On the WrestleMania Pre-show, Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese wrestled for the Cruiserweight Championship to open the night. Ever since 205 Live was created, the division has always managed to put on some exceptional matches at PPV events, just normally on the pre-show, however. The matches have been so good that many fans want the whole division to start getting more of a chance on the main show.
Buddy Murphy won the title back in October, in Australia at the Super Showdown, beating Cedric Alexander. The match was showcased on the main card as well, and Murphy and Alexander definitely delivered.
Buddy Murphy’s road to the Cruiserweight Championship
Buddy Murphy worked alongside Wesley Blake in NXT, winning championship gold together for the first time in 2015. I was never a fan of the tag team in NXT, I always thought they came across as a little boring if I’m honest. The tag team cut ties in 2016, with Blake and Alexa Bliss walking away from Murphy. He was used quite sparingly on NXT TV for the rest of the year, but still used on live shows throughout 2017 as well.
At the start of last year, Murphy cut weight to get under the 205 limit, and asked to be moved to the cruiserweight show. During this time off of TV, he no doubt made a real push to focus on his in ring work, and it really paid off for him. After showing a very impressive improvement throughout the year, he finally beat Cedric Alexander for the title at the second time of asking. Since then, he successfully defended it against a whole host of guys such as Ali, Cedric Alexander, Akira Tozawa, Kalisto and Hideo Itami.
After dropping the belt to Tony Nese at Mania, people have started to wonder what is next for the former champion. I believe that they could use Buddy Murphy in a number of ways going ahead. Here’s a few ideas.
Continue to run 205 Live
Many people have been saying that 205 Live’s roster needs a bit of an update. Whilst I do agree, I also think just adding 1 or 2 big time players can help them out just as much, using the current talent for brand new matchups. Murphy has proven to us all that he can put on incredible performances with almost anyone on the roster, so keeping him in the division and having him against fresh opponents can help boost the show massively. He can of course try again for the title, despite WWE removing automatic rematches recently, for some bizarre reason. That will be another great match between the two of them, if given time, and could spark another impressive title run.
“Call-up” to main roster
We recently saw Ali move more away from 205 Live and join the SmackDown superstars each week. I believe doing something similar with Murphy can work really well for the Aussie, but maybe on Raw. I know Raw doesn’t book their superstars in the best of manner, but Murphy would instantly be a hit on the undercard, and could for sure make a run at the Intercontinental Championship at some point. Daniel Bryan was supposedly responsible for getting Ali off of 205 Live, so I’m not sure how likely it could be for Murphy, but I have no doubt he’ll have veteran performers singing his praises to WWE officials.
Return to NXT
This one might be out of left field, but I believe NXT and Buddy Murphy could make something work. With Aleister Black and Ricochet going up to the main roster full time now, the NXT main event scene could do with a injection of talent to challenge Gargano for the gold. Murphy could be a great suiter to help out the younger talent like Riddle and Dream. Going down to NXT means he’ll have TV time to put on some awesome matches, but also so he could get back to wrestling with a more power-based move set. He could then be called up to the main roster, full time.
Either way, Murphy has forced WWE into thinking about potentially moving him about on a new roster given his work over the past year. It’s been quite an organic come up since his debut on 205 Live, at a pace I don’t think anyone expected at the time. It’s more than likely he will stay on the purple brand to help keep the quality in the division, but don’t be surprised if we see something new from him in the coming weeks.