NXT’s Pete Dunne Makes SmackDown Debut as Butch

Pete Dunne Debuts as Butch on SmackDown

In an unexpected turn of events, Sheamus’s and Ridge Holland’s tag team became a three-man heel faction with the addition of Pete Dunne. On March 11’s broadcast of Friday Night SmackDown from the Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama, Pete Dunne debuted under the newly granted ring name Butch.

Upon the recent, quiet release of Cesaro, their recent antagonist, Holland and Sheamus were repurposed on SmackDown’s previous installment into a comic feud with Kofi Kingston and Big E over Big E’s destroyed ATV. The reprisal of that feud saw them add Butch to their numbers in a rematch against Big E and Kingston.

Pete Dunne Debuts on SmackDown as Butch

What to Know Following the Bruiserweight’s Debut

Butch was largely a stalking ringside fixture throughout the energetic bout. When Holland and Sheamus claimed victory with a pinfall over Kingston, Butch entered the fray. Adding insult to injury, Butch repeatedly kicked Kingston, until being pulled off by teammates Holland and Sheamus.

Dunne’s/Butch’s association with World Wrestling Entertainment began in 2016 when he competed in the United Kingdom Championship Tournament to crown the WWE United Kingdom Champion. In this effort, Dunne was unsuccessful, having lost to Tyler Bate. Dunne joined the NXT UK roster and eventually won the United Kingdom Championship from Bate the following year. In 2019, he appeared in the eponymous match of the Royal Rumble event, but that same year lost his UK championship to WALTER after a 400+ day reign.

Further Success on NXT

In 2020, Dunne and Riddle won the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, and later also earned the NXT Tag Team Championship. With the SmackDown debut of Butch, Pete Dunne is reunited with former Kings of NXT teammate Pat McAfee. McAfee was the ringleader of the heel faction, with Dunne, Danny Burch, and Oney Lorcan serving as his henchman in his feud with The Undisputed Era.

Upon McAfee’s departure from NXT, the faction dropped the Kings of NXT tag, Ridge Holland joined the fold and Dunne assumed leadership. The fearsome “Bruiserweight” continued his formidable tenure on NXT after its rebrand in September 2021. Dunne’s most recent feud on NXT 2.0 was paired off against newcomer Tony D’Angelo, which culminated in a steel cage match on February 15, 2022’s Vengeance Day event.

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