Buddy Murphy: 205 Live's Breakout Star of 2018 | Smark Out Moment

Buddy Murphy: 205 Live's Breakout Star of 2018

Posted by Anthony Mango Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Buddy Murphy just celebrated his five year anniversary with WWE on July 8th and I think it opens up the discussion for how success is sometimes the mixture of the right ingredients.

Several years ago, he was just a random person on the NXT roster. He didn't have much of a noteworthy look to him, he didn't cut any promos, he was completely devoid of any character—he was just some guy.

Partnered up with Wesley Blake, they didn't even have a team name, to the best of my recollection, and they were pretty inconsequential in my mind.

I really didn't see them as anything more than a supplemental act, but out of nowhere, they won the NXT Tag Team Championship from The Lucha Dragons, when I thought a handful of other teams were much better suited to be the next in line at the time.

That took me by surprise, as did their alignment with Alexa Bliss, who was a bubbly babyface before turning heel and helping them in their matches going forward.

This was not only a good time for Murphy because of the title win, but because he'd eventually go on to date Alexa—arguably WWE's most attractive woman on the roster (as evidenced by her win in last year's Sexiest WWE Superstars tournament and her current good standing; be sure to vote while you can)

Eventually, everyone has to drop the title at some point, with BAMF, as they were now referred to, losing to The Vaudevillains with some help from Blue Pants. Remember her? The girl with the Price is Right theme and, well, blue pants? (Her name is Leva Bates, by the way)

After that, though, while Alexa would be called up to the main roster to eventually become the most valuable player for both SmackDown and Raw, Blake and Murphy did absolutely nothing. Quite literally, they never really were booked for any matches for months and months, only wrestling on live events, as if they didn't even exist anymore.

I figured that was the end of both of their careers, and when Blake ended up forming a new stable called The Forgotten Sons, I thought it was a tongue-in-cheek reference to how they were consistently left off television tapings. Alas, Murphy wasn't even in the group, and that made me very curious.

Was he someone they saw even less in than Blake? How? They were basically the same, but he had a fiancee who was popular, so he should have some pull, while Blake's wife was just Sara Lee from Tough Enough, who was the winner of that show and adorable, but amounted to nothing in WWE.

The longer Murphy went without being booked, the longer I assumed his release was imminent, and I felt really bad for him when I started hearing rumblings that he was going by the nickname of being "NXT's best kept secret", which just felt to me like an attempt to give himself a moniker to save his career, similar to how Darren Young was "Mr. No Days Off", despite taking lots of days off, eventually.

And then it happened. Murphy popped up on 205 Live, looking in the best shape of his entire career.

I have no idea what type of muscle meals he was eating in Australia, or what his workout routine was, but it clearly worked, and he went from being someone who couldn't turn a head even in the developmental system to a guy that looked like a bona fide WWE superstar.

The definition on his physique was a drastic difference and you could see a major change in his face, too, which translated to an enormous boost in confidence. He had a swagger about him that he didn't have before, and I was ready to take him seriously for the first time in his career, which I didn't even do when he was holding a championship.

After dropping the weight to be able to perform on 205 Live, he stood out in a positive way. Only Tony Nese felt like a powerhouse on that brand, and Murphy was able to be another more muscular guy among a sea of thinner cruiserweights.

Even past his look, though, his skill level rose to coincide with his new lease on life.

Consistently, Murphy has had some of the best matches that have ever been produced on 205 Live, including a fantastic one recently against Mustafa Ali that far too few people have watched just because it was on a program that isn't Monday Night Raw.

They even utilized him for a storyline that I was hoping they would do at some point, which was to have him lose an opportunity to fight for the Cruiserweight Championship because he failed to meet the weigh-in of 205 lbs.

That's exactly one of the two major storylines I was hoping to get out of the cruiserweight division, with another one being someone like Big Cass, Samoa Joe or any other "big man" coming over to wreck the division and assert dominance. There's still time for that one.

So far in 2018, Cedric Alexander has proven that he's just as good of an in-ring performer as we expected, and Mustafa Ali has really stepped up his game considerably, but I really feel Buddy Murphy is 205 Live's breakout star for being able to have a simple, great storyline while putting on fantastic matches and bringing a whole new dynamic to the roster.

He's not some random NXT guy that was slotted in to this program because he had nothing to do. He's become The Juggernaut of 205 Live—someone who is dangerous and capable, and a star on the rise to watch out for.

I think this is a case where he was able to put in the hard work to improve his appearance to prove to WWE how serious he was about being a valuable player for them, and once he did that, they gave him the ball to run with, and his newfound confidence allowed him to continue to step up his game.

It took almost five years for me to go from "oh, let's see what his deal is" to "I guess he's going to be fired soon" to "this guy's a candidate for Biggest Upgrade in the 2018 Smark Out Moment Awards"—quite an impressive feat, I must say.

Congrats to Buddy Murphy! If he continues to improve as  much as he has in the past few months, I'm extremely excited to see what he'll have to offer in the future.


Tony Mango is the founder, editor-in-chief, head writer, host of Smack Talk, and much more for Smark Out Moment as well as all branches under A Mango Tree including Fanboys Anonymous. He is a pundit, creative director/consultant, media manager and more. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


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