Could Trevor Murdoch have done more in WWE? Perhaps, but only if he had lost a considerable amount of weight.
Murdoch debuted on WWE TV in 2005 as part of a tag team with Lance Cade, who he would become a three-time WWE World Tag Team Champion with.
Murdoch was released from his contract in 2008 and would go on to compete for TNA Wrestling and more recently the NWA.
Last year, Murdoch won his first of two NWA World Heavyweight Championships, dethroning Nick Aldis, who had been the face of the company since its 2017 relaunch.
In June of this year, Murdoch would regain the title (which he’d lose to Tyrus at NWA Hard Times 3) but the wrestler has always hoped for a main event run.
Speaking on Foley is Pod, Mick Foley recalled a discussion between Murdoch and then-WWE CEO Vince McMahon about trying to get a push.
“Trevor told me that he once sat down with Mr. McMahon and said ‘what can I do to catch your eye? What can I do to get to the next level?’ And Vince looked at him and said ‘I hate that pasty, flabby body of yours.’ It’s kind of tough when you’re dealing with a weak genetic hand. That’s something I know a little about.
“I hate that pasty, flabby body of yours.”
Vince McMahon to Trevor Murdoch.
Foley added that despite these comments, he is pleased that Murdoch finally reached that top spot, albeit years later with the NWA.
“He was Trevor Rhodes back then, because he did look a bit like Dusty. He was a really good effective babyface. He just wanted a chance to do something… To become that guy [is difficult.] But he did. He bulked up.”
Of course, Murdoch’s success in the NWA has only come about due to the booking of Billy Corgan, who has an opposite approach to body types than McMahon according to Foley.
“Billy likes the big brawlers on top. That’s the good thing about having a company that’s yours to run. You get to decide the talent you want to see there [on top.]”
Murdoch’s WWE name comes from Dick Murdoch, the legendary brawler who was known for his hard-hitting wrestling style and once dominated in New Japan.
On the podcast, Foley explained how decades ago, Japanese audiences expected the heavy American wrestler, and that’s something Chris Jericho took on board in 2017.
“Now, he [Trevor Murdoch] has that look that Japan liked in the 80s. Stan Hansen-esque. So when Jericho went over to face Kenny Omega, Jericho specifically put on weight because in his mind, that’s what Japanese fans saw as an American main eventer. It is really interesting to see the way his mind works.”
In his first non-WWE match since July 1999, Jericho faced Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in January 2018, which Omega would win.