On the March 11 episode of WWE SmackDown, Pete Dunne became Butch, joining the SmackDown brand and aligning with Sheamus & Ridge Holland.
Despite his history and success in NXT, Dunne was rebranded and renamed, upsetting and confusing some fans as to why the change was made.
Speaking to Alistair McGeorge of Metro, Butch discussed the change.
"I knew it was coming," he admitted. "I didn’t know the name Butch specifically, but I figured there would be a name change, I knew that would be the case. I knew there would be multiple changes alongside that, so I went in with a very open mind. I was aware of that [the backlash], and that’s quite nervewracking at the time ’cause you know the reaction that’s coming from people. But, you just have to tune out from that and focus on what you can, and that’s the quality of the work you put out. Seeing it catch on in different places, it’s almost more rewarding because I know who I am with Pete Dunne and the Bruiserweight, that’s established. But to start establishing something new is a really rewarding process."
Butch said that things feel fresh after 16 years in wrestling and that he is fine as long as the in-ring is the same quality.
In the end, Vince McMahon seems happy with the change.
"He seems really into this, as you can imagine," Butch smiled. "He seems really into the idea of Butch. It is entertaining. Not that I want my NXT work to vanish, it never will – it’s always gonna be there, and I hope people can always appreciate it. But if you could do that and you could start all over again, and this is me coming in fresh to the company, I think there’d be a lot of people who’d look at it through a different lens."
Butch most recently teamed with Sheamus & Ridge on the May 27 episode of WWE SmackDown, but were defeated by Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, & Xavier Woods.
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