• Matty Paddock

Exclusive: Pete Dunne backed for major WWE role by William Regal

Ahead of his match with Kushida at NXT Takeover: Stand and Deliver tonight, Pete Dunne has been backed to be the future head of WWE’s black and yellow brand.

Dunne, 27, is widely regarded as one of the finest performers not just on NXT, but the whole of WWE’s vast umbrella.

But while the hard-hitting former NXT UK Champion has won plenty of plaudits for his performances bell to bell, it’s become increasingly clear he’s also highly respected behind the scenes.

Dunne is never one to court controversy or engage in spats on social media, but has equally never been one to duck significant issues – in the eyes of many he was among those taking the lead in supporting the #SpeakingOut movement in wrestling last year.

It’s likely no surprise then that on-screen General Manager William Regal reckons Dunne has a long future ahead of him in positions of prominence in the company.

I spoke exclusively to Regal, also WWE’s Director of Talent Development and Head of Global Recruiting, about the ‘level headed’ Bruiserweight, and its evident that Dunne is someone he holds in high regard.

"They’ll be the ones who are sat around the table where me, Shawn Michaels and Triple H sit in the next ten or 15 years."

“He’s very wise,” said Regal. “Beyond his years. He’s incredibly professional, and very good at what he does, which is always a bonus!

“He’s everything you have said he is, he’s level-headed. He doesn’t cause any trouble and, with his age group and the people around him, he’s an influence on them just by the way he acts.

“He doesn’t have to enforce anything on anybody, they just gravitate towards him because he’s just a very likable, smart fella who keeps his head down, is polite and will help people.”

Regal stressed that Dunne is far from the only member of the WWE roster to make such an impression – its those people he feels that will lead the company in the years to come.

“He’s the one from Britain but there’s not just him, there’s a few over here as well,” he added.

“I see the same exact kind of things [in them] and they’ll be the ones who are sat around the table where me, Shawn Michaels and Triple H sit in the next ten or 15 years.

“They’ll be the ones taking over the roles because they don’t get involved in any of that; let’s just say that they think for more than a second before pressing a button, which seems very hard for a lot of people in this day and age.”

WWE presents a two-night NXT Takeover: Stand and Deliver across 7 and 8 April, airing in the UK on BT Sport and WWE Network.

© 2021 The Wrestling Notebook/Matty Paddock