Last week’s episode ended with a cliffhanger of sorts as it was strongly implied one of the hopefuls we had followed would receive bad news from Vice President of Talent Development Canyon Ceman. Devon Taylor, who was looking to make the transition from backstage interviewer to in-ring Diva, turned out to the “future endeavored” one. From her reaction, you knew she saw this coming. Her lack of improvement during training sessions ended up being her downfall.
For Tino “Sabby” Sabbatelli, who was recovering from a concussion, the news was much better as he received a clean bill of health from Head Athletic Trainer Brian Duncan. His sigh of relief spoke volumes about how close he came to have his dream of becoming a WWE Superstar crushed.
NXT DIva Dana Brooke was one of the main focuses for this week’s episode. We follow her as she explains her grueling training routine and the efforts she makes to stay on top of things. Regular visits to the beauty specialist might earn her a sneer here and there, but that’s part of being a Diva in WWE. Like she stated, they never know when they’re gonna be called for a photo-shoot and those close-ups during matches are rather unforgiving. I know the Total Diva gets on some people’s nerve, but from the way she looks to the way she improved herself in the ring, you know that girl is working her ass off and that deserves respect. Unfortunately for Dana, towards the end of the episodes, coaches Sara Amato and Sarah Stock lead a group of female wrestlers through a difficult exercise, and Dana’s lack of progress makes Amato wonders If she has plateaued. Dana’s storyline for this week ends by her possibly pushing herself to far as she takes a nasty bump.
I must have done something to offend the wrestling gods lately since Zamariah “ZZ” Loupe is back on my TV screen. From the start, all coaches, including Robbie Brookside, warn ZZ that he has to take things seriously, especially his cardio training. Of course, from the start we see ZZ behaving exactly like he did on Tough Enough. Confronted with the familiar sight of ZZ goofing off during practice, Tough Enough winner Josh Bredl once again states that ZZ doesn’t have the will to become a wrestler. Coach Brookside takes gloves at first, when dealing with the youngster, but quite rapidly makes it clear that his clown antics will not get him far. I get that WWE wants to capitalize on ZZ’s popularity during his TE run, but, come on, more of this? Why, WWE, why???
Finally we follow a group of hopefuls through their three-day try-out. While we see Tough Enough alumni Mada, Daria and Patrick in that group, the real star of those segments is none other than William Regal who nearly blows up at some of the new guy’s inability to follow the simplest instructions. Gold. The third day features promo exercises, and that proves to be the biggest pitfall for some as Canyon Ceman asks one contestant, after a particular un-inspiring promo, why he didn’t use the six month between being invited for a try-out band the actual try-out to take some wrestling lessons. Good question indeed. We then are invited to watch all coaches and NXT executives discuss who has it and who doesn’t, who is teachable and who is hopeless. The selected candidates will then be subjected to a background check (twitter, here we “come!) before Triple H gets the final say. Interesting insights into the WWE/NXT recruiting process.
The show continues on last week’s good impression. William Shatner has immediately found the right tone and continues to be excellent in his narration. They don’t focus on just a few coaches but mix familiar faces like William Regal up with less known coaches like Robbie Brookside and Sarah Stock. They also seem intent on giving the spotlight to a rotating cast of NXT stars, rookies and hopefuls which will certainly help to keep things fresh. Only reservation I have about this episode was ZZ. As soon as he stepped inside the Performance Center, the spotlight was on him. I really hope that won’t be a fixture in the coming episodes, as I really don’t want to spend any more of my time watching ZZ clowning around. During one scene, we saw Asuka and Athena (if I’m not mistaken) sitting besides Sara Lee and ZZ. I would prefer watching those two excellent athletes train and follow how they adapt to the WWE way of doing things, than watching ZZ zombie through exercises he clearly has no interest in doing, so, please WWE, don’t overdo it on the ZZ thing.
Regardless of ZZ, Breaking Ground episode 2 was another very interesting insight into the inner workings of the WWE Performance Center. Keep them coming, WWE.
Tags: Asuka, Breaking Ground, Dana Brooke, Matt Bloom; Sara Amato, NXT, Robbie Brookside, William Regal, zz