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.
NXT Takeover: Blackpool Card
WWE is preparing for their upcoming NXT event, NXT Takeover: Blackpool, and after the airing of this week’s NXT, the full card is now in focus.
NXT UK’s first Takeover event hits the WWE Network, live from Blackpool, England, this Saturday.
Here is the card, at the time of this writing:
NXT UK Women’s Championship Match – Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Toni Storm
NXT UK Tag Team Championship Match – Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson and James Drake)
WWE United Kingdom Championship Match – Pete Dunne (c) vs. Joe Coffey
No DQ Match – Dave Mastiff vs. Eddie Dennis
Travis Banks vs. Jordan Devlin
WWE Reportedly Interested In KUSHIDA
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA is reportedly drawing interest from WWE, according to a report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
KUSHIDA, 35, has been the cornerstone of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s light heavyweight division and one of their most recognized stars, globally.
The report indicates that NXT is the destination if WWE were to lure KUSHIDA from New Japan.
With NXT globalizing, an NXT Japan seems like a natural progression for the brand and KUSHIDA could be in those potential plans moving forward.
Matt Riddle Talks About Joining WWE/NXT
NXT superstar Matt Riddle has been gaining popularity since his landmark signing earlier this year, and during a recent interview with ESPN for their story on the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, Riddle says that he should have been with WWE long before his 2018 signing.
“I moved my family down here, I’ve got three kids and a wife, so it’s nice,” Riddle said.
“I just wrestle in Florida every weekend. We occasionally do tours or TakeOvers, but for the most part, now I get to spend more time with my family. I’m more local, and it’s great. The training here is top-notch,” he continued. “Where I was, I was lucky to even train three times a week, because my schedule was so insane — and I didn’t have the coaches or amenities to do [much more than that].”
“I just feel like I belong here. I felt like I belonged here three-and-a-half years ago when I had my first try out.”
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