Butch Discusses Name Change & Vince McMahon’s Reaction

The Brawling Brutes - Butch, Sheamus & Ridge Holland

Originally known to fans as Pete Dunne, Butch now competes on SmackDown with The Brawling Brutes and has revealed Vince McMahon reaction to the change of moniker.

Competing under the name Pete Dunne on the independent scene as well as in NXT UK and later NXT, his record with the WWE brands is impressive. Dunne stamped his mark as NXT UK Champion, having a record-long title reign until the landmark was surpassed by the man who took it away from him and has also recently changed names, Walter.

Many anticipated his call-up to either the red or blue brand, however it was not expected that making the move to Friday Night SmackDown would also involve a change of name. Now known as Butch, he quickly aligned himself with Sheamus and Ridge Holland as The Brawling Brutes.

Whilst plenty of people disagreed with changing such an established name, Butch has revealed in an interview with that he was excited by the prospect even though there was the possibility of backlash.

I was aware of that, and that’s quite nervewracking at the time ’cause you know the reaction that’s coming from people. But, you just have to tune out from that and focus on what you can, and that’s the quality of the work you put out.

Seeing it catch on in different places, it’s almost more rewarding because I know who I am with Pete Dunne and the Bruiserweight, that’s established. But to start establishing something new is a really rewarding process.

Butch also went on to comment that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is firmly behind both him and the change in moniker.

He seems really into this, as you can imagine. He seems really into the idea of Butch. It is entertaining.

Although the name change could be seen as losing some of his legacy, Butch sees this as the chance to start fresh on the blue brand whilst his accomplishments in NXT will always remain.

Not that I want my NXT work to vanish, it never will – it’s always gonna be there, and I hope people can always appreciate it. But if you could do that and you could start all over again, and this is me coming in fresh to the company, I think there’d be a lot of people who’d look at it through a different lens.

Butch, as ‘The Bruiserweight’ Pete Dunne, held the NXT UK Championship for 685 days, defeating Tyler Bate for the title at NXT TakeOver: Chicago in May 2017, and held it until finally losing to Walter at NXT TakeOver: New York in April 2019.