Trevor Murdoch is showing everybody he has a lot more to give back to the wrestling business.
The new NWA National Champion recently spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard and talked about his decision to return to the ring with the National Wrestling Alliance. Considering himself retired for a few years, Murdoch came back with the NWA in 2019 and his run was capped off with a title win last month.
“When COVID hit, things were on pace, again, like you said man, I was going to the Crockett Cup, I was going to have my rematch with Aron Stevens and then when COVID hit, it obviously brought a lot of concern on my end of whether or not I was going to get that opportunity again. We were really on fire and thankfully the NWA, they realized that that match needed to happen again and the people were asking for it. And even though it took us six months to get back to it, the fans were still hot and fired up for it and behind it and it was a great moment in my career. It’s something that I worked for for a long time,. I’ve always, I guess been classified as an ‘old school guy’ and NWA always had a place in my heart especially because of Harley so to be a champ for the NWA is the top, in my opinion, the top in my business.”
“When it comes to COVID, since I’ve won the title and whether or not I’m going to defend it or not, right now I’m kind of in a holding pattern when it comes to who I’m going to wrestling next because of COVID. We want to make it big and make it mean something so I’m in a little bit of a holding pattern, but I’m definitely trying to get out there as soon as I can to step in the ring and defend my title.”
Murdoch’s latest run got sidetracked due to the pandemic but he explained that the National Wrestling Alliance meant a lot to him due to his mentor, Harley Race’s relationship with the company. Murdoch says he never had planned on jumping back into things quite this way but some early encouragement and reaction from the fans made him see he made the right decision.
“Of course. That was part of it, and it really came down to NWA saying—they had literally convinced me [to come back]. I had met up with at Harley’s funeral, the current NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Nick Aldis, and Dave Lagana, at the time was the executive producer. They said come to one taping, just bring your gear and we ain’t have a match booked for you but you can agent some other matches. Just come down, and it literally took them about a half an hour to convince me because I had felt like maybe my time had passed in the business, and they really convinced me that that wasn’t the case at all. When I flew down and showed up at GPB Studios, the first thing they asked me was ‘do you have your gear with you?’ I said, ‘yeah, I’m a wrestler…’ and they said ’OK, you’re wrestling Ricky Starks.’ I had a great match with Ricky and I came to the back, my confidence is up and I got pulled to the side, they said ‘you’ve got way more in the tank.’ They said, ‘We think there’s some longevity with you and we’d like to have you stick around.’ With the response I got from people, it wasn’t hard to come back.”
In the past, WWE ‘normalized’ a certain look and made fans conditioned into thinking certain wrestlers had ceilings based on physical appearances. Murdoch explained that he sought feedback as far as what the company wanted and they told him to be himself.
“NWA is a place for guys to go and get over. It’s for guys to be real. That’s a freeing feeling for a wrestler that’s been shackled into [the mindset of] ‘you have to be this way because’—no, that’s not the case! What NWA has done is given those guys like myself the opportunity and a platform to showcase those skills. Now everybody thinks it’s the coolest thing since sliced bread but guys like me, Eddie Kingston, some of these other guys, we’ve been around for a long time. It’s just now we have somebody putting a camera in our face and a microphone and say ‘go do you.’”