Walter Beats Pete Dunne at NXT TakeOver: New York, Wins WWE UK Title

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2019

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Walter beat Pete Dunne at NXT TakeOver: New York on Friday to win the WWE United Kingdom Championship and end Dunne's title reign of nearly 700 days.

The beginning of the end for Dunne came when he delivered Bitter End to Walter but was unable to keep his shoulders down for the three count. If the champion couldn't take Walter out with his best move, then it didn't bode well for his chances of keeping the title.

In what proved to be the final stretch, Walter countered Dunne's attempted triangle submission as they were poised on the top rope. Walter gained control and hit a release powerbomb off the top. From there, he scaled the ropes and brought his nearly 300-pound frame down on Dunne with a big splash.


It happened. @WalterAUT is your NEW @WWE #UKChampion. #NXTTakeOver https://t.co/CnOlmJIQQp

After beating Tyler Bate for the UK title at NXT TakeOver: Chicago in 2017, Dunne faced and beat all comers leading up to the debut of NXT UK. Once there, Dunne entered into a feud with Joe Coffey that saw Dunne beat Coffey at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool in January.

Following that match, Walter made his highly anticipated NXT UK debut by attacking Coffey and engaging in a staredown with The Bruiserweight to close the show.

Walter beat Jack Starz and Mark Coffey on NXT UK television in subsequent weeks and then teamed with Dunne to beat the Coffey brothers in a tag match.

On NXT UK a couple of weeks ago, NXT UK general manager Johnny Saint announced that Dunne would defend the UK Championship against a yet-to-be-chosen opponent at NXT TakeOver: New York. In response, Dunne demanded a match against Walter.

His request was granted, which resulted in Dunne facing perhaps the most difficult challenge of his entire reign as WWE United Kingdom champion.

While Dunne is considered one of the toughest pound-for-pound Superstars in WWE, he had a significant height and weight disadvantage against Walter. At 6'4" and 297 pounds, the 31-year-old Austrian was sure to be much more to handle than Dunne had grown accustomed to in WWE.

Dunne has faced his fair share of top stars in NXT and NXT UK, including Bate, Ricochet and Adam Cole, but his aggressiveness arguably always gave him the advantage in those encounters.

That wasn't the case Friday, as most observers figured Dunne may have finally met his match in the form of Walter.

Although that dynamic created plenty of intrigue heading into WrestleMania weekend, there was another factor at work that excited fans. While Dunne and Walter worked as teammates and against each other in tag team matches before, Friday's match marked their first singles encounter on a big stage.

Many probably figured that Dunne's reign would come to an end at TakeOver: New York, and now that it has come to fruition, WWE could go in a number of directions.

Continuing with the Dunne vs. Walter feud on NXT UK is a possibility, but with some NXT talent bound to get called up to the main roster after WrestleMania, it also wouldn't be surprising to see Dunne get a shot at being a top guy on NXT given his experience on the brand already.

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