Buddy Murphy is free....on August 31. Let's explain.
Murphy was a part of the June 2021 WWE budget cuts. Often heralded as a future star in WWE, he was successful whenever given the ball. Unfortunately, he'd not been passed the ball in quite some time and was deemed expendable by the company. In his first post-WWE interview, Murphy spoke to Fightful about getting the news that he'd be released.
"When I got the call, I had a feeling and was on my way to the Performance Center because I had to go and get something printed out. In today's (age), who has an actual printer? My phone rings and it says 'WWE Inc.' I knew, so I didn't answer. I went in and got my things printed. Obviously, I knew it was coming because I put across that I was unhappy. Without overly stepping on toes, I made it quite apparant that I wanted to do more and where I currently was didn't sit well with me. Got my thing printed off, gave the call back, they informed me that they were going to release me and I had always heard rumblings that once that day comes, and it comes for everyone. Everyone is going to get that call one day. They would always say that this weight would get lifted off your shoulders. There are two things in my life, which people have said, which are very curious. They say, 'once you have a child, it's a love that you can't explain' and 'when you get fired from WWE, it's this crazy weight lifted off.' Those were two things that I was curious to see what people were talking about. One just happened before the other. It was a literal weight coming off and I felt free. My main concern was what would happen with my visa situation. I didn't care about the wrestling. Like I said, I wasn't overly happy there, just sitting in the back and not being utilized, but I've built a life [in America]. I have animals and a house. I've spent a quarter of my life in the US. That was my main concern because I think I have a strong belief that I have something to offer and will land on my feet. That is what I was mainly focused on. Once a couple of days passed, I embraced it and was excited with different projects to dip my foot in. It's a weird and unique situation. As well as getting punched in the stomach, it was a massive shock, but also a breath of fresh air," Murphy said.
However, the roller coaster didn't stop there. Aleister Black, rechristened Malakai Black, appeared on AEW Dynamite on July 7, making his debut, which surprised many. Black was released in the same round of cuts as his former foe Murphy, but didn't have the same 90-day non compete clause. Although WWE has been lenient of letting stars out of those of late, it was later reported that a clerical error was the cause. When Black was promoted from NXT to the main roster, the standard 30-day non-compete that NXT talent has was never upgraded to the 90-day the main roster had. WWE quickly realized the error after the releases, but some confusion still unfolded.
Murphy recalled, "I received a phone call from the office the day after I was released saying that they received an email that they messed up and my contract was only 30-day non-compete and that if I wanted to prolong it to the 90 days that they would do that for me. I thought that was weird as I was a budget cut, but you're still willing to pay me another two months, but it wasn't me. I had my letter, which says 'August 31.' August 31 is my day. When it comes to the visa situation, the more time I have, the better so I can get prepared. Even if they gave me an out, I would have to take it for my life. They thought it was me (who had a 30-day non-compete). I informed them that it wasn't because I received a letter with (August 31). It turned to relief. It went from panic to relief on the voice (on the phone call). Then they moved on. I think they panicked and obviously they got the name mixed up. It was someone, but it wasn't me. Maybe Buddy and Aleister got mixed up. Buddy or Black, they are both B's. They called me, not me. You hear all the things like the trash bag thing and I'm a pretty open-minded person and don't get affected by it. I try and see both sides of the story. I don't think there was any malice behind the garbage bag, but it's not a good look, I get it. Do I believe there was actual malice to upset (talent)? No, I don't. Definitely a shitty thing to do once you've been released and your life is being changed."
Now, Murphy is focused on his future, and specifically making sure that his visa situation is taken care of before he's forced to move to Australia.
"I'm taking the measurements that I need to take. I would like to have as many band-aids over the wound as possible. As many back-ups as possible. The ball is rolling and we'll see what happens. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. There's no point stressing on something that I can't really control. I've done the things I needed to do. Now, it's the waiting game," Murphy said.
We'll have over a half-dozen articles from our interview with Buddy Murphy over the next week or so. You can see our full interview with Buddy Murphy at the top of the page, and follow him on Twitter at this link.