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Pete Dunne

Peter Thomas England is an English professional wrestler and promoter. He is signed to WWE under the ring name Pete Dunne, where he is the current and longest reigning WWE United Kingdom Champion in his first reign. 

 

Dunne also competes on the independent circuit in Europe and occasionally the United States, most notably in Progress Wrestling, where he is a former Progress World Champion.


Dunne began training for a career in professional wrestling at the age

of 12 in 2005 and made his professional debut in 2007. Since then, he has worked extensively across the United Kingdom for promotions such as Progress Wrestling, Revolution Pro Wrestling (RPW), Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW), Fight Club: Pro (FCP) and Attack! Pro Wrestling, a promotion he co-founded. In addition to the United Kingdom, Dunne has worked internationally in Germany with Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw), the United States with Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) and Japan with Michinoku Pro Wrestling.

 

Dunne began training in 2006 at the age of 12, originally under the tutelage of Steve "Psycho" Edwards at Phoenix Wrestling in Coventry, a short drive from his home city of Birmingham. Dunne has said that his early training under Edwards was limited, providing him with only "the basics". Dunne's first appearance as a wrestler was at the 2007 Holbrooks Festival in Coventry, where he first met and wrestled Mark Andrews. He later trained for a short time under Max Angelus and began working on other small local shows, largely in community centres around Birmingham.

 

Dunne competed as the masked Tiger Kid until January 2010, when he began performing as Pete Dunne after losing a hair vs mask match to Helix at Riot Act Wrestling in Kent. He then began regularly performing in a tag team alongside his kayfabe brother, Damian Dunne. He spent most of his early career working for as many small independent promotions as possible such as EDW Wrestling in Shrewsbury, as well as regularly practicing with Mark Andrews and other friends, training in a re-purposed boxing ring in a community centre in Cardiff during the school holidays. Dunne began competing internationally and more regularly in 2011, competing for LDN Wrestling, travelling to Ireland for Dublin Championship Wrestling, Wales for Celtic Wrestling, Welsh Wrestling, and Royal Imperial Wrestling. and Scotland for PBW.

 

On 7 May, Dunne defeated Trent Seven at a live event to become the new number one contender for the United Kingdom Championship. Dunne then went on to defeat Bate at NXT TakeOver: Chicago to win the title for the first time in a highly-acclaimed match, which was later named Match of the Year at the NXT Year-End Awards.

 

Dunne made his main roster debut during a one-off appearance on the 6 November episode of Raw in Manchester, England, where he defeated WWE Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore in a non-title champion versus champion match. He then kept on defending his title on NXT, first against Bate on December 20, and then against Roderick Strong on February 14, 2018. Dunne turned face when he and Strong subsequently teamed up, starting on March 28 for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, defeating Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan in the first round and Alexander Wolfe and Eric Young of SAnitY in the semi-finals. They faced The Authors of Pain in the finals on March 4; however, the match ended in a no contest when Kyle O'Reilly and Adam Cole of The Undisputed Era attacked both teams. As the result, all three teams faced each other in a triple threat tag team match at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, which acted as the final match of the tournament while The Undisputed Era's NXT Tag Team Championship was also on the line. At the event, Strong turned on Dunne and attacked him, giving the victory to The Undisputed Era and aligning himself with the stable. This would mark the beginning of a feud between Dunne and The Undisputed Era, starting with a singles match on the May 2 episode of NXT, in which he defeated Strong by disqualification after being attacked by Cole and O'Reilly.

 

At the United Kingdom Championship Tournament event, Dunne teamed up with Bate and Trent Seven as British Strong Style on the first night (marking the first time they performed as their stable on WWE) to defeat The Undisputed Era, and on the second night, retained his title against United Kingdom Championship Tournament winner Zack Gibson. On the 22 August episode of NXT (which also served as the pre-show of NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 4), Dunne once again retained his championship against Gibson; in parallel, he became the longest-reigning champion in WWE at (then) 456 days following Brock Lesnar's loss of the WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam.

 

On the August 29 episode of NXT, Dunne teamed up with NXT North American Champion Ricochet against The Undisputed Era, losing due to a miscommunication. As both blamed the other for their loss, the two had a match for both titles on the September 19 episode of NXT, marking the first time a WWE United Kingdom Champion faced a NXT North American Champion. The match ended in a no contest after The Undisputed Era attacked both men. After numerous attacks in the following weeks, Dunne eventually teamed up with Ricochet and the War Raiders to take on Undisputed Era at NXT TakeOver: WarGames in the titular match, where his team would pick up the victory.

 

At NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool on 12 January 2019, the inaugural NXT UK TakeOver event, Dunne retained his title against Joe Coffey in the main event. Two weeks later, Dunne appeared as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble match at the namesake pay-per-view on 27 January. 

 

Dunne is known by his nickname "The Bruiserweight" in reference to his style mostly consisting of brawling, stiff strikes and submission grappling, often combined with bending his opponents fingers. His finishing maneuver is a Pumphandle reverse STO called the Bitter End.