The Rise of Buddy Murphy: From Best Kept Secret To Cruiserweight Champion

From NXT tag team success to fading away from the division. From all the potential in the world to wondering if there was still a career in the WWE. From a new start to the face of an entire division, Buddy Murphy has had a tough and gruelling journey throughout his WWE career so far but after capturing gold on the biggest stage he has faced so far in his home of Australia “The Best Kept Secret” is now one of the most talked about WWE superstars but just how did he get here and what does the future hold for one of the companies most promising, exciting, and gifted prospects today.

It was back in 2013 that Australian star Buddy Murphy officially signed an NXT contract and began paving ways teaming up with Wesley Blake a year later. Prior to this pairing, Murphy had competed in other tag team bouts but it was an alliance with Blake that really saw things turn around and his career truly kickstart. Blake and Murphy would make regular appearances for NXT TV and live events growing in popularity and while bigger teams on the roster did overshadow them for quite some time, it was impressive performances that grabbed fans attention massively with the pair showing fantastic ability, agility, passion, and skill. Remaining in the tag team title conversation for a while, the two gained momentum and even more popularity with time despite not exactly getting their hands-on gold, this was a true “close but not close enough” scenario. In 2015, however, the pair finally got their big break surprising fans with a huge shock victory over the Lucha Dragons becoming the New NXT Tag Team Champions.

The reign as champs was massively exciting. They reminded fans of the likes of Paul London and Brian Kendrick providing a classic tag team style with a modern-day twist. Their image and in-ring style differed to what other teams were bringing to the table both on the NXT and Main roster and the pair very quickly became true funders of a movement in tag team wrestling over in NXT similar to what we saw from the women’s division. Competing in fantastic matches weekly on NXT, at LIVE events, and Takeover specials they proved to be an exciting team with great potential possessing an excellent championship reign which looking back could have been even stronger. Further down the line Blake and Murphy adopted the role of heels which while was a surprise appeared to be the best fitting next move and they fell into the role extremely well and with Alexa Bliss by their side, this was an interesting new chapter in their careers.

Throughout their run in NXT, Bliss, Murphy and Blake brought something exciting to the table with their chemistry standing out and their exciting style really shaking things up in NXT but of course, good things don’t last forever in many cases and this was one. Cracks did begin to show, Bliss went her own way, and in the same year Blake and Murphy were no more. The decision to split up the trio wasn’t one that surprised many, however, breaking up Blake and Murphy is a decision I personally struggled to understand for a long time. The two have always had serious potential and could easily have gone on to do great things together on the main roster with or without Bliss and for a long time, there was a belief the two would have better careers together while being apart could spark the end of their WWE career altogether.

Upon the split of Blake and Murphy, there was a difficult stage for both superstars with the pair trying out new things and looking to break out on their own. Blake did appear to find his way slightly easier on the roster while Murphy didn’t make many appearances and next to no changes were made to his character. While the former champ had excellent potential there was a struggle to find exactly where he belonged, and it did reach a point where many believed it was only a matter of time till he was released from the company. Struggling to find a place over in NXT, no right space on the main roster, and fading into the background more and more this was a very difficult stage in Buddy’s career but in February of this year, things turned around massively with the perfect opportunity coming his way.

On a journey to losing enough weight to join the Cruiserweight division, this became a standout story over on 205Live as fans got to witness the hard work and determination in Murphy to earn a spot on a roster that was perfect for him. Finally, with hope, direction and a weekly spot, things were looking up for a man who had always possessed great talent and after hitting the weight limit Murphy began truly making an impact becoming a regular and consistent superstar on 205LIVE. The former NXT tag team champion was very soon a staple member of the roster and an important figure in moving the division and the 205Live show to new heights. Standout matches against the likes of Cedric Alexander, Ariya Daivari, and Mustafa Ali put him in a spotlight he hadn’t been in in a very long time and he was established as one of the most talented, athletic, and exciting stars on the roster.

After spending months working and being apart of some of the best matches the main roster had seen in a long time his journey to becoming the Cruiserweight champion was going strong and was crowned the new number one contender in time for the biggest show of his career so far that just happened to take place in his home of Australia. A thunderous crowd reaction and a loyal 205Live fanbase behind him this was always sure to be a promising match and the two did not disappoint. Putting on one of the best matches of the night, the crowd was completely invested from start to finish and a satisfying ending that saw Murphy pick up the biggest victory of his career. An emotional and very special victory this was a big night for both Murphy and the cruiserweight division as the best-kept secret became the biggest talking point of the night.

As we look towards the future it’s clear that Murphy still has so much potential. Bringing something new once again to the division he’s a talented performer with all-around skill. He’s already been a part of so many epic matches over on 205Live and with the popularity there growing and more buzz around the weekly show its an exciting future ahead. However, there is also no denying the simple fact that the cruiserweight division still is in need of more exposure. Featuring the champ regularly on Monday Night RAW as well as giving him opportunities such as a spot on Crown Jewel is vital. We’ve seen the rise and fall of Murphy once before and now he has found the perfect slot in the WWE no one wants to see him fall back down. There are many superstars on both rosters that would make for dream opponents for Buddy and if the WWE work on providing more of a space for the 205 roster than we could see amazing things in the future but overall this is an exciting time for a new worthy champion in Buddy Murphy.

All Images courtesy of WWE.