WWE: Buddy Murphy paves way for new generation of Australasian superstars

Buddy Murphy, WWE superstar.
Buddy Murphy, WWE superstar. Photo credit: WWE

"A dream come true."

That's how Australian pro wrestler Buddy Murphy describes a landmark moment in October 2018, when he won his first WWE singles championship in Melbourne, his hometown.

Murphy - real name Matthew Adams - became the first Australian-born WWE star to win a singles title for the sports entertainment giant, when he defeated Cedric Alexander for the cruiserweight title at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The match was rated five stars by many pro-wrestling scribes and was in the mix for WWE's Match of the Year in 2018.

But for Murphy, this surreal moment seemed impossible as a young WWE fan growing up in Australia.

"As a kid, I always wanted to be a professional performer for the WWE," Murphy told Newsub.

"I watched wrestling as a kid growing up, so to go full circle and win a championship for the biggest professional wrestling company in the world, in a stadium that I grew up going to, it was just massive."

Murphy celebrates his big win with WWE fans in Australia.
Murphy celebrates his big win with WWE fans in Australia. Photo credit: WWE

Murphy paid his dues wrestling in his home country for various promotions, including the highly rated Melbourne Championship Wrestling (MCW).

In 2013, he was picked up by the WWE, signing a development deal, before being sent to NXT - WWE's proving-ground brand.

The Melbourne native cut his teeth for five years, before getting his first big break, when he moved to WWE's high-flying '205 Live' division.

Murphy was able to showcase his high-intensity character and his hard-hitting, crowd-pleasing offence to a new audience.

He impressed immediately and found himself competing for championships in a matter of months.

The crowning moment came in front of 70,000 rabid Australians against Alexander.

Now, with prime years ahead of him, Murphy believes his 15-year journey has shaped his career to this point, but he refuses to settle, despite reaching the pinnacle of the business.

"I think my entire wrestling career, from starting out at wrestling school to wrestling my mates on mattresses In the backyard, I always put 110 percent into it," Murphy said.

"I always had that love for it, and I was always passionate about the athleticism and performance side of the business.

 "All of that, plus what I have achieved in the last decade, that has moulded me into the performer I am today, but I don't expect to be the same performer in five years' time.

"I want to expand and I want to always be at my best. I am only 30-years-old and I feel like I am not even at my peak yet.

"I still have a lot to learn, and only bigger and better things will happen for me."

Murphy takes a moment after winning WWE gold.
Murphy takes a moment after winning WWE gold. Photo credit: WWE
WWE: Buddy Murphy paves way for new generation of Australasian superstars
Photo credit: WWE

Murphy's rise to stardom has co-incided with his employers' push to unearth global talent that would have gone unnoticed a decade ago.

Many Australians and Kiwis have followed in his footsteps, as WWE discovers supreme wrestling talent lies outside the United States and United Kingdom.

Current women's tag-team champions Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, former NRL star Daniel Vidot, and New Zealand exports Dakota Kai and Travis Banks have all spent time at the WWE Performance Centre (PC) in Orlando Florida.

The PC is a genuine training facility, where talent can craft their on-camera personalities, in-ring styles and overall skills.

Murphy believes it's an exciting time to be a professional wrestler downunder and he is happy to lead the way.

"WWE has scouts all around the world and they bring a lot of talent into the industry from outside of the US," he told Newshub.

"There are a bunch of guys from New Zealand and Australia coming into the WWE Performance Centre, and big things are happening.

"I'm glad to be the frontman of the Australian takeover and that's a little pride badge that I hold high above my head."

And the 30-year-old has a chance to relive his career-high moment from 2018, when he returns home with his new brand, 'Smackdown Live', in October.

With shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to look forward too, Murphy is excited to have an opportunity to thrill his home fans again.

"Just to come back to Melbourne, and wrestle in front of my best friends and family, it doesn't get much better than that," Murphy told Newshub.

"It makes all of this worth it, being away from home. It's been six years now that I have lived in America, so when I get to come home it's truly special.

"To show my family that all the sacrifices I made were for a good reason and to have that payoff is the best feeling for me.  

"The Australian fans are so passionate and I am just lucky to have them chanting my name for once."


WWE returns to Australia from October 21-23 with shows in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne.