Timothy Thatcher‘s days as a substitute partner with NXT Tag Team Champion Matt Riddle in Pete Dunne‘s absence have come to a close. In fact, it ended shortly before the match ended. In the closing minutes of their tag team title defense against the Imperium unit of Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner, Thatcher abandoned Riddle in the ring and left the arena, leaving Imperium with the advantage to defeat Riddle and become the new NXT Tag Team Champions.
— WWE (@WWE) May 14, 2020
For those who have followed most of Imperium and Timothy Thatcher’s pre-WWE careers, the move will likely raise an eyebrow. Three-quarters of Imperium – NXT United Kingdom Champion WALTER, Alexander Wolfe, and Marcel Barthel – were founding members of the German stable known as Ringkampf. Soon after, they were joined by Timothy Thatcher. The stable wreaked havoc across Europe, from Germany’s Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw) to England’s PROGRESS Wrestling. In 2017, WALTER and Thatcher won the wXw World Tag Team Championships. Could Thatcher have intentionally set up Riddle for failure to rejoin his former European running mates?
It didn’t take long for Riddle to get retribution, as the two would go on to compete later in Wednesday’s episode in the main event. It proved to be a hard-hitting affair with lots of competitive wrestling, but in the end, Riddle won the match. Imperium never came out to help Thatcher, so perhaps Thatcher acted alone and was just fed up with his temporary tag partner. Or is there something more sinister in the wait?
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