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What’s going on with Pete Dunne and UK Championship?




It’s been 10 months since the WWE held the United Kingdom Championship tournament. It was an alarmingly solid two-day event and introduced many casual North American wrestling fans to the likes of Tyler Bate, Trent Seven and Mark Andrews. Pete Dunne and Bate arguably gained the most traction during the tourney, with the latter winning the inaugural belt and the former eventually winning it at NXT TakeOver: Chicago on May 20.

Dunne and the belt have been in limbo for most of the year — at least on television — and it still isn’t clear why the U.K. Title exists in the first place. The tournament was fantastic, but the belt is rarely defended and it doesn’t seem like the WWE knows what to do with this particular crop of performers.

That’s only been made more clear over the last few days. Dunne made his main roster debut on Monday night, pinning the current 205 Live champion Enzo Amore clean in the middle of the ring.

It was then announced that the United Kingdom wing would be involved in matches on 205 Live on Tuesday night. And then it was announced that Seven and Bate would take on Dunne and Andrews to the NXT house show that is taking place in San Antonio the night before NXT TakeOver: WarGames. And then it was announced that Dunne would defend his UK title against Johnny Gargano — who isn’t from the United Kingdom, mind you — in a dark match on Nov. 18 at War Games.

That’s a lot to digest.

Moreover, it’s tough to figure out a way that it all makes sense.

Are Dunne and the U.K. championship Raw-bound after he made his debut and beat the one wrestler who’s managed to make 205 Live relevant? Will the entire division suddenly be included on the show as a way to drive viewership up, or was this a one-off appearance since Raw was taking place in Manchester on Monday?

If Dunne isn’t heading to Raw or 205 Live, will he then become a fixture on NXT television? If that’s where things are headed, then why is he involved in a dark match no one will be able to see unless they’re at WarGames?

There’s nothing wrong with having wrestlers work multiple brands — we saw Kevin Owens handle double duty on the main roster and in NXT when he was on the way up, for example. But nearly 10 months after the belt was conceived, it doesn’t look like the WWE knows what to do with the United Kingdom championship.

Dunne is extremely young — he’ll turn 24 later this week — so it’s not like the clock is ticking on him as a talent. It’s just been tough to keep up with what creative is trying to do with him and the wayward belt. If there was zero long-term plan in place for a new championship belt, then why was it created in the first place?

Watching Dunne punch Enzo’s lights out on Raw was a lot of fun, but where will he go from here? Will be a part of Raw, 205 Live or NXT? Or some combination of the three? Only time will tell, but here’s hoping that the WWE has more of a method with Dunne than they’ve had with the championship.

Franklin Steele is the assistant editor and featured writer of FanRag Sports' NHL side. He also covers the WWE for Steele, who joined FanRag Sports in October 2013, has been watching and playing hockey since the age of 6. His work has also appeared on, and Bleacher Report. All told, he has more than 3,000 bylines to his name and more than six million people have read his work since 2011. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @FranklinSteele (NHL) and @SteeleTheHeel (WWE).

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