While WWE has let go of quite a few of its wrestlers since the start of 2021, it looks like one former champion will be sticking around for a while. Fightful Select‘s Sean Ross Sapp reported on Tuesday via WWE sources that Pete Dunne has agreed to a new three-year deal, one that was personally offered to him by Triple H before his recent medical emergency. Dunne first arrived in WWE in early 2017 as a finalist in the first United Kingdom Championship tournament. He went on to win the title the following year and held it for a whopping 685 days before dropping it to Walter in April 2019. A year later he and Matt Riddle won the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and the NXT Tag Team Championships as The BroserWeights.
Dunne’s contract situation was similar to Adam Cole’s in that WWE officials didn’t realize it was on the verge of expiring earlier this summer. Cole eventually agreed to a short-term extension that last through NXT TakeOver 36, then decided to leave for All Elite Wrestling. Meanwhile, Dunne has consistently remained on NXT programming and recently turned on Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch alongside Ridge Holland.
This week’s edition of NXT, under the new name NXT. 2.0, will be the first episode of the revamped edition of the brand. Dunne will face Kyle O’Reilly, Tommaso Ciampa and LA Knight in a four-way match in the show’s main event to crown a new NXT Champion. The former champ, Samoa Joe, announced he needed to relinquish the title on Sunday.
“As part of my recent return, my goals were very simple, I sought to ensure the respect and integrity due to both NXT and its championship,” Joe said in his announcement video. “I sought to ensure that everybody understood that the needs of one individual will never outstrip the sum of the brand. Today, I find myself having to stand on these principles. Recently, WWE medical has informed me that due to certain injuries they would like to have me step away from the ring for a brief yet still undetermined amount of time.
“I realize that this week we are on the cusp of a new NXT,” he continued. “We are on the brink of a new era in our history. I realize that that era deserves a fighting champion. That’s why it makes this very difficult decision very easy to make. Effective immediately, I relinquish the NXT Championship. Best of luck to those who will vie for it. My sincerest condolences to whoever wins because I will be along shortly to recollect what’s mine.”