Would a SummerSlam loss to Roman Reigns mean burial for Buddy Murphy, or would it be the brightest spotlight the Best Kept Secret has ever performed under?
SummerSlam is on the horizon and as of this writing we don’t know if Roman Reigns has a match with Buddy Murphy on the show. Roman doesn’t have an announced match but he’s going to be fighting somebody there for sure; given how things shook out on the go home Smackdown show that opponent is likely Murphy or Erick Rowan. If it is Muphy that’s a huge opportunity for a guy who was one his way to being future endeavored from NXT until he got chosen for a spot on 205 Live in January of 2018. At least that’s what some of us are thinking. But Wrestling Twitter being what it is, there have been some sentiment that this isn’t such a good thing for Mr. Murphy, because he’d likely lose the match. Up until last week, Murphy was working dark matches and sitting in catering during the show, but apparently that’s preferable to taking a loss to Roman at SummerSlam. This sums how I and the people who have fully functioning brains when it comes to this stuff feel:
I love that there are folks that would rather see Buddy Murphy sit in catering than take a loss to Roman Reigns.
"Im a huge fan, but I don't want to possibly see you on a pay per view facing the top guy." is such a weird take.😑
— Will Mahoney (@HeelWillMahoney) August 9, 2019
I can’t agree more. Look, losing one match is not getting buried, ok? Losing one match on the second biggest show of the year to the top guy in the company, a match where you’re likely going to get 10 minutes to work and get in a good bit of offense, damn sure isn’t a burial. If you think it is I have to ask, do you know what a burial even is? Have you never seen someone take a loss, then go on to much bigger things? I mean the two biggest storylines going into WrestleMania this year both started with the protagonists taking a loss, clean losses at that, and ended with both of them winning championships. Kofi Kingston was a tag team guy as recent as February of this year, and hadn’t had a meaningful singles program in over five years. He took three straight losses in big matches on the front end of the story (one each in a gauntlet match before and after Elimination and the chamber match itself). Was he buried? Of course not, even though that genius Bryan Alvarez was out there claiming that Kofi was being ‘cooled off’ less than a month before he’d win the WWE World Championship.
But Kofi’s career story is nothing like Murphy’s so maybe we need a more similar example. I have one! Let’s hop in the old time machine here and go back to 2002. A young man came up from the old OVW developmental territory and made his way to WWE television. He spent the next year mostly losing competitive matches to more established people on the roster. He didn’t even make the card for WrestleMania 19 a year later. Who was this guy? A failed experiment named John Cena.
Now if Cena were an NXT call up in 2018 and had the same kind of first year on the main roster that he had in 2002 he’d be another NXT star that Wrestling Twitter would say got ruined on the main roster. That’s just where we are today, and it’s really dumb. What exactly is it that you want for Buddy if not this? Most of the people watching the main roster do not watch NXT or 205 Live, and they’re not going to be won over by him having a bunch 205 Live style workrate matches on Smackdown Live. He needs some kind of involvement in some kind of storyline so that whenever he shows up there’s a reason to watch. So it’s either this or he sits until they give him a character revamp and relaunch him, because “I’m a great in ring worker” is not something you can do on the main roster.
Whether you realize it or not, Buddy may be getting a hell of an opportunity here. Being in an angle with the top guy in the company gives him a shot at matches not just with Roman but with whoever else steps in to help Roman out, which can in turn make viable on his own going forward. The alternative is dark matches and house show matches, it’s not getting hotshotted to the main event because he’s such a good in ring worker. So do you want him to be used in a way that gives him a chance to put together a long run of a career, or do you just want him to be given stuff because he ‘deserves’ it? Or perhaps you want him to get frustrated and go to AEW, where he can…maybe reach the midcard and put over Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, Jon Moxley, etc. Come on now, everyone you like can’t go there, ok?
So look, if he gets the match at SummerSlam you should be happy for him. If he gets some matches on TV as a result of being in Roman’s orbit, be happy for him. Don’t do that thing where if he doesn’t win he’s misused or buried, ok? Don’t be that person. You’re better than that.