Pete Dunne
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Pete Dunne Says He Wants To Create Something Before He Goes To The Main Roster

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Pete Dunne is the longest reigning champion in WWE currently and the face of the NXT UK brand. Dunne recently spoke to SportBible about NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool, eventually moving to the main roster, and more. Below are some quotes:

Pete Dunne On The Progression Of The UK Scene:

No. No, originally when I was coming up on the independents, it was just the light at the end of the tunnel. I always knew I would get here and I thought Tyler [Bate] could get here, but outside of that, I didn’t think that many of my peer group would be able to do this. Now fast-forward out of history with every single roster member [and] I’ve wrestled almost every single one of them all around the country, some of them around the world. Likewise with the US NXT brand, the same thing. Look at that WarGames match: every single person in that match I have history with. It’s really cool how WWE has developed in [British wrestling] and there’s more opportunity for people who grew up loving pro wrestling.

Pete Dunne On NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool:

Yeah, it’s extra special for me because that’s where I made my name. For myself and Tyler especially, Blackpool is special to us because that’s where we really kick-started our own careers, so it’s special for me to go back there two years on and see how far we’ve come. And I think sometimes with this job because it’s walking on to the next you never get time to settle in, but I’m sure on that day, though, that I’m going to take a minute and really take in just how far we’ve come over the last two years. So for me, it’s special.

And then for the brand, it’s vital that we have that opportunity to go live. It’s such a huge difference in going live on the [WWE] Network as to an episodic show — not that it isn’t great exposure. But TakeOver is a completely different animal, so for the brand, it’s a massive, massive step in the right direction.

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Pete Dunne On  His Title Reign:

Yeah, the growth of the independents, especially in the UK, has been crazy. We’ve been able to take Progress [Wrestling] over to Australia and to the States. I think a crucial part of that is the involvement from WWE. You know, being able to expose people like me, Trent [Seven], Tyler, Mark Andrews, etc., and then us still having the opportunity to go there and meet the fans and be personal with the fans on the independents, which obviously has a much more intimate feel. Not only has it helped build a platform for NXT UK, but it’s also helped the independents.

I would go as far as to say that obviously there was a lot there for NXT UK to start but had we started it two years ago just after that [Championship] Tournament, it wouldn’t have been the same as it is now. It took those two years of being exposed on NXT in the US or the appearance I made on Raw or the live events that we’ve done with SmackDown and Raw. And on top of that, all the independents that we’ve been doing: meeting the fans, building a rapport, getting that title seen. That has been a major part in laying the foundation for this. Now I feel like we’ve kick-started it good, but TakeOver is the one where we really kick-start all of this.

Pete Dunne On Moving Up To The Main Roster & Potential Opponents:

Yeah, one day! I mean, for now, my focus is entirely NXT UK. I enjoy the stuff I do in the States with the US side of things and I’m really glad I get to have that experience, but still… even when I’m there my main focus is this brand, is this title. I want people to be able to look back at those title defenses and say every single one of them held up. I want to create something before I eventually do leave to go to the main roster or to the US brand full time or whatever else opens up for me. I wanna build this and make it as solid as I can and build the best foundations as possible. So, that is entirely my focus. But maybe one day.

AJ Styles. He was my favourite wrestler when I was younger, so he’s up there. There [are] loads: Brock Lesnar, Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe. There are so many people I grew up watching, especially that early Ring of Honor period. That was what I was into. It seems like a lot of them have now migrated over on to the main roster, so I couldn’t wait to get in with all of them. But I have to be patient and take it one step at a time. For now, let’s focus on TakeOver, building foundations for this and then, down the line when it means more, hopefully, I can get in with people like AJ and Daniel Bryan, etc.