Source: Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast
On episode 134 of Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast, WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne talked about his affiliation with WWE, developing his flagitious persona, and how Triple H reacted to Dunne doing Triple H's signature spots on the indies.
"WWE has been absolutely brilliant to me and they've looked after me in every way that they can, and even from stuff like training in social media, that kind of stuff. And along with having exposure on these sorts of shows, bringing us out to America and training in the [WWE] Performance Center, and doing all of that, at the same time they're allowing me to do the independents. And I'm a bit different than most [professional] wrestlers, I think, in that I've always looked at independent wrestling as developmental. I didn't necessarily have to be signed to WWE to be learning that stuff. I've always tried to pick up as much knowledge as I could. Now, I continue to do so. Now, I also have access to the Performance Center and even access to people like Triple H, the great minds behind sports entertainment. So the thing for me is the best of both worlds. I love independent wrestling and it's not something that I wanted to leave behind straight away. But equally, I'm learning the way TV is done and the WWE style has been completely new, so I'm still learning on both sides."
Dunne continued, "I figured I'd have to travel around the world and pick up as much experience as I could. I even figured at one point that I'd have to hold off if there was an offer from WWE. I'd have to hold off to keep building that brand and that name value, so when I got to WWE it was an immediate transition. And I was completely wrong in that. I didn't know that this sort of deal was even an option. I'm so glad that it is - it's the best of both worlds."
Dunne also credited WWE for letting him be the character he created on WWE programming.
"In the last 11 years, I've almost self-trained myself by wrestling people who are better than me and traveling the world and sort of making my own mind up and creating my own character. And again, speaks to how great WWE is. They've let me be that person, that character that I've created on the independents.
In Dunne's estimation, he was awarded a prime spot within WWE's UK division because of his international experience and unique presentation. The 'Young & Bitter' Superstar has been working for a year-and-a-half on developing a character that was different from everyone else in sports entertainment.
"I think one being the fact that I managed to get myself out there and learn when there wasn't really much to learn in British [pro] wrestling. I paid for my own flights to Japan, America, China, all these different countries try to gain the knowledge I didn't have back home. And then, the second thing is, even while I was doing that sort of stuff, I was getting better and better and I felt like I was getting to the point I wanted to get to in [pro] wrestling and I was starting to achieve what I wanted to achieve. And when I put myself out there and said, 'what do these other people have that I don't have?' I wasn't different enough, so I spent the last year-and-a-half making myself as different as possible. I tried to design a character that stands out from the pack."
Also during the interview, podcast host Sam Roberts asked Dunne whether Triple H has seen video of members of the WWE UK Championship roster performing Triple H's signature spots on the indies, such as Dunne delivering a Pedigree at PROGRESS - Chapter 43. Dunne claimed that 'The Game' took the mimicry in "good humor."
"I don't think I've ever been more intimidated than the first time he brought it up. I thought we were getting away with it scot-free. I didn't think he would be paying any attention to what we were doing whatsoever, but he has seen it and it seems like he appreciates it. He was laughing along with us, so that's cool." Dunne added, "he's taking it all in good humor."
Shill, Roberts, Shill! If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Sam Roberts' Wrestling Podcast with an H/T to WrestlingINC for the transcription.
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