Former NXT Tag Team Champion Buddy Murphy made his main roster debut this past Tuesday for 205 Live, after dropping considerable weight to make the cut (similar to what Cedric Alexander did in slimming down for the 2016 WWE Cruiserweight Classic). Buddy Murphy, “Wrestling’s Best Kept Secret”, impressed in his Cruiserweight Division debut, showing off an athleticism and arsenal unseen in his NXT days. But one move had the internet buzzing and that was his new singles finisher, which looks like a variation of a Fisherman Buster into a CrossRhodes. Well, thanks to some research from my friend Billy Long, we can reveal that it’s actually called a Whale Hunt, and was a signature move of Japanese legend Shuji Kondo (it occurs around the 2:45 minute mark in the WWE video below).
A former rugby player who trained under Ultimo Dragon, he debuted for Ultimo’s Toryumon Japan promotion in 2001. Following Toryumon’s closure in 2004, he headed to All-Japan where he joined the faction Voodoo Murders with YASSHI, Satoshi Kojima, TARU and other Japanese stars, plus several gaijin like Giant Bernard (WWE’s Albert), Charlie Haas, Lance Cade, Chuck Palumbo and current AJPW Triple Crown Champion Joe Doering. During his run with AJPW he was a 2x AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Champion and All-Asia Tag Team Champion (with YASSHI), and took part in exhibition matches in NJPW and Pro Wrestling NOAH (where he won the GHC Junior Heavyweight title once).
In 2014, he joined Keiji Mutoh (The Great Muta)’s WRESTLE-1 where he remains active today, where he was a 2x WRESTLE-1 Tag Team Champion with former AJPW and WCW star Kaz Hayashi in Team 246. Early last spring, Kondo was named executive vice president of WRESTLE-1, joining his former tag partner Hayashi who was named president.
Buddy Murphy not only shocked the WWE Universe with his impressive performance this past Tuesday on 205 Live, but got the win against Ariya Daivari. Murphy advances in the WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament, heading to round two to face Mustafa Ali.