At NXT Takeover: New York, Pete Dunne’s near 700-day reign as the WWE United Kingdom Champion was ended after a fantastic bout with WALTER. Almost as soon as the match ended, people said that Dunne could be called up the main roster in the very near future.
However, we did not see Pete Dunne on the Raw and Smackdown shows after WrestleMania, nor did he feature in the subsequent Superstar Shake-Up. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer has noted a possible reason why Dunne, and his friend Tyler Bate for that matter, might not have been brought up to Raw or Smackdown.
“Dunne and Bate… are two of the best in the ring in the company. It appears with them not coming up that the decision is that they are more valuable in establishing the U.K. brand. Plus, with their size and promo ability, as good as they are, they aren’t the type of guys that Vince would traditionally push.”
It is clear that Triple H is very high on “The Bruiserweight” with HHH saying that there aren’t many people “with a brighter future than him”. However, Meltzer’s comments make it seem as if Vince isn’t too keen on the young Englishman. Let’s just hope this isn’t the case and that Dunne was simply kept down in NXT UK with the intent that an established star could help the brand in its relative infancy.
On the note of notable NXT stars that were not called up, Dave Meltzer also discussed the possible reasons why NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler has not featured on the main roster in the last few weeks, with Meltzer suggesting her age and look might hold her back:
“Baszler has already been two-time NXT women’s champion, and her character work is some of the best in the company. She’s also 38, so she’s got a limited window . Baszler doesn’t have the type of look normally associated with a WWE woman wrestler, but the fact is, her look is actually perfect for her gimmick, and her gimmick is more realistic then almost anyone. Even with her doing so well in NXT, picking it up so quick, there was always the question, with her age and look, if she’d ever get the shot to really make money at this.”
With Baszler approaching 40, it remains to be seen if Vince McMahon will invest time and energy into her character on the main roster. However, with Ronda Rousey seemingly taking time away from WWE to start a family, Baszler could full the void and become WWE’s next big MMA star.
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