The NXT Universe saw the return of one of the hottest tag teams on the brand today – TM-61 and they have their eyes set on NXT tag team gold.
On the Jan. 31 episode of NXT, which was taped prior to NXT Takeover: Philadelphia, TM61 – Shane Thorne and Nick Miller returned to the ring to defeat the Ealy Brothers. Also on the episode, Roderick Strong defeated Tyler Bate to earn a shot at the WWE U.K. Championship and Nikki Cross picked up a win against Lacey Evans.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) February 1, 2018
For the NXT Universe, it was a joyous occasion to see TM-61 return to the ring as it was the first time the duo wrestled on an NXT broadcast in almost a year.
Last January, Shane Thorne suffered a knee injury after a match with The Revival. The injury would not only scrap the feud between TM-61 and The Top Guys, but Thorne was also sidelined for eight months.
Miller worked several NXT live events as a singles competitor, but he was kept off the broadcast while his partner recovered from the injury. Throne returned to action in September where he and Miller started competing in live events.
This is good news for the NXT Universe. Fans had a taste of TM-61 when the duo debuted in 2016. Miller and Thorne made a splash in the tag team scene and made it to the finals of the 2016 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, where they lost to the Authors of Pain in the finals.
Miller and Throne came to NXT with a full resume. Known as The Mighty Don’t Kneel, they made a name for themselves in Pro Wrestling Noah where they won the GHC Tag Team titles on two separate occasions. Both wrestlers also found tag team and singles success in the United States and Australia as well.
In preparation for Miller and Throne’s return to the broadcasts, NXT produced two lengthy videos detailing the backstory of TM-61, how they met and grew as a tag team.
TM-61 has the experience and in-ring style that NXT fans love, and they bring their own flavor to the division. That said, the video packages were a good way to bring new fans up to speed on the duo’s time in Japan and tidbits about their career, including their relationship with former NWA World Heavyweight champion and WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race, which is something most fans probably didn’t know.
The landscape of NXT’s tag team division has changed since TM-61 has been away.
During their path to the NXT tag team titles, TM-61 could encounter rivals, Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli, SanITy and Authors of Pain. There are new faces for the duo to face like the Street Profits, and Heavy Machinery, as well as new signees War Machine. At the top of the mountain sits current tag team champions Kylie O’Reilly and Bobby Fish of the Undisputed Era.
All of the aforementioned tag teams would make good opponents for TM-61. Their return to the NXT broadcast is potentially the first step in what could be a successful run in NXT.