Pro-wrestling star Buddy Murphy spoke with Fightful about his release from WWE, where the former NXT cruiserweight champion opens up about the creative frustrations he endured while in the company and how it affected his love of the business. Highlights are below.
On his creative frustrations in WWE:
Aleister Black wasn’t on television for awhile and he came back with his new character and his vignettes started playing, but he wasn’t showing up at TV. He didn’t have to be present at TV. Once my storyline with the Mysterio’s got dropped overnight without me being told, I was showing up at TV every week. I was there. You have two guys in a similar position; one gets to stay home and I have to come in. I felt like they were rubbing my nose in it. ‘Oh, you love wrestling, you can’t do it.’ All I want to do is perform and contribute and earn my paycheck. I want to do what I’ve honed for 15 years. I felt like, whether they did it intentionally, I don’t know and I don’t think so, but I felt like they were rubbing my nose. ‘You want to be in the biggest wrestling company in the world and perform in that ring, well here it all is and you’ve made it, but you’re not allowed to do what you love.’ It’s bittersweet and that made me turn away from the product a bit.
Whether it affected his love of pro-wrestling:
Absolutely (it affected my love for wrestling). My career has always been up and down. Crazy good, disappear, good, disappear. I know that it was on a downward spiral. From the Aleister stuff to the Seth stuff. Obviously, the pandemic brought it down a little and then losing AOP and Theory, who were part of the group, I was the lone survivor. Then it started to come back up when me and Aalyah became a thing and the main part of the story because it dragged out for so long and we were the new blood in it. Then it went to me disappearing, like that. Snap your fingers and I disappeared.
Says he didn’t have many conversations with Vince McMahon:
No (I didn’t have many conversations). Obviously, you hear the stories and my thing was like, if there was something that I was willing to die, then I would. If it came down to a promo and it was like ‘why am I saying this? I wouldn’t say this’ and they said, ‘Well, go talk to Vince about it.’ The one line I don’t like, the whole promo would change. It was not worth that to me. I would just try to get it in or if it’s not connecting with me — I used to do promo work with Edge and he told me a line and goes, ‘You have to bring something real in it that you can relate back to because that brings the emotion out of it.’ A lot of the time when I do the promo, I would relate it and get in a mind frame where I could bring out an emotion. If that word or line just didn’t compute, then it’s not sticking, so I would forgot about it. That’s another thing, when you’re doing that stuff, if it doesn’t make sense and come genuine to you, it’s not going to stick and it’s going to come out robotic. I felt like that was a lot of the stuff. When I was doing the disciple thing, I wanted to be robotic. I didn’t want to show…a lot of people would talk about how I couldn’t cut a promo. I can cut a promo. I wouldn’t say I’m Edge or Seth or anything like that, but I can cut a promo. When it came to my disciple character, I didn’t want to talk because I have a guy that I stand by that is a preacher. He preaches wisdom. My whole thing with the disciple character is that, when I do talk, it’s like out of place and that makes people turn their head and go ‘what? Why is he talking? That’s weird.’ Even when you put a couple of little words in there, it takes away and chips away from that big impactful time when I got ‘Hey.’ He doesn’t talk, but when he does, it means more. Just like a finish. You hit your finish and win, win, win, win. Then, you hit your finish and they kick out, it means more. If everyone is kicking out of your finish every week then it means nothing. I feel like it’s the same with dialogue. You set a trend, go off it, and it means something. That was why I didn’t do a lot of talking. You look at my 205 Live stuff, I’m brash. When I’m the disciple, I’m stoic. The characters were very different. The character I portrayed or thought of, didn’t really get a chance to be perceived how I thought it should be on television. I get it. Seth is the star and I’m not against it. Just at the end of it, it should have been bigger.