WWE Rumors: Backstage Morale After Big E's Win; Pete Dunne's Contract; NXT 2.0 Buzz

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 15, 2021

Photo credit: WWE.com

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.

WWE Morale Up After Big E's Title Win

Those within WWE are reportedly thrilled after the decision was made to put the WWE Championship on Big E on Monday's episode of Raw.

According to PWInsider (h/t Felix Upton of Ringside News), there was a "huge uptick" in morale among WWE wrestlers after Big E successfully cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Bobby Lashley.

PWInsider noted that Big E is "beloved" backstage and the other wrestlers felt him winning the WWE title was a "huge deal."

It was clear based on the reaction on social media after Big E's win that he is universally beloved in the world of wrestling both within and outside WWE.

Wrestlers from WWE, AEW, Impact Wrestling and other companies tweeted celebratory and congratulatory messages after watching the New Day member finally ascend to the top of the mountain.

Big E's win was historic, as he became only the fourth Black man to hold the WWE Championship, joining The Rock, Kofi Kingston and Lashley.

After Big E's triumph, he was joined by New Day stablemates Kingston and Xavier Woods in the ring for an emotional and memorable celebration.

Big E has long had the potential to be a top star and world champion in WWE, and it seemed like a matter of time before it ultimately happened.

Putting the WWE Championship on Big E could be the shot in the arm Raw has so desperately needed over the past several months, provided WWE books him to be a strong and successful champ moving forward.

Dunne Reportedly Signs 3-Year Deal with WWE

WWE has reportedly locked in one of its top NXT stars to a multiyear contract extension.

According to Fightful Select (h/t WrestlingInc.com's Marc Middleton), Pete Dunne signed a three-year deal to remain with WWE through the summer of 2024.

Fightful noted that the contract was personally offered to Dunne by NXT founder Triple H before Triple H took some time off to undergo a heart procedure.

Despite the fact that he is just 27 years of age, Dunne is already a 14-year veteran of professional wrestling.

He made his WWE debut in 2016 as part of the UK Championship tournament, and although he lost to Tyler Bate in the final, he beat Bate for the title shortly thereafter.

Dunne went on to hold the UK title for 685 days before dropping it to WALTER in a classic match at NXT TakeOver: New York in 2019.

In addition to the UK title, Dunne held the NXT Tag Team Championships as one half of The BroserWeights with Riddle.

Dunne has also vied for the NXT Championship and North American Championship on various occasions but has yet to win either of them.

On the debut episode of NXT 2.0 on Tuesday, Dunne took part in a Fatal 4-Way for the vacant NXT Championship against Tommaso Ciampa, L.A. Knight and Von Wagner.

Ciampa won the match and the title, but with Dunne having the massive Ridge Holland on his side, it wouldn't be surprising to see him win it in the near future.

NXT Talent Reportedly Concerned About Where They Stand After Relaunch

Some of the established NXT talents in WWE are reportedly concerned about where they stand following the launch of NXT 2.0.

NXT 2.0 debuted Tuesday night, and it had a decidedly different feel than the old NXT, as several young, unknown wrestlers debuted and mingled with some of the brand's veterans.

According to PWInsider (h/t Subhojeet Mukherjee of Ringside News), there was "trepidation" among some NXT veterans entering Tuesday's show and concern that they are on "thin ice" due to NXT's youth movement.

The reported belief among some talent is that they could be released at any time even if they do "everything they were supposed to."

Several NXT veterans were released a couple of months ago, including Bobby Fish, Bronson Reed and Mercedes Martinez. There have also been sweeping cuts on the main roster since WrestleMania in April.

While NXT 2.0 saw the debut of several new faces, it also suggested there is hope for the veterans to stick around and play a pivotal role.

Ciampa won the NXT Championship on Tuesday despite being a 36-year-old veteran of the independent scene, and he was confronted at the end of the show by Bron Breakker, who won his debut match over Knight at the start of the show.

There is no telling precisely how NXT will continue to evolve or what it will mean for the veterans, but a mix of new and established talent could be the best recipe for success moving forward.

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).