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The Mighty Don't Kneel

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The Mighty Don't Kneel or TMDK is a professional wrestling tag team consisting of Australian wrestlers Michael Nicholls and Shane Veryzer.

They are best known for their work in the Japanese Pro Wrestling Noah (Noah) promotion, where, under the ring names Mikey Nicholls and Shane Haste, they are former two-time GHC Tag Team Champions. They have also worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), Ring of Honor (ROH) and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). Though best known as a tag team, TMDK has also been a stable, which included, in addition to Nicholls and Haste, fellow Australians Elliot Sexton, Jonah Rock, Marcius Pitt and Slex. TMDK has also been said to stand for "Torture, Murder, Destroy, Kill".

In 2016, Nicholls and Veryzer signed with WWE and were assigned to its developmental branch NXT, where they were renamed Nick Miller and Shane Thorne, while their tag team was renamed TM-61.

History

Formation (2010–2011)

In the autumn of 2010, Australian wrestlers Mikey Nicholls and Shane Haste passed a tryout held by Pro Wrestling Noah (Noah) and World League Wrestling (WLW) in the United States, which allowed them to begin training at Noah's dojo. They made their debut for the Japanese promotion on 23 February 2011, and began working together under the team name "TMDK". The Mighty Don't Kneel originated in the Explosive Pro Wrestling (EPW) promotion, where it was a stable, also including Elliot Sexton, Jonah Rock, Marcius Pitt and Slex. Rock and Slex have also represented TMDK in Noah. Nicholls and Haste then began working regularly for Noah in the promotion's junior heavyweight tag team division, though it was questioned whether the two actually were under the 100 kg (220 lb) weight limit.

Pro Wrestling Noah (2011–2016)

On 15 December 2011, Nicholls and Haste received their first shot at the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, but were defeated by the defending champions, Atsushi Aoki and Kotaro Suzuki. Shortly afterwards, Nicholls and Haste left the junior heavyweight division.

Back in Noah, Nicholls and Haste also began breaking out in singles action, taking part in the 2012 Global League Tournament, where Nicholls wrestled KENTA to a draw and defeated Go Shiozaki, while Haste was victorious over Akitoshi Saito and Naomichi Marufuji. In April 2013, Nicholls and Haste took part in their first Global Tag League. Though failing to advance to the finals, they picked up a win over the reigning GHC Tag Team Champions, New Japan Pro Wrestling representatives Takashi Iizuka and Toru Yano. This led to a title match between the two teams on 12 May, where Iizuka and Yano retained their title. Earlier that day, Noah had announced that Nicholls and Haste had signed contracts to become officially affiliated with the promotion. A rubber match between Nicholls and Haste and Iizuka and Yano took place on 7 July and saw TMDK emerge victorious and become the new GHC Tag Team Champions. In September, Nicholls and Haste both began chasing the GHC Heavyweight Championship, but were defeated in back-to-back title matches by the defending champion, KENTA. On 10 December, the Tokyo Sports magazine named Nicholls and Haste the 2013 tag team of the year, with the two becoming the first gaijin team to win the "Best Tag Team Award" since Stan Hansen and Vader in 1998. On 25 January 2014, Nicholls and Haste lost the GHC Tag Team Championship to Maybach Taniguchi and GHC Heavyweight Champion Takeshi Morishima.

On 10 January 2015, Nicholls and Haste defeated Dangan Yankies (Masato Tanaka and Takashi Sugiura) to win the GHC Tag Team Championship for the second time. They lost the title to K.E.S. (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer) on 11 February. On 28 December 2015, Noah announced that Nicholls and Haste would leave the promotion following their contracts expiring at the end of the year. On 11 February 2016, Noah announced that Haste and Nicholls would return to the promotion the following month to take part in a five-show-long farewell tour, entitled "Departure to the World". Their final Noah match took place on 10 March and saw them defeat Naomichi Marufuji and Mitsuhiro Kitamiya. In February 2016, it was reported that Nicholls and Haste would join WWE's NXT brand following their Noah farewell tour the following month. WWE confirmed the signings on March 25, 2016.[50]

Independent circuit (2012–2016)

In early 2012, Nicholls and Haste traveled to the United States, where they worked for several promotions, including Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), Ring of Honor (ROH), and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA). In ROH, they won a one-night tournament to earn a match against the Briscoe Brothers at the Showdown in the Sun pay-per-view.

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2014–2015)

On 20 December 2014, Haste and Nicholls made their debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), when they, along with Naomichi Marufuji, were revealed as Toru Yano's tag team partners at Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Tokyo Dome on 4 January 2015. They would go on to win the match, defeating Suzuki-gun (Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer, Shelton X Benjamin and Takashi Iizuka).

WWE

NXT (2015–present)

In June 2015, Nicholls and Haste took part in a WWE tryout camp. In February 2016, it was reported that Nicholls and Haste were scheduled to join WWE's NXT brand following their Noah farewell tour. On March 25, 2016, WWE confirmed the signings of both Nicholls and Haste. They began training at the WWE Performance Center in April, while working for the promotion's developmental branch NXT. During May 19 NXT taping, Haste and Nicholls were renamed Shane Thorne and Nick Miller, respectively, while TMDK was renamed TM-61. They debuted on the May 25 episode, losing to Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa.

In wrestling

  • Finishing double team moves
    • Tank Buster (Diving DDT (Haste) and over the shoulder facebuster (Nicholls) combination)
    • Thunder Valley(Spin-out powerbomb (Nicholls) and Death Valley driver (Haste) combination)
  • Signature double team moves
    • Fist drop (Nicholls/Miller) and standing moonsault (Haste/Thorne) combination)
  • Entrance themes
    • "Joker & the Thief" by Wolfmother
    • "Stand Tall" by CFO$ (WWE; 2016–present)

Championships and accomplishments

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