Since he arrived in the WWE United Kingdom Championship tournament, Pete Dunne has been someone to keep your eye on. He started his career strong by defeating Tyler Bate to become the second WWE UK Champion. He went on to hold the championship for a then record-setting 685 days before losing it to Walter, the now Gunther, who would also go on to take Dunne's record with his 870-day reign. After Dunne lost the championship, he fought to find his spot. He shined in a tag team with Matt Riddle dubbed "The Broserweights" and a run as the leader of the "Kings of NXT."
However, Dunne's fans knew that he could be doing greater things. That is why it came with much fanfare when Dunne made his debut on SmackDown aligning with Sheamus and Ridge Holland. Unfortunately, much of that fanfare was immeadiatly killed when his new stablemates introduced him as "Butch", a raging bull-esque pub brawler always ready for a fight. While you could still see Pete Dunne in Butch, you could tell that they weren't the same. You take a man's name and you take away his idenity and direction.
The Brawling Brute's has been a fun time in Pete and company's careers but the playtime is over. After a shoulder injury put Sheamus on the shelf, Ridge Holland and Butch went their separate ways and for the better. Things were growing stale increasingly faster and now both men have a chance to start fresh. Ridge Holland has returned to NXT to hone his craft while Pete Dunne has remembered who he is with the help of an old friend. However, this old friend is also an even older rival. Perhaps Tyler Bate may soon regret asking Pete to remember who is because now is the right time for him to show everyone.
Many fans may have not been treated to seeing a match between Bate and Dunne. They put on a classic in the finals of the United Kingdom Championship tournament and they haven't let the fans down since. It may be time for Pete and Tyler to show the main roster what they are all about shortly. However, a story must be told to get there. A story that has already been told that is bound to be repeated. To be the Pete Dunne that was at the peak of the mountain, he has to turn heel. Once the most despised and disgusting individual on the roster, he has played nice for far too long.
Fans have come to love Dunne for his "British Strong Style" and bone-breaking offense but many don't know what Dunne is capable of. He has neared the cringe levels of babyface Dean Ambrose when the gritty Jon Moxley starves inside. We need to see the return of the version of Pete Dunne that assaulted Sam Gradwell on his very first night in the company. We need the young and hungry kid who wasn't afraid to stand up to William Regal and was praised by Triple H. Just recently turning 30, youth is still on Dunne's side and he has plenty of time to right creative wrongdoings.
Like Cody Rhodes has buried and since tributed to the Stardust character, Dunne can use his two years as Butch as a catapult into stardom. The story of two years wasted in a management-created prison writes itself. Pete should be more bitter than ever before. He was on the verge of breaking out when he came to SmackDown with high hopes. Those hopes were shattered and he was made into a dancing monkey. While the return to form is still fresh, we should see Pete slowly remember all the details that are missing.
You could see in his eyes on SmackDown that a switch had been turned on inside him. As unfortunate as it is on Sheamus' part, losing him and Ridge Holland's departure has become a blessing in disguise. Becoming Pete Dunne again is at least important a name change. Right under the surface lie layers of meanings. It shows the fans that the company believes in Pete enough to give him a second chance. It shows that creative direction has been swayed. With the Royal Rumble approaching, it could be a place for Dunne to be showcased as a breakout talent.
Pete has paid his dues and it is time for him to be rewarded. With the WWE's future under the guidance of Triple H, Dunne's chances for a bright future in the WWE are brighter than ever before. Now, we just sit back and wait to see what happens since the second coming of Pete Dunne. Perhaps Pete could be in line to get vengeance from years ago and end the Intercontinental Championship reign of Gunther. As they say, anything can happen in the WWE.