Buddy Murphy is a budding star on WWE’s SmackDown brand.
Last week Murphy wrestled a highly-competitive one-on-one match against Roman Reigns, where he lost but looked like he belonged up against WWE’s top star.
Then this week on SmackDown, the former 205 Live wrestler and former Cruiserweight Champion beat Daniel Bryan. That’s right … he BEAT Daniel Bryan.
All of this stems from Murphy’s seemingly innocuous involvement in the “who keeps attacking Roman Reigns” storyline. In recent weeks, Reigns has had backstage equipment toppled onto him during a backstage interview and was then run down by a car in the parking lot during a SmackDown taping.
The storyline began with Samoa Joe as the main suspect, but that shifted in the weeks that followed and Erick Rowan, Bryan’s muscle, was revealed as the attacker — a charge that Bryan adamantly denied.
The latest twist this week closed SmackDown, when Bryan unveiled the “real attacker,” who was an older man who resembled Rowan but we were not given any indication of who he actually was.
Where does Murphy’s involvement come in?
WWE fans noticed him in the hallway in the segment before Reigns was attacked backstage. That’s it.
If you believe the rumor, Murphy wasn’t even supposed to be in the shot. He may have accidentally walked into the camera view during the segment backstage.
Rumors swirled up online that Murphy was the attacker after fans spotted him in the shot, and WWE ran with it, actually involving him in the program.
That’s the story. It feels a tad sensational that WWE would take what was an error, and turn it into a huge push for Murphy, but that’s kind of the way Vince McMahon books his television. Plans change weekly. Actually, to be more accurate, plans change hourly.
The end result is a budding star in Murphy, who has not only looked legitimate in these matches, but the fans have accepted him in his newfound role near the top of the card on the blue brand.
Respect from the crowd is usually the hardest thing to earn (just as Reigns), but Murphy already has it.