Pete Dunne is the new favorite bad boy of international wrestling, and it's gotten him noticed by Triple H and placed him squarely in the middle of a kayfabe feud with William Regal.
At the WWE UK Championship Tournament, he rode a wave of great heeling to the final round, where he lost to crowd favorite (and Dunne's real life best friend) Tyler Bate.
Dunne spoke to The Mirror about several different topics, including how it felt to get near unanimous praise from wrestling legends, what he's learned from his short time in WWE, and how crazy it is that Tyler Bate is still just 19 years old.
"I think (Tyler's) incredible. I always say to him he could be anything he wants to be. He could be the best wrestler in the world, the best powerlifter, the best bodybuilder. It's special for us in many ways, but I had a hand in training Tyler. I'm very proud of him. He had his first match with me and his first bookings. It was a really cool moment and I couldn't be happier for him. We had the sort of match we've had so many times and it all felt familiar, but obviously with this reach that WWE has. You don't quite understand it until you're a part of it. But the match itself felt familiar and I think that's why it came across so well, or I thought it did when I watched it back. We worked with complete confidence in what we were doing because we've done it so many times."
But with all the times Dunne has er .. done it, he's never done it on this kind of stage, and that will get you noticed by a whole different class of people.
"It was one of those things where at the time, you're in work mode and your mind is on lots of other things. But on reflection it was absolutely surreal the stuff that Triple H was saying. I was getting loads of tweets from people saying that Shawn Michaels had talked about me on Chris Jericho's podcast and then I got to meet Shawn Michaels when I was over in Florida. It was unreal to be around Fit Finlay and William Regal and pick their brains. It's absolutely surreal. But like I say that's on reflection. At the time your head is screwed on and you are ready to work and it all feels more familiar than it should do.
"Afterwards we all sat around and we were like 'how has this happened?' Myself and Tyler were sat there together in a hotel after the show and we were scared to look at our phones, we were like 'how has this gone so fast?' Three months before that when we were heading up on the train to Glasgow for try-outs, honestly not even expecting that much, Tyler saying 'I'm probably too young' and me saying 'you never know, something could happen'. And then fast forward three months later and we're sitting there scared to look at our phones, just thinking how much everything has changed."
And when asked if there's anything he's learned about the WWE style since he's been a part of the company, Dunne said:
"It's been a massive learning curve. At independent shows the crowd are very involved and it's about interacting with the live audience. With WWE that's less important and it's more about portraying your character and getting it across to as many people as possible. It was a complete eye-opener."
You can read the rest of the interview at this link.
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