- The ongoing working relationship between WWE and WWN Live continued tonight as WWE NXT General Manager William Regal appeared at the EVOLVE 54 event in Orlando, Florida and came to the ring for a promo. Regal said what he had been watching all night made him proud to be in the business and he put over the talents. Regal then introduced EVOLVE Champion Timothy Thatcher, who came out and shook Regal's hand. Regal praised the champion and then talked about how he met Thatcher four years ago, and how he's proud of everything Thatcher has done. Thatcher then spoke but was interrupted by former MMA fighter Matt Riddle, who got the job with EVOLVE last year thanks to WWE.
Riddle came out and talked about deserving a title shot and how he should be signed by Regal. Regal told Riddle he has to earn the respect of his peers and the fans, and to do that you have to compete against the best - Thatcher. Regal told Riddle he might have a chance with him in the future if he beat Thatcher and this led to Riddle challenging Thatcher for a match in March.
Regal ended the segment by thanking fans for supporting pro wrestling and EVOLVE, and thanking Thatcher. As noted, Triple H, Robbie Brookside and others from NXT were also in attendance for tonight's show. Chad Gable and Jason Jordan signed autographs before the show for fans.
This is the second segment Thatcher has done with a NXT star in the past year. When NXT Superstar Sami Zayn did a dark segment back at EVOLVE 50 in October, he praised indie star and NXT regular Johnny Gargano until Thatcher came out and interrupted. This led to Zayn telling Thatcher that if he wanted to be considered the man, he had to beat the man - Gargano. Thatcher went on and defeated Gargano at EVOLVE 51 in November.
Below are a few photos from the Regal segment tonight:
regal invites out evolve champion timothy thatcher pic.twitter.com/lXq6NludmJ— Bill Hanstock (@sundownmotel) January 24, 2016