The future appears to be getting brighter for Pete Dunne as he’s set to take on Johnny Gargano at TakeOver: WarGames. The runner-up in the tournament to crown WWE’s first-ever United Kingdom Champion, the man often referred to as the “Bruiserweight” had a memorable main roster debut on this week’s Monday Night Raw, defeating Cruiserweight Champion Enzo Amore in a non-title match in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Manchester, England. And while that was likely a one-time appearance to pop the British fans, the reigning U.K. Champion will be defending his title on American shores on Nov. 18, 2017, in Houston, as he faces former NXT Tag Team Champion, Johnny Gargano.
As noted by WWE, Dunne vs. Gargano would mainly be noteworthy for the fact that “Johnny Wrestling” is the first American ever to challenge for WWE’s United Kingdom Championship since its launch in January 2017. The match, however, will not be aired on TV or on the WWE Network, as it will be an exclusive to fans who will be watching TakeOver: WarGames live at Houston’s Toyota Center.
PREVIOUSLY: PETE DUNNE DEBUTS ON MONDAY NIGHT RAW
Although normally booked as a heel, Dunne got a babyface pop on Monday as he defeated top cruiserweight heel Enzo Amore in front of his home country’s fans. Don’t expect this face turn to last though, as he’s stood out on NXT for his work as the top bad guy among U.K. title contenders. Following his victory over Tyler Bate for the U.K. Championship in March, he’s had successful defenses against the likes of Mark Andrews and Trent Seven.
Gargano, on the other hand, hasn’t had much direction since Tommaso Ciampa’s heel turn and injury and the ensuing breakup of former NXT Tag Team Champions #DIY. His last televised match, for instance, saw him lose to Italian newcomer Fabian Aichner. However, Gargano’s lack of direction isn’t unusual these days for wrestlers with an injured tag team partner, or in his case, injured ex-tag team partner-turned rival. For example, Dash Wilder of The Revival has practically done nothing on Raw since Scott Dawson’s injury, while Matt Hardy has been further relegated to jobber-to-the-stars duty since his brother Jeff got sidelined with a shoulder injury in September.
All in all, this appears to be a move that could benefit both Pete Dunne and Johnny Gargano. As mentioned, this marks the first time that an American will be competing for the U.K. Championship, and while one can argue that this takes away from the exclusivity of the title, it needs no mentioning that titles such as the U.S. Championship don’t necessarily need to be held by Americans, just like the old European Championship ultimately was held by many non-European wrestlers. This is a match that could go either way, and even if it’s going to essentially be a dark match at TakeOver: WarGames, it’s a sign that WWE has plans to take the U.K. Championship more seriously going forward.
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