NXT superstar Pete Dunne recently spoke to TalkSport to hype this evening’s Takeover Vengeance pay per view, where the Bruiserweight challenges Finn Balor for the NXT championship. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
On getting to face Finn Balor at NXT Takeover:
I think it’s crazy that we’ve never crossed paths at all. Our first interaction in the ring has been in the build up to this match. Maybe we were in the same locker room once or twice, but in terms of being in front of an audience, our first interaction has been in NXT. For people whose paths have been so similar from a similar part of the world, you would have thought by now it would have happened. So it adds an extra layer to something that’s already special. Two European lads… back when I started, it didn’t feel like there would be even one of us that made it, let alone so many now being in the company and headlining TakeOver.
How he and Balor both came from the British independent scene:
I actually remember one of my first training sessions – might even have been my first one – all the lads there were taking about this lad from Ireland who had made it to Japan. Obviously they were talking about Finn Balor, but at the time, I didn’t know because I was just into WWE and some other companies, but I didn’t know much about Japan. I vividly remember, it was my first, second, maybe third training session and they couldn’t believe he had made it from the same sort of place we were. Looking around that around, the derelict building and the crappy mats we were training on, to think that someone had made it from there and they said he was facing Jushin Thunder Liger that week! To look 15 years on, here we are. Me and him headlining TakeOver.
What winning the NXT title would mean for his career:
There’s a few layers to this. In one sense, Finn feels like the generation before me. He’s already been up there on the main roster and he’s already made that bigger name for himself so in a sense, it would be a passing of the torch. The other side of it is the chance to make history and become the first person to hold both the UK title and the US NXT title. And, for me personally, it’s the next step. I’ve been lucky enough to do quite a lot. I’m proud of what I’ve done and the body of work I’ve created, but that is the next big step now, moving into that prominent spot in NXT and being the number one guy.
On working with Edge:
I think Edge has always been someone out of the guys that came before us, he’s one of the most approachable. I’ve only had brief interactions with him over the years, but whenever I do he’s always really forward, really nice and really happy. He’s really invested in what we’re doing and it shows. I think that’s why he wanted to be at NXT as well; it’s because he’s interested in what goes on there and the future stars. Now obviously with his second comeback that opens a bunch of different opportunities to work with him. And I’m glad I got to work with him in that setting, but working with him at WrestleMania would be a whole other level to that. Hopefully, if it’s not WrestleMania, down the line we get to work together more and more. He drew the comparisons between my character and his character and I think we could have some really great matches.
On the recent NXT UK signings:
I think all the signings were no brainers. I don’t think they needed me in their ear. Rampage [Brown] especially, who is a great signing for the mens side of things. I’m excited to see what he will do. I’ve never actually wrestled him, we’ve barely crossed paths. But, I’ve always watched his work and I’m sure he’s seen mine so whether it’s over here [the US] or back in the UK, it’s something I’d love to look into and work with him a bit more. And obviously I’ve got quite a bit of history with Meiko [Satomura] and that’s a fantastic signing for the female side of things. Because not only is she going to be great to watch as a fan, but just her being in that locker room and around the Performance Center and being able to share her knowledge, it’s unbelievable for the females there to have access to that. It’s exciting all around.