with the company, he respects everything John has done and doesn’t hold any hard feelings. Riley also says he believes they patched things up before his WWE exit.
Riley was released from WWE in 2016 alongside Damien Sandow, Hornswoggle, Santino Marella, Zeb Colter and Cameron of the Funkadactyls.
Watch Chris Van Vliet’s interview with Alex Riley below.