Buddy Murphy played a prominent role in last year’s storyline in WWE between Seth Rollins and The Mysterios. First Murphy helped extract Rey Mysterio’s eyeball as an evil disciple of Rollins. He later expressed regret and became romantically involved with Rey’s 19-year-old daughter, Aalyah.

Aalyah’s young age and the 13 year age gap between her and Murphy raised some eyebrows and concerns about the message WWE was conveying with this storyline. It’s usually a bad sign when a wrestling angle makes one think about the laws of consent.

Now that Murphy is released from WWE, he explained to Chris Van Vliet that he was not comfortable at all with kissing Aalyah:

“I wasn’t comfortable kissing Aalyah. I did that because it was my job and it was going to create more drama in the story. Originally, there was no kiss scripted. They [the producers] went and they talked to Vince about something. They come back and they pitch it to me but they are kind of weird. Then they say ‘…and then you kiss her.’ I start laughing and go ‘fuck off.’ But then they are like ‘No we are serious.’ I look at the other producer and he was like [nods head]. I’m like ‘No way! How did you come back with this?’ My whole thing was I had to play it very carefully. I said to them ‘I’m not going to express feelings to her. I can’t pursue her, she has to pursue me.’ This was because of the age difference. You don’t make it any easier when you use my birthday as ‘the message.’ So now you have given them [fans] the information of how old is he? How old is she? What? I think them saying ‘Happy birthday’ basically just outed that. I wasn’t comfortable with it, but they didn’t help with the situation. I’m like ‘What does she [Aalyah] think about it.’

“They go, ‘She’s cool with it.’ I’m like ‘What!’ They went to her first, I thought she was going to shoot it down. So then I go ‘What about Rey?’ they say ‘They’re OK with it?’ I’m like well if they are OK with it, I can’t be the one that goes whatever. I was very blunt with them, I can’t pursue her, if I do, I’m a creep. I’m a ‘pedo’ as people say on the internet. If she goes for me, she’s an empowered woman that knows what she wants. I think they sold her on a Hollywood-style kiss. I’m not in Hollywood, what’s a Hollywood-style kiss? They explain the camera shots. We are live on TV you can’t do these behind the head camera shots. There’s 8 cameras on you, who knows which one they are going to shoot you on. If there’s a gap, the whole thing is done. Seth was nervous about it because this whole storyline rides on this one kiss. I’m uncomfortable, and she’s new. We are out there and about to cut the promo and I said to her this needs to look good. If you have any second minds, I am giving you the green light. Do whatever you want, it’s 100% you. Do what you need to do, this needs to look good. It looked great, the aftermath wasn’t great for me. But we are both adults, we are both acting, we gave each other a high 5 after it and that was it.”

When your only choices are this kind of murky creative direction or disappearing off television altogether, it’s no wonder that Murphy didn’t sound happy at all towards the end of his WWE run.