The past few months have seen several wrestlers from WWE’s developmental brand, NXT, make their way to the main roster, including Ricochet, Aleister Black, EC3, Lacey Evans, and most recently, Lars Sullivan. These newcomers, who have appeared on both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live as storyline free agents, are likely to get assigned to a specific main roster brand during next week’s Superstar Shake-Up. However, the latest rumors suggest that there might be at least one more developmental standout debuting on the main roster and doing so at the Shake-Up — former NXT UK Champion Pete Dunne.
According to a report from WrestlingNews.co, the source of the call-up rumor was veteran wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer, who recently said on Wrestling Observer Radio that Dunne might be called up to the main roster as soon as next week. However, Meltzer stressed that he isn’t absolutely sure whether Dunne is indeed due for a call-up, as he mentioned that the British grappler’s promotion to the main roster is merely something that has been rumored backstage, but not yet confirmed.
Since making his debut in January 2017 as part of WWE’s inaugural United Kingdom Championship Tournament, Pete Dunne has been a staple of the company’s developmental ranks. Prior to his loss to Austrian wrestler WALTER at NXT TakeOver: New York, Dunne had held the NXT UK Championship for an unprecedented 685 days. This, per Comic Book, is considerably longer than the past title reigns of Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship), CM Punk (WWE Championship), and Asuka (NXT Women’s Championship), which all lasted well over a year.
685 days— Pete Dunne (@PeteDunneYxB) April 6, 2019
Left my mark with a record that is extremely hard to beat. Bring on the next chapter ???? pic.twitter.com/Iwy9IHaPmj
While it isn’t always the case, losing a developmental title is oftentimes a sign that a wrestler’s call-up to the main roster is imminent, as pointed out by Sportskeeda.
With that in mind, WrestlingNews.co noted that Dunne had recently expressed hopes in getting a rematch against WALTER. This could point to at least one more match on NXT UK programming before he gets promoted to either Monday Night Raw or SmackDown Live.
Regardless of when Dunne gets his main roster call-up, the 25-year-old wrestler has previously been cited as a favorite of WWE executive Paul “Triple H” Levesque. During the post-show media conference call that followed NXT TakeOver: New York, Triple H predicted that Dunne will “do amazing things with his career,” while also praising the youngster for having improved so much in the two years since his WWE debut.
“So where does he go? Onward and upward,” Triple H said, as quoted by Comic Book. “Whether he’s back in [the NXT UK] title picture or moves on to another title picture. I don’t know that there’s too many people here with a brighter future than him. He’s going to be able to do whatever he wants to do.”