By Rowan Forster
Berwick’s home-grown hero Buddy Murphy has etched his name into the record books, becoming the World Wrestling Entertainment’s first ever male Australian champion.
An alumnus of Berwick Secondary College, Matthew Adams, 30, captured the WWE Cruiserweight Championship from Cedric Alexander at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday – in a nail-biting clash widely recognised as the performance of the night.
Mr Adams, who goes by the ring aliases of Buddy Murphy and Matt Silva, drew a thunderous roar from more than 70,000 passionate fans as he secured the three-count.
After the match, he stated that his dream had finally come true – especially considering he was often ridiculed for pursuing professional wrestling.
“It’s pretty indescribable,” he said.
“I captured what I said I was going to capture, the cruiserweight championship, and I did it in front of my friends and my family.
“And everyone that didn’t believe in me, everyone that laughed at me for wanting to pursue this career of professional wrestling and as a sports entertainer.”
He said he wasn’t plagued by nerves or butterflies heading into the biggest match of his career.
“I knew I should be here, a lot of people asked me if I was nervous, because I was about to wrestle in front of my family and entire city when I grew up, and I wasn’t nervous.
Mr Adams was first signed to the WWE under a developmental contract in 2013.
Before then, he grappled on independent circuits under the name Matt Silva.
Exactly 10 years ago to Monday, he was featured in the Gazette promoting an upcoming show at the Pakenham Hall.
Whether performing in front of 10 people, 500 or 70,000 – Mr Adams said his desire was to put Berwick, Melbourne and Australia on the map.
During his meteoric rise through the ranks, he competed for Melbourne Championship Wresting (MCW), competing everywhere from school theatres to Chinese restaurants.
He is prominently featured on the WWE’s 205 Live programme – a show dedicated to wrestlers weighing less than 93 kilograms.
Mr Adams now resides in Orlando Florida and is engaged to former champion and top women’s WWE competitor, Alexa Bliss.