The latest rumors suggest that Monday Night Raw executive director Paul Heyman has been given the go-signal to shine a bigger spotlight on two of the red brand's more promising mid-card talents -- former NXT Champion Aleister Black and ex-Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy.
As reported by Sportskeeda, longtime combat sports journalist Dave Meltzer said on a recent edition of Wrestling Observer Radio that Heyman is trying to position Black for a spot as one of Raw's top babyfaces and is likewise working on giving Murphy a push as a leading heel. The outlet also cited Meltzer's co-host, Bryan Alvarez, who said that he was expecting Black and Murphy to continue feuding with each other and eventually join forces as a tag team -- much like Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch in NXT. However, Meltzer clarified that it looks like the plan is for both men to be pushed as singles stars.
While this could bode well for the two wrestlers, who are both in their early 30s with limited experience on WWE's top two brands, Meltzer warned listeners that WWE owner and chairman Vince McMahon has been known to pull the plug on newer or younger wrestlers' pushes.
"There is always the chance, no matter what the plan is it gets derailed. It's [a] pretty high percentage when it comes to new stars, things get derailed.."Citing an example of a young up-and-comer whose push was abruptly ended by McMahon, WrestlingNews.co mentioned the case of Cedric Alexander, who had briefly feuded with AJ Styles for the latter's United States Championship earlier this year. After teaming up with Roman Reigns in an earlier storyline and losing his rivalry against Styles, the 30-year-old Alexander was seemingly demoted back to his previous lower-card role with no explanation, save for the belief that McMahon has "given up" on him.
As for Murphy and Black, it appears that Heyman's reported plan to give them a better push is already underway. On this week's pre-taped edition of Monday Night Raw, both men emerged victorious in squash matches against non-contracted enhancement talents. This is in line with recent reports that claimed the Raw executive director wants to build new stars by giving them quick and easy wins -- either against independent workers who aren't under WWE deals, or NXT wrestlers who have yet to establish themselves on the black-and-gold brand's programming.
Per WWE's official website, Black and Murphy are scheduled to resume their feud on the December 30 episode of Raw, where they will take part in a rematch of their December 15 encounter.