Back in March, former NXT UK Champion Pete Dunne made his way from NXT 2.0 to SmackDown, where he aligned himself with Sheamus and Ridge Holland. Fans of the star were in for a surprise, however, when it was revealed that he was now going under the name Butch, leaving his previous identity behind.
While Dunne didn’t necessarily mind the name change, the decision to alter his identity sparked debate among fans online as many had followed him for over a decade on the UK independent scene and later NXT UK and NXT. Though he’s still going by Butch on television, he has made changes to his appearance that signal his former identity could be returning, such as going back to his signature singlet back in August.
Pete Dunne Opened Up About Concerns That His New Identity Wouldn’t Be Well Received By Fans
Speaking to Ryan Satin on Out of Character, Dunne spoke about the whirlwind process of finding out he was debuting on WWE SmackDown with a new identity and wonder how it would be received by fans.
“It was very casual, to be honest. I had flights come through for that ‘SmackDown,’ where I debuted, and then when I was just about to board the plane I got a call [telling me] the new name, and the basic rundown of the vision. Then I spent … the whole flight thinking to myself, ‘How is this going to be received?’ [while] knowing how it was going to be received, for the most part.”
Continuing, he admitted that fan perception of his name change caused him some anxiety, more so than the actual change itself.
“To be honest, the main source of … anxiety or anxiousness with it was the way it was going to be received.”
However, Butch is confident that he can win fans over under any name as long as he’s allowed to shine in the ring.
“If you give me that time in the ring, I’m going to connect to the crowd. I’m going to put on a show, right? I back myself to do that every time.”