Dunne feels that - that match along with the hard work of everyone else started this brand.
Today is the day the NXT U.K. brand has their first TakeOver show which will be live on the WWE Network from the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool, England. The card features Toni Storm challenging Rhea Ripley for the NXT U.K. Women's Championship, "Bomber" Dave Mastiff taking on Eddie Dennis, the first NXT U.K. Tag Team Champions being crowned and Pete Dunne defending his WWE U.K. Championship against Joe Coffey.
The buzz around WWE's United Kingdom brand began at the inaugural United Kingdom Championship tournament in Blackpool in January of 2017 and the finals of that tournament saw Tyler Bate become the first-ever WWE United Kingdom Champion by defeating Pete Dunne and just a few months later at NXT TakeOver: Chicago, the two men had a rematch which some considered to be the best match of 2017. "The Bruiserweight" Pete Dunne recently joined E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness and shared that the U.K. stars were informed by William Regal and Triple H that their hard work would eventually turn into something but it was just a matter of what exactly it would be and Dunne added that his match with Tyler Bate at TakeOver helped cement what would eventually turn out to be NXT U.K..
“We were promised from day one something would happen." Dunne said. "They said that they didn’t know when and they didn’t know what it was going to be exactly and it was still a long time after that match had happened but, I definitely feel like that match helped cement it a little bit. More-so just because, especially for worldwide wrestling fans especially in the U.S. and [those] that maybe hadn’t tuned into that tournament. It made them feel like it was something that they wanted 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 conferences and stuff they were saying, ‘The plan for this is to be a full-time show. We don’t know where it’s gonna air, we don’t know what it’s gonna be exactly.’ So I’m really glad, in a way, that it took that long to happen because had it happened right off the bat of the first tournament, it might have been harder to come in and be something unique where as fast forward to two years later, we have more confidence, we have more of a following." Dunne continued, "Every chance we got to appear on a TakeOver, or we’ve been a part of NXT, weekly programming in the U.S. or doing RAW or even doing the live events and stuff. Just exposing ourselves a little bit more each time over the last few years. Once again it feels like it was the right time for this show to start airing where as if we did it right off the bat which is what we thought we wanted at the time, maybe it wasn’t the right time.”
Fightful's live coverage article of NXT U.K. TakeOver: Blackpool goes up in a few hours and after the show there will be a post-show podcast where our crew reviews the event in its entirety.
If the quote in this article is used, please credit E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness with an H/T to Fightful for the transcription.