From Baron Corbin’s joke-telling sidekick to Emma’s boyfriend, WWE could never find a way to truly nail down Riddick’s gimmick. He was clearly set for something big under Vince McMahon, but the guy could never truly connect to the audience, even after wins over the ever-so-hated Baron Corbin. It’s clear that with both creatives he was under, he was really a fumble on the WWE’s behalf.
Moss made his main roster debut as a part of the 24/7 Championship title scene. For a guy with his build to debut competing with the likes of Mojo Rawley and R-Truth, he was really at a disadvantage from the start.
That being said, Vince sustained Riddick with the biggest push of his career when he was paired with Baron Corbin under the name “Madcap Moss”. This was his first substantial character in the WWE. He was made to be a wise-cracking sidekick to Baron Corbin, who would often tell jokes on a weekly basis. It’s obvious why this gimmick didn’t take off. While this gimmick was dire, it was not nearly as bad as what came afterwards.
In an attempt to get Moss over, he breaks up with Corbin and enters a dire two-month feud with him. This was after Moss won the Andre The Giant Battle Royal, which Corbin got mad at. This feud actually saw Riddick get some decent reactions from time-to-time, with the crowds hatred for Baron Corbin making them want to root for Madcap. As the feud ended, it was clear that it was Corbin doing great heel work instead of Madcap being a likeable face, as he never got similar reactions again. This was a testament to how if you don’t give someone a proper character, they will sink on the main roster, as Riddick didn’t have anything going for him or making him stand out after the face turn.
Triple H’s Booking
There’s really not much to report on here. He was a figure in the intercontinental championship scene for a while. He had a decent match with Gunther (although admittedly, it’s hard to have a bad match with Gunther). Again, Moss struggled to get reactions, as the gimmick he was dealt was “be Emma’s boyfriend”, which was a nothing gimmick that didn’t connect with the crowd whatsoever.
If you want to watch that Intercontinental Championship match, click HERE!
After his involvement in the IC title scene, we wouldn’t see much more of Moss on Raw or SmackDown. He would only really be brought in to job to Nakamura. He spent the rest of his days lingering on main event, until he was unfortunately released.
Why Could He Never Truly Break Out?
The future really did look bright for Riddick after his wins over Corbin, as it’s clear that Vince was high on him with the way he was presented throughout the feud. The problem is that he had zero character. It’s difficult for an audience to route for a babyface who is just pure white bread with muscles. It’s annoying too, because he had an impeccable build and the look of a star. There was a real glimpse of hope when he was paired with Emma. Sadly, that hope was short-lived, as it became abundantly clear that they really had no intentions of pushing the duo after the Gunther match.
If they had Emma act as Riddick’s mouthpiece (as promos were the area he mainly lacked in), the duo could’ve genuinely found success. Sadly, I don’t believe HHH saw that same potential in Riddick, which led to his unfortunate slide down the card.
His only win on main event was against Akira Tozawa, which speaks volumes about his booking.
What Could Be Next For Ellis?
I’m under the belief that Mike Rallis (Riddick’s real name) will be a sought after free agent. A guy with his build could be a serious draw for many companies. Ellis would be a great fit in MLW, as they have one of the best heavyweight divisions in the world, with the likes of:
- Alex Kane
- Jacob Fatu
- Alex Hammerstone
All being great matches for Moss!
Additionally, Ellis could always tour the indies in a similar style to Matt Cardona when he got released. I’ve photoshopped DPW onto there as they are one of the hottest indies right now and could provide us with the banger of a match that would be Mike Ellis vs. Calvin Tankman.
Finally, Impact Wrestling would be a great choice. Many wrestlers in the past who were struggling to find their stride in the WWE have gone to Impact to redefine themselves, and honestly, I see Ellis doing the same. Establishing an actual character and getting match time on TV is just what Ellis needs to elevate himself. With Tenille already established in Impact, there’s an easy gateway to establish Ellis with Impact fans.
If you enjoyed this article, I’d recommend checking out “Top Five Contenders For Rhea Ripley’s World Championship“, for more great content from the Wrestling Republic.
If you’ve read until the end, it means a lot to me, Thank you very much – BH