WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne was recently a guest on E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness. Among many other things, Dunne talked about building the NXT UK brand, whether he was always aware of WWE's plans for NXT UK, dream opponents, and opportunities arising from WWE brands crossing over with each other.
According to Dunne, building the NXT UK brand has given him and other NXT UK talent different priorities than other WWE performers exclusively focused on make it to the main roster as quickly as possible.
"It's this unique opportunity that we never thought existed," Dunne admitted. "And then, being able to do that, and then being responsible for our own careers and taking the next step with that, but then feeling… pressure's the wrong word because we've enjoyed the experience, but feeling that responsibility to [say], 'okay, let's make a brand for everyone in the UK, for not only the wrestlers that have been doing this for so long,' and ever since it went off TV, five years or however long it has been, there has been a bit of a gap. 'When will British wrestling come back to TV?' To get the opportunity to bring it back and to give us that little bit more of responsibility and a good focus as well. Instead of us thinking we need to get to the main roster as quick as we can, we have a completely different focus, which was 'let's build this from the ground floor and do something completely original.'"
"We were promised from Day One that something would happen," Dunne remembered. "They just said they didn't know when and they just said they didn't know what it was going to be exactly. And it was still a long time after that [Tyler Bate TakeOver] match happened, but I definitely feel like that match helped to cement [NXT UK] a little, especially for a worldwide audience. It made them feel like [NXT UK] is something they would want to see and it legitimized the title a little bit more. But we were told from Day One by Regal and Triple H from even when we were doing the press conference and stuff that there would be a full time show."
On the subject of dream matchups, Dunne said he would like to face current WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, AJ Styles, Rey Mysterio, and Matt Riddle.
"The one that I always say would be sort of a dream match for me would be Brock Lesnar," Dunne divulged. "I think that would be a sort of interesting mix of styles, especially because a lot of guys my size don't wrestle the style that I do, so I think that would be really interesting for people to watch. AJ Styles is a massive one for me. He's someone I always wanted to wrestle. Rey Mysterio, he's up there too. But then, aside from that, even in the NXT brand, there are so many people I haven't had a chance to work with. I got to do one or two matches with Matt Riddle on the independents, but I'd love to work with Matt Riddle in NXT. I think we'd be able to do some really interesting stuff that people haven't seen before."
In Dunne's view, the crossover between WWE brands can lead to interesting possibilities.
"It's getting to the point now where different [WWE] brands can mix with other ones and there are so many different options all under the same banner, which has never happened before and I didn't really think it was possible. It has all happened so fast." Dunne explained, "before you could only really make a name for yourself on the independents or Japan, but Mustafa Ali is someone who has been chipping away since the cruiserweight tournament. He almost had this run on the main roster that someone like AJ Styles or Samoa Joe, someone like that, would have on the independents, but he has been able to do that within this company, which is a really cool idea and it'll be really interesting to see it even more in the next few years."
Click here to listen to the podcast or check it out in the audio player below. If you use any of the quotations from this article, please credit E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness