Former RAW and NXT Tag Team Champion Buddy Murphy was on a recent episode of the WWE After The Bell podcast where he recalled forming a partnership with Wesley Blake. He admitted that he wanted to be a singles star, but he did not wrestle that many matches when first starting in NXT.
"I remember getting a call from Blake saying, 'Hey, you need to come in for promo class. Dusty wants us to do a promo,' and I was like, 'I don't want to be a tag team,'" Murphy recalled. "'I'm a single star. I had wrestled two matches and broke my jaw and had it wired shut. I wasn't a single star, but I didn't want to be held back I felt, and we ended up doing that thing with me and Blake and he loved it. He thought we looked alike. I didn't see that we looked alike, but he thought we looked alike, and then we started to just do promos together.
"And we started to get some reps. We started to work on some live events, and he was a cowboy at the time. I think I had my torn shorts - an original pair in Australian colors - and we were just doing that, and then we ended up talking to Bill [DeMott] and he was like, 'Don't invest in this. This isn't going to be a thing; we're just getting you reps.'"
Murphy said he later suggested he and Blake get matching gear. He said their matching gear got a great reception, which would later lead to their successful tag run in NXT.
"Then as soon as we walked out, I looked at Blake and said, 'We need to get matching gear.' We do it," Murphy said. "We got matching gear. Mine said Murphy, his said Blake. It's exactly the same way. I wear kickpads and he wears boots because he didn't want to wear kickpads. I was like, cool, and we ended up doing a dark match with The Revival on TV.
"I remember we put our gear on and everyone's like, 'Oh man, matching gear? That's awesome.' They loved it! They loved that we bought them. It was like they'd never seen matching gear for a tag team for 15 years - it was crazy. Then we did it, and then, obviously, we looked the part. These guys put effort into it. We became a tag team, we started working The Revival, and then Jordan and Gable, and we worked so many awesome tag teams."
Murphy recalled an idea for them and Alexa Bliss to portray characters from the movie Tron. He talked about the masks they developed and how they were always trying new things because the goal was to be on the main roster.
"I remember we wanted to become these Tron guys," Murphy revealed. "My vision of Blake and Murphy with Alexa was this Tron-like world. We're energy, we're power, and we had some cool little concepts. We had these masks. We had those masks, which we thought were cool. We were like the hype and the upbeat guys.
"We were dubstep. 'Dubstep Cowboys' we were called by the wrestling community, but they went to the music. Picture a [Mustafa] Ali mask that has LEDs, and we thought it was awesome. We were obviously thinking outside the box, but I felt everything that we did was to get out of NXT and to the main roster because that's where you wanted to go.
"It would make you try stuff if you weren't doing anything, which was great. People are content, and I don't like being content, and to get where you need to get, you need to do some stuff. It forced you to be creative and draw out different stuff."
Murphy recalled another idea inspired by Super Mario Bros. where Mario gets the star bonus. He said the idea would be that one of them gets a hot tag, and the lights would go dark showing off their neon gear, until the hot tag was cut off.
"We did the mask. We had this concept of this invisible paint," Murphy stated. "When a black light would hit, you'd see the full design. And I had a pitch because Sin Cara was kind of doing lights at that point, so the idea that I pitched was like where Mario gets the start, he does the (Murphy makes the sounds from Mario).
"So the idea was when we get a hot tag, the lights change. There would be a black light, and you'd see us in neon paint and we would become like Supermen. There was nothing stopping us. (Murphy mimics the Mario music) The when we get cut off, the lights change. So it was a very cinematic kind of thing, but I thought it would be really cool. But that never made it."
Murphy reflects on his NXT tag team run, saying that he and Blake were hoping for big things after they dropped the tag titles. There was tension between the two and a break-up was teased. However, their blow-off match ended up being just them being taken out by Samoa Joe.
"We did the tag team thing for a while, and I really embraced it," Murphy said. "We had Alexa. Then they kind of took Alexa out, and it was funny how this kind of unfolded. We thought we were a very good tag team - we were the champs for a while. We lost them at the first Brooklyn, which was 100% fine, and we're on the back burner. We had a shot with the tiles.
"We did our thing, but we thought that eventually, we're going to come back around. We do some chain stuff and we'll start up fresh, and then eventually, we go to TV and it says Blake vs. Murphy. We're like, 'Ooh, this is the blow-off.' It was 30 seconds. Joe came, murdered us, never seen on TV again."
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