WWE Rumors: ‘SmackDown Live’ Star’s Surprise Push Was Not Planned, Per Bryan Alvarez

Buddy Murphy (R) kicks Apollo Crews (L) during their match at WWE SummerSlam on August 11, 2019.

After months of SmackDown Live’s creative team seemingly having nothing for him, former WWE Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy was suddenly thrust into the spotlight when he became involved in Roman Reigns’ mystery attacker storyline. While Reigns defeated Murphy on this week’s episode of SmackDown Live, things have been looking much better for the Australian grappler as of late, but as the latest rumors suggest, his much-improved push may have come about as a complete accident.

As explained by Wrestling Inc., fans began speculating that Murphy might have been the forklift driver who tried to injure Reigns on the July 30 episode of SmackDown Live, as he was visible in the background of a video of this onscreen angle. This led to his insertion in the mystery attacker storyline on the August 6 episode, as he was confronted by Reigns, only to deny his involvement and accuse Rowan of perpetrating the attack, per Sportskeeda’s recap.

On Wednesday’s episode of Wrestling Observer Live, co-host Bryan Alvarez explained the reason behind Murphy’s involvement in the storyline with Reigns, stating that the relatively new SmackDown Live star wasn’t actually supposed to be in the video where he was spotted in the background. As cited by Wrestling Inc., Alvarez explained that WWE became aware of the online speculation regarding Murphy and decided to “run with it” by having him take part in one of the blue brand’s top ongoing storylines at the moment.

As further pointed out, Murphy’s losing effort against Reigns on Tuesday was his first televised match on SmackDown Live since he was drafted to the blue brand in April via this year’s Superstar Shake-Up. He also was booked to appear on the SummerSlam kickoff show on Sunday, where he defeated Apollo Crews via disqualification – according to WWE’s recap, Murphy was declared the winner after Rowan interfered in the match and beat down on him, clearly upset over being implicated in the attack on Reigns.

Storyline developments aside, Roman Reigns hasn’t hesitated to put Buddy Murphy over on social media in recent weeks. According to Wrestling Inc., the former world champion took to Twitter last week, slightly breaking character as he praised Murphy for being a “stud” and “great in the ring.” Reigns then shared another tweet early on Wednesday morning where he said he “meant every word” he said about the former cruiserweight standout’s in-ring ability.

For his part, Murphy has acknowledged this praise, tweeting on Wednesday that the whole world “knows [his] name” and adding a folding-hands emoji to express his thanks for the positive feedback.