Last week, it was revealed that Timothy Thatcher had signed a contract with WWE, sending the internet into utter meltdown in the process.
It remains to be seen if Thatcher will perform primarily on NXT or NXT UK. A possibility could be for him to report to NXT UK, where he could rejoin his former stable, Imperium. Along with Walter, Wolfe, and Barthel (formerly known as Axel Dieter Jr), Thatcher was an original member of Ringkampf. Thatcher’s spot in the WWE incarnation of the faction is currently occupied by Fabien Aichner, so the possible outcomes would be for him to replace Aichner, or to join Imperium, making them a five man stable. The third and more likely scenario is that Thatcher will report to the WWE Performance centre in Florida, and wrestle as a singles competitor in NXT.
Hailing from Sacramento, California by way of Essen, Germany, Thatcher is a very unique type of wrestler. A stoic, no nonsense grappler that has no interest in titles, fans, popularity or money. The types of moves you can expect to see from Thatcher include different suplex variations, stiff chops, and matt based submission holds. Some insight into the mind of Thatcher can be found in this Evolve mini doc, chronicling his feud with Drew Gulak.
Ringkampf’s motto is “Die Matte Ist Heilig” which translates to ‘the mat is sacred’; this is the text on the Timothy Thatcher scarf that can be found hanging on my living room wall. While this easily ranks among my favourite items of merch, obtaining the scarf did not prove to be so easy. Unlike most wrestlers, it is extremely rare to see Thatcher selling merch at shows. Instead, the scarf was imported via mail order from Ringkampf HQ in Germany.
As well as not selling merch at shows, Thatcher does not do social media. At all. It is also known that Thatcher is not a fan of smartphones, and has been spotted on multiple occasions using a flip phone instead.
Today it is easier than ever for fans to interact with their favourite wrestler online, and it is almost always possible to meet your favourite wrestlers at the merch tables at shows. Not having the same level of access to Thatcher makes him special. This elusiveness creates a certain aura about him. This, coupled with the intensity and violence he brings to the ring leaves no doubt in your mind that when you see a Tim Thatcher match, you’re seeing something very special.
News of Thatcher’s signing caused an absolute meltdown on wrestling Twitter, with several members of the TWM Universe gushing at the prospect of the possible matches this signing could lead to.
While we can gush over the possible matches we could not see, let’s first take a moment to go back and watch some of Thatcher’s best matches from the past, all of which are available to view for free on YouTube:
A match that commentator Rich Bocchini called a ‘dream match’, this bout from MLW Fusion 83 in late 2019 saw two similar styles clash, although Thatcher would have the edge with regards to power and weight, while Low Ki would have the speed and striking advantage. Low Ki is no stranger to WWE himself, after a failed run as ‘Kaval’ from 2008-2010. This match was not very reminiscent of a WWE style match however, at times feeling more reminiscent to a worked MMA match.
At the Fourth Year Anniversary show, OTT Wrestling celebrated by giving us two of the hardest bastards in wrestling going at it in front of the crazy atmosphere of the Irish OTT crowd. The two wrestle a similar stoic style, which resulted in a game of one-upmanship between the two as one of the biggest names in US and European wrestling faced off against the Japanese wrestling legend, Minoru Suzuki.
The next match is a little different, as it is an intergender match that saw Thatcher face off against fellow NXT colleague, Toni Storm. This match was the Main Event of Beyond Wrestling’s ‘Lit Up’, and seemingly went viral shortly afterwards having amassed a total of over 57 million views on YouTube.
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A Triple Threat match at Progress’ Chapter 55 – Chase the Sun saw Thatcher face off against both Matt Riddle and fellow Ringkampf member, WALTER. The spectacular which took place at the renowned Alexandra Palace in London saw three of the biggest names on the roster vie for the Progress Atlas title at the company’s biggest show to date.
Would we see Thatcher and Walter team up? Of course not. As commentator Callum Leslie said, Ringkampf is about fighting and their respect for each other, they wouldn’t have it any other way, while Matt Richards commented that Thatcher was ‘so efficient with his movement and technique.’ Prior to this match, Riddle and Walter had been feuding with three singles matches already under their belts, and Thatcher had been unfortunate to find himself in between these two.
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The main event of MLW Fusion Episode 69 (nice) was the show that staged the first ever meeting between Thatcher and Davey Boy Smith Jr. This instant classic saw these two behemoths with mirrored styles grappling it out, exchanging a series of hard hitting stiff punches, mat based submissions, and a few technical manoeuvres thrown in for good measure.
The third and most recent in a trilogy of matches between Timothy Thatcher and Daniel Makabe rounds out this list. The promotion hosting this match is 3-2-1 BATTLE!, the “real wrestling” version of another popular promotion Kaiju Big Battel (if you’ve not heard of it, do yourself a favour and go look it up). Matches at 3-2-1 Battle! are unique in that the ring announcer commentates the match to the live crowd, and there was no shortage of action to call as these titans clashed.
After compiling this list of matches, something occurred to me. A running theme throughout these matches is that Thatcher lost every single one of them. This is proof that wins and losses do not take away from Thatcher’s aura, which may well be one of the reasons WWE decided to sign him – there is no escaping eating pins as a result of WWE’s notorious 50/50 booking.