Interview With WWE United Kingdom Championship Competitor Pete Dunne
As Scroobius Pip said "we ain't trying to expand the scene, we want the scene to erupt," and Pete Dunne is a man near the heart of the British wrestling eruption. The Bruiserweight heads into this weekend's WWE UK Championships as one of the men to watch.
2016 was quite the year for Dunne. The Birmingham born grappler has picked up eight titles on the UK wrestling scene and then ended the calendar year standing front and centre with Triple H as the former 14 time WWE champ announced the tournament that has got the British scene buzzing.
Dunne says that moment at the press conference was the highlight of his year and was unexpected, "Even the way the year went I didn't expect that to be the way to end it. It all came together so fast.
"I had such a great year, I feel like I've made headway with the independence but to finish the year with WWE is just unbelievable. If you'd told me just a month before I'd have thought 'no way'."
The draw for the tournament puts the PROGRESS champion on the other half of the draw to his partners in 'British Strongstyle', Trent Seven and Tyler Bate but could set up a semi-final with the man he knows best and would most love to face Mark Andrews:
"We've travelled all around the world together wrestling each other, I had my first match against Mark.
"When we got to California [for PWG Battle of Los Angeles] we said "Oh we've come full circle." Because that was one of the first things we wanted to do. To do it in this tournament, on WWE, on the Network, that would truly make things come full circle and would be special."
The Englishman is clearly proud of his wrestling roots and talks about the aggressiveness of William Regal as an inspiration. And that style is exactly why he's the vegan wrestler who's become well known for his habit of biting opponents:
"I get asked about this a lot [being vegan and biting]. The way I justify it is I'm not eating anyone. It's a way to be different, you don't get many people biting their opponents.
"It's something that fits in with being rough and ready. Something very British about that vicious style of wrestling. Everyone can relate to being bitten, we all know how much it hurts.
"I can't even remember how it started, it's just part of all my matches at this point."
There's no doubt the 23 year-old, who turns 24 at the end of this month, is proud by what British wrestling has achieved to get to this point but he's also excited at what the WWE's tournament means for the future.
"British wrestling has been on such a massive growth and with this tournament it's just going to super charge it to the next level.
"Independent companies have been doing a brilliant job of it but this is a whole other level and a brand-new platform.
"There's a buzz for those people who have never seen us before and don't know what we're about. British wrestling has been rising all year and going from strength to strength and this is the culmination of it."
Dunne has one last message for everyone, make sure you watch, "I'm going to let my wrestling do the talking but get on the Network to watch, it'll be something fresh and exciting and everyone on there is incredibly talented."
The scene really is ready to erupt!
Watch the first-ever WWe United Kingdom Championship Tournament Live on WWE Network. Subscription is 9.99 a month, and the first month is FREE. Go to WWENetwork.com