What we learned from Murphy on After The Bell

Smackdown superstar Murphy was the most recent guest on WWE’s podcast After The Bell with Corey Graves. Here are the most notable quotes from the episode.

On his beginnings

“I stepped foot in WWE day one of the Performance Center. It’s over seven years now. Before WWE, where do I start? I began watching wrestling in 1996/1997. When I first saw it I hated it. It was garbage we watched about 20 minutes. The next week we gave it another shot. Then, I was hooked. It was when Kane ripped the door off the hell in a cell. My parents thought it was going to be a phase. I never grew out of it. It was a dream but it wasn’t an obtainable dream being in Australia. As I got older, out of the blue I saw an advert in the paper for pro wrestling training. After many weeks, my parents finally let me train. It was in the most dangerous suburb of Melbourne. My mum had to pay $600 initiation and training fee. What I remember was these old, overweight guys trying to hit on my mum (laughs). I passed the assessments, I was 13 or 14. I was good at athletics at school but we don’t get scholarships or anything. I wasn’t getting anything out of it, sports didn’t really matter. From there I started at the beginners class. I picked it up very quickly. I was working with guys that were big, they thought I was older than what I was. I did that for about 10 months. I started to wrestle with friends in the back yard. It gave me another group of friends. I was an outcast guy. Not popular but not hated, just there.”

Getting to the big time

“At 18 I was starting to work out. It was something to do after school. Me and my dad would walk 5 miles to the gym. It was a full night thing but I had nothing else to do. I wasn’t a big guy but I had a bit of muscle on me. I created a name with the first company. My parents were not the most supportive as it really wasn’t an obtainable dream. I started wrestling all around Australia at this point making little money. If I had $100 in my account, I was happy. If it dropped under, I would panic. I couldn’t hold a job because wrestling was number one. I struggled, I got hurt but I loved it. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. I had a job with my stepdad but after a month I needed a month off. He gave me the thumbs up, went over to Storm Academy. There were these football players, they would knock you out of the way and stand there. It was tough to stand out in the pack. By day three there were 50 people left out of 80. I had so much determination, nothing was going to break me. In the end, you had to do a promo for Dusty. I was starstruck and had to blow him out of the water. It was killer, I caught the attention of the trainers by the way I attacked the mat. Every promo before me sounded the same, the judges didn’t really care for it. I was in the middle of the queue. Everyone was standing up, so I went in and crossed my legs. I went in the mind frame of not being accepted at school, getting thrown under the bus and getting bullied a bit. I pulled out a lighter and stared at the flame. I did a pyromaniac character where if you cross me I will burn your house down. Once I stopped there was silence and then applause. At the end the trainers say we only have one contract and it was for me! I stand up and shake their hands. Everyone turned on me then. I was the villain. That was how I did it. I started in July 2012.”

Early days in the WWE system

“I was trying everything. I did the typical Aussie. If I did it here, I wouldn’t do it on the main roster. I wanted to use the name Matt, but everyone was using it. When I sent the email to Byron Saxton, I had all the names scattered. He said the clear name is Jag Cooper. I introduced myself to Norman Smiley. He thought I said Jack. I had to introduce myself in all these different names. It came down to my autograph, Jag Cooper or Buddy Murphy. I could write Buddy Murphy better so that was it. I thought I was doomed from the start. But you become the name, and the name becomes OK. I hear that more than I hear my real name. Hopefully Buddy comes back. I did all these characters. Wesley Blake says Dusty wants us to do a promo together. I didn’t want to do a tag team. I didn’t want to be held back. Dusty loved our thing together, he thought that me and Blake looked alike. We did live events together. He was a cowboy. Eventually, we got matching gear. We ended up doing a dark match with The Revival. Everyone loved the matching gear. We wanted to become these Tron like guys. Everything we did was to get out of NXT and onto the main roster. To get where you need to get, you need to do some stuff. We did the masks, pitched invisible paint when the lights go out. The lights would go out when the hot tag came about. It was very cinematic. It never came about though. We did the tag team thing. We had Alexa Bliss and then they took Alexa out. We had the titles and then lost them. The blowup match between me and blake was thirty seconds, never made it to TV.”

On working with Seth Rollins

“So recent weeks have been bittersweet. It is so cool to work with him in ring. But I learned so much by his side and ringside. I had to give up one for the other. Staring on Smackdown, had killer matches with Roman, Bryan and Ali, then I’m off TV for weeks. Then Paul Heyman wanted me on RAW. Paul said some kind words to me and asked if anything was holding me to Smackdown. I get drafted and go straight into a program with Alistair Black. We killed it. We pull the best out of each other. We like to hit and get hit. We put on killer matches but they were only matches. The final match he beats me three times in a row. I was most relevant when Seth then picked me up and I joined his faction. I knew my role. I’m there to take the strain off of him. He has killed himself for however long. I am there to take some load off of him. All that knowledge and getting some popularity, I will give back to him. I will take the hot tag or take some punishment at live events. If he wants the night off I will go in there. He took me in, I don’t know 100% if he wanted me. He has done a lot. He’s made me the most relevant I have ever been. I am a good wrestler, but when it comes to stories, he is another level. I haven’t wasted this opportunity. The character and myself are similar. I want to be the next Seth Rollins. I want to be one of the best. I want to be the second coming of Seth.”

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