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’s Adam Cole Discusses Creative Freedom
NXT Champion Adam Cole is at the height of his success with the promotion, recently defeating Johnny Gargano in another instant classic to capture his first NXT Championship, and he is talking about how things go down in NXT.
Unlike much of the main roster, where promos are often scripted and comedy-acts are more common, Cole says that superstars in NXT get a bit more creative freedom, as he had with Gargano for their match.
“One of the coolest things about NXT is we have a ton of creative liberties to come up with the story and the vision we have for the match” Cole said, during an interview with TalkSport. “Of course, there’s input and advice given and there’s suggestions or, you know ‘we need something this way’ (but) we do have a lot of freedom, which is great.”
Cole added that he and Gargano came up with the format for their two out of three falls classic at NXT Takeover: New York.
Fandango, Apollo Crews, Killain Dain Make Returns to NXT
WWE is starting to allow superstars on their main rosters to transition back to NXT, much like they did with Tyler Breeze, who recently returned to NXT, where he had his most success, following around 2 years of meandering on the main roster following his callup.
Fandango, Apollo Crews, and Killian Dain made their returns to NXT tv at Winter Park, FL at Full Sail University for Thursday’s NXT TV tapings.
Fandango, also making his return from injury, made the save for his Breezango partner, Tyler Breeze, who was on the receiving end of an attack at the hands of the Forgotten Sons. Crews made his return to take on Kushida in singles competition, and Dain made a brutal attack on Matt Riddle following Riddle’s win over Arture Rass.
Fandango had been out of action after suffering a shoulder injury back in July 2018.
Tommaso Ciampa Undergoes Successful Surgery
Ciampa is expected to miss 3-6 months as he recovers from the surgery.
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