How Buddy Murphy Went From WWE Castaway To The Next Potential Foreign Star In NJPW

Tony Battalio

Buddy Murphy spent eight years in WWE between the main roster and developmental brand NXT. Murphy started his professional wrestling career in 2007, working primarily on the independent scene for companies like Melbourne City Wrestling in his home country of Australia. His career was only around half a decade old when he was first noticed by WWE. He was used as a tag team wrestler and a single competitor during his time in the WWE. Murphy was also a three-time champion during his run with the promotion having captured the NXT Tag Team Titles, the Cruiserweight Title, and the Raw Tag Team Titles on one occasion each.

WWE Career (NXT)

Despite being a good in-ring performer and a dependable worker, Murphy never made it past the mid-card in his eight years with World Wrestling Entertainment. In the early days of his WWE career and NXT run, he formed a successful tag team with Wesley Blake that lasted for around three years. During his run with Blake is when Murphy was able to capture his first title in WWE, as he and Blake became NXT Tag Team Champions. They would go on to hold the belts for around 200 days before dropping them to Simon Gotch and Aiden English, otherwise known as the Vaudevillians.

WWE Career (205 Live)

After four solid years in NXT, Buddy Murphy was called up to the main roster in 2017. He began his main roster stint as a member of the Cruiserweight Divison on 205 Live, after losing weight and requesting it. On October 6th, 2018, Murphy would become a two-time champion in WWE by winning the Cruiserweight Title at Super-Showdown in his hometown of Melbourne in a match against Cedric Alexander. He would go on to hold the title for 183 days before losing to Tony Nese. Following the loss, Murphy would bounce around in several storylines before joining up with Seth Rollins.

WWE Career (Monday Night Raw)

On January 13th, 2020, Murphy would align himself with the "Monday Night Messiah" Seth Rollins. The very next week Murphy and Rollins would defeat to Viking Raiders to capture the Raw Tag Team Titles, which would be the last championship Murphy would win while with the promotion. However, their reign would not last long as they would lose the belts in early March. Following his split with Rollins, Murphy was put into a storyline with Rey Mysterio and his daughter. His final WWE appearance would come on April 9th in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, where he was eliminated by Baron Corbin.

WWE Release and NJPW Signing

Despite being one of the longest-tenured WWE performers at that point, Murphy was released from his contract on June 2nd, 2021. Much like several other WWE performers who have been released over the past two years the reason given was "budget cuts". However, his absence from professional wrestling would not last long. On October 16th, 2021 it was announced that Murphy, now going by the name Buddy Mathews had signed to New Japan Pro Wrestling. His first match with NJPW has the potential to be an instant classic as he was challenged by one of the top wrestlers in the world Kazuchika Okada.