Butch (Pete Dunne) discusses his name change, main roster call-up, working with Sheamus

Butch, the former 'Pete Dunne' speaks about his name change, when he found out about the shift in his character and more with Mark Andrews

Photo Courtesy: WWE

Dunne tells all about the shift in his presentation.

After a five-year stint as a part of the NXT UK and NXT U.S. brands, Pete Dunne, now known as ‘Butch’, formally made his main roster debut and is aligned with Sheamus and Ridge Holland on SmackDown. Prior to his arrival to the main roster, Dunne had challenged Carmelo Hayes for the North American Title on the 3/1 NXT 2.0 program.

He dove into the new character when invited onto Mark Andrews’ ‘My Love Letter to Wrestling’ show. He said it’s exciting to be on this new venture and he had been in the same place for the past five years, so why not try something new.

Yeah, I mean it’s exciting, but it’s also a little bit — I mean it’s just different but I think it’s time to change it up a little bit [Dunne said about his name change and character]. Like I said, five years, fresh start, why not try something a little new? And the thing is with me, whether it’s a name or whatever it is that changes, that’s not really what endeared me to the audience in the first place, right? It’s the — I like to think anyways it’s the quality of the in-ring work and that’s what I’m gonna keep the same of course. It’s gonna get better, it’s gonna improve as time goes. So that’s sort of my perspective on it. If I can endear the crowd with the quality of my in-ring work, that’s what I’m looking to continue to do.

During the conversation, Dunne said he knew his time in NXT was coming to an end for several weeks. In terms of the call-up, he said that happened very fast and plans started being relayed to him the day before his arrival to TV.

He brought up his 2019 Survivor Series appearance in reference to being within the main roster environment before and said WrestleMania season is a great time to be called up.

I’ve kind of had an idea of the fact that my NXT time might be coming to an end for a few weeks now. But in terms of the call-up to SmackDown and everything that came with it, that was really fast. It would have been the day before I was traveling pretty much, started to find bits and pieces out so, but yeah, I’ve known for a while that — really since the change in NXT, I’ve known that, okay, I’m probably coming to the end of my spot in NXT really and then especially in the last month or so, things have really amped up and you know you start hearing things and that kind of stuff but, WrestleMania season, that adds to it. What a great time to be called up and be in the mix so, I’ve already been lucky enough to — even though I was in NXT, still getting to do things like the one Survivor Series so I’m slowly ticking them all off and obviously Mania is the big one so, it’s a great time to get the call-up and be in the mix.

The pairing of ‘Butch’, Sheamus and Ridge Holland is one that has felt welcoming to Dunne. He said that Sheamus has expressed his excitement about what’s to come and in turn, that makes Dunne feel welcomed. He remembers watching Sheamus’ early run in WWE and said they’ve crossed paths in the U.K. before.

Yeah, he [Sheamus] would have been a name on that list to work with too. He’s someone I crossed paths with a lot but, we started around the same time when — might have been in the UK. Obviously there’s an age gap but it’s still a similar time and I remember watching his stuff on The Wrestling Channel [The Fight Network] back in the day and then seeing how far he’s come so, we feel like we have a lot more in common. Obviously, we haven’t known each other that long but, we definitely have more in common than we think we would and it’s good to see how excited he is for all this as well. He’s been there so long and he’s still excited about the prospect of that and seeing how far we can take it so, that’s endearing to come in and see that veteran up there who’s still, you know, he wants to kill it and he wants to my grow name bigger and he wants to help me and Ridge [Holland] make our names solid so, yeah, he’s a good guy.

Throughout Dunne’s time under the NXT umbrella, he was able to win the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic with Riddle, become NXT Tag Team Champion and is the second longest reigning NXT UK Champion.

He feels that he was lucky to be a part of NXT for as long as he was and admitted that there was a point when he thought it’d be a shame to get from under the umbrella.

It’s exciting. You know, because being in NXT for five years now so, time to change it up and see what we can do and start pushing forward with a new challenge.

Yeah, I was lucky to have as long as I did in NXT and to be honest, there was a point in there where I felt it’d be a shame to stop being in NXT. Obviously, we always wanted to move on and be a part of WrestleMania and that kind of stuff but, it was definitely a time there where NXT was rolling how it was and so many people to work with. It was every matchup was exciting, when we were on the road, TV, TakeOvers especially whenever it was and I didn’t seem like I really [looked] forward to be out of there, but it’s definitely time to move up so, I’m grateful for five years but it’s exciting to see what comes next.

If Dunne had his pick to compete against any legend, he would love to square off with AEW’s William Regal. He later added that if he’s speaking from a realistic standpoint, he hopes to share the ring with AJ Styles in WWE.

It could never happen, right? But the obvious name is [William] Regal. What he’s done for all of our careers really, but specifically, you know, you can see I wear the same colors when I wrestle and stuff like that-that he has and the impact he’s had on my career. He’s the obvious name [that is my dream match] and I think from fans too, that’s the one I hear all the time. ‘I wish I could see that match, I wish we could see that matchup.’ It’s gotta be him and [if] we’re talking a more realistic option, obviously, like you said earlier, AJ Styles.

Dunne has yet to have a match on the main roster, but he is ringside for Ridge Holland and Sheamus’ bouts. He has physically targeted Kofi Kingston on several occasions after matches.

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit ‘My Love Letter to Wrestling’ with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions. 

About Andrew Thompson 6891 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.