WWE fans were left dumbfounded this week when the promising new tag team of Ricochet and Cedric Alexander was beaten by two relative newcomers in Shane Thorne and Brendan Vink on Monday Night Raw. The pair had popped up a few times on Raw in recent months, but this marked the first time either man had picked up a victory on the Red Brand. So while Alexander and Ricochet try to rebuild the momentum it's time to ask an important question — who the heck are Thorne and Vink? In order to understand that, we'll need to talk about Australian pro wrestling.
Both Thorne and Vink were originally apart of the Explosive Pro Wrestling (EPW) promotion in Perth, Western Australia, where they wrestled as members of the stable TMDK, also known as The Mighty Don't Kneel. In 2010 Shane Haste (Thorne) and Mikey Nicholls (known during his time in NXT as Nick Miller) began training in the Pro Wrestling Noah dojo in Japan, and would continue to use the TMDK moniker as their tag team name from 2011-16. The pair held Noah's tag titles, the GHC Tag Team Championships, twice and appeared in New Japan and Ring of Honor before signing with WWE in early 2016.
Now repackaged as TM-61, Thorne and Miller began working in NXT's tag team division and made it to the final round of the 2016 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, only to lose to the Authors of Pain at NXT TakeOver: Toronto. The team's momentum was suddenly cut short when Thorne suffered a knee injury, one that kept him out of action for nine months. In 2018 the two started competing on NXT again, eventually turning heel and renaming themselves The Mighty. In December 2018 Miller was released from the company.
With Miller moving back to New Japan, Thorne was left drifting as a singles wrestler on NXT for most of 2019. That finally changed in March when he began teaming with Vink.
As for Vink, the 6-foot-5 Australian powerhouse was also a member of TMDK back in its faction days. After spending 11 years wrestling for Australian promotions of Elliot Sexton, Vink signed with WWE in February 2019 and worked on NXT's house show circuit before getting paired up with Thorne.
Since their Raw debut (where they lost to The Street Profits in four minutes), the pair have also popped up on NXT and Main Event.
Do you think Thorne and Vink have a future as a tag team on Raw? Or was this win merely a flash in the pan? Let us know down in the comments!
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.