IWC Radio’s Martyn Nolan was scheduled to attend the NXT live show in Manchester on the 6th June. Due to the recent tragic events which have unfolded in Manchester and London in the past few weeks, this event was understandably cancelled.
However, WWE was kind enough to offer all those who had purchased tickets for the Manchester show a complimentary ticket for the following night in Leeds. It’s there that IWC radio was fortunate enough to be invited to catch up with the newly crowned WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne for a few quick questions before the show later that evening. Below are some interview highlights, and images from the event can be seen at this link.
Martyn Nolan: Where did the term Bruiserweight originate?
Pete Dunne: I was in China for 3 months, doing a tour and I was teaming with CJ Banks. We needed a name and it was around the time of the Cruiserweight Classic. We thought Bruiserweight’s was a pretty funny name. We put it on social media and never thought anymore of it. Then, Andy Quildan from Revolution Pro Wrestling contacted me and said that he wanted to bring me in and use this Bruiserweight stuff. Whilst there, I just added pieces to the puzzle and it’s become what it is today. That year, I was trying to stand out as much as possible and the term Bruiserweight really fit my character and people seem to like it.
Martyn Nolan: Obviously, everything has happened so fast for you with WWE. Is there a particular moment where you feel that you need someone to pinch you to make sure this is actually happening?
Pete Dunne: It’s always afterwards. This all moves so fast and it’s one thing to the next and they keep you working really hard. Ultimately, you’re focused on doing the best job that you can. It’s when you go back to independent shows and get the chance to speak to fans and even notice queues at your merchandise stands. It’s a massive difference and it makes you realise how much exposure the WWE Network can give you. Myself and Trent Seven are always talking to each other saying “How did this happen!?”. Again, I think it’s the speed of it all. Most people come in, they go to NXT, they build up, their stock rises, and by the time they get to the roster it’s a natural progression. Whereas with us, it feels like it’s all happened at once and I can’t thank WWE enough for that.
Martyn Nolan: This is the first time WWE have performed to a UK audience since the tragedies in Manchester and London, how does it feel for you and the other talent to be involved in NXT Leeds tonight?
Pete Dunne: I think it’ll be really special tonight. Obviously it was unfortunate that they had to cancel the Manchester show but I think it was the right thing to do in my opinion. They’ll be a lot of people from Manchester here tonight so hopefully it’ll be pretty special. I didn’t personally get to meet any of those affected in Manchester but I know a lot of the guys who did and they was telling me how special it was. That’s the power of WWE, getting the chance to experience something like that is really special.
Martyn Nolan: It’s common that British wrestling fans keep asking if there is the chance that WWE will hold a WrestleMania in the UK. Is this something that’s ever spoken about between the talent in the back?
Pete Dunne: It’s not something I’ve heard but it’s always something I try to talk about. Considering my responsibility of being the UK Champion, if I can help that happen, then I will do my best. Whether it’s that, a different PPV or another WWE Network special, the more of that stuff then the better. The more British wrestling we can get then that’s got to be better. I hope that one day we can do that and that I can be a part of it.
Martyn Nolan: Obviously, here in the UK you’re part of the ‘British Strong Style’ faction with Tyler Bate and Trent Seven. If you could feud with any other faction, who would it be?
Pete Dunne: I would have to think about that one. In the UK brand, I would personally like to have a continued rivalry with Mark Andrews, he’s always my favourite opponent and if I could do that in different stages with WWE then I would be really happy. I’d also like to have a rematch with Tyler Bate.