It looks like yet another WWE superstar will be known by only one name going forward, as Buddy Murphy — one-half of the reigning Raw Tag Team Champions with Seth Rollins — is now listed simply under his surname on the company’s website.
The news was originally reported by Post Wrestling on Friday, with the publication citing “several” internal sources, though it was also specified that the name change has already been made official on Murphy’s WWE profile page. Additionally, it is expected that the 31-year-old wrestler will be billed under his newly shortened ring name on the promotion’s social media accounts and on Raw, starting with next week’s episode, as separately stated by WrestlingNews.co.
As noted by Cultaholic, this won’t be the first time that the Monday Night Raw star will only be going by his last name. Before his main roster move in 2018, Murphy spent five years as part of the NXT roster, dropping his first name in 2015 while he and Wesley Blake reigned as the black-and-gold brand’s Tag Team Champions. He went back to his original ring name in June 2016.
Although it’s unclear why WWE decided to tweak Murphy’s ring name, WrestlingNews.co pointed out that the company’s owner, Vince McMahon, has been “known to go back-and-forth” when it comes to the names of some of his superstars. One such example was Charlotte Flair, who was originally booked under her first name before she started using her surname. Despite that long-running change, WWE is still reportedly on the fence regarding whether she should be billed under her complete ring name or not.
Likewise, Friday Night SmackDown‘s Mustafa Ali has zigzagged between using two names and one, with WWE dropping his forename early in 2019 but restoring his full ring name in November. The same applied to Erick Rowan and the since-released Luke Harper, who temporarily lost their first names during their time as the Bludgeon Brothers.
Murphy’s name change comes just as the former Cruiserweight Champion is enjoying his most productive run as part of WWE’s main roster, which recently saw him join Rollins’ villainous stable on Raw and team up with the “Monday Night Messiah” to win the red brand’s Tag Team Championships. The Australian grappler, who was largely underutilized prior to the October 2019 brand draft, has also been referred to multiple times as one of Raw executive director Paul Heyman’s favorite wrestlers, hence his much-improved push and involvement in major storylines since late last year.