Last week’s episode ended with a cliffhanger of sorts, as Dana Brooke took what looked like a bad bump. I’ll immediately reassure the Dana fans out there, she’s fine and just stood up to try it once again. Bad bumps happen, you move on and continue is, I guess, the main message here.
Quite a few things happening in this week’s episode, so I’ll do what I did the previous weeks and just recap the storylines one by one.
First focus of this week’s episode was Tough Enough winner Josh Bredl. We see Matt Bloom telling him to take yoga lessons and to get some place to live and put his banking affairs in order as quickly as possible. We also see Josh talking with his family over the phone, helping set up the ring at Full Sail University, talking with some of the NXT roster, watching them during an NXT show and re-affirming his desire to get into the ring as soon as possible. Basically we see Josh do what he did during Tough Enough. The similarities continues during the promo classes, with Josh sticking to the yeti gimmick, and cutting a promo that was so bad it made William Regal cringe. And the wrestling gods knows Regal has seen quite a fw bad things during his career.
Regal gives some advice to josh and is then awesome during a trainers meeting by saying Josh tries to be a wookie. The other trainers corrected him but I can see why Regal would get confused here, I mean, wookie’s, yeti’s, Josh’s, they are all tall hairy things, aren’t they? Anyway the general consensus is that Josh needs to drop the gimmick and find something else, but Josh then gets depressed saying the yeti is 100% him and not knowing what else to do. Ermh, Josh? You’re 100% a tall, hairy beast from the Himalaya? Are you sure about that?
Josh gets one more try at promos at the end of the show, and it seems he does a little better now. At least we see Regal nodding to close to show. To be honest, I didn’t see much difference.
The second focus of the show was the NXT roster embarking on a 3 show tour in Texas. We follow Tyler Breeze, Baron Corbin, Carmella and Apollo Crews backstage, during their matches and while enjoying a little r&r.
Breeze talks about wanting to be a WWE wrestler since he was a kid and how he used to record WWE superstars. He also talked about how he struggled during his the first part of his developmental run and how the Tyler Breeze character literally saved him from the chopping block. Really interesting insights into Tyler Breeze here. We see short clips of breeze tearing the venues down during matches against Finn Balor and Samoa Joe. We also see him engage in a little war of words with Jason Jordan backstage, with Jordan wondering why Breeze would wear amateur wrestlers boots if he hasn’t done any amateur wrestling and Breeze then asking why the crowds were chanting “Gable” during Jordan’s matches. Funny stuff. We also see Breeze and Dillinger go for a walk and run into bats under a bridge. Funnily enough, just as I was writing this, one of my cats brought home a bat. Maybe they are watching breaking ground Behind my back? With cats, who know…
Baron Corbin continues to display his “Lone Wolf” character and we see him walk into a bar with a live rock band and visibly trying to restrain himself when one of the patrons there becomes a little too familiar. We also see Corbin backstage, watching Breeze vs Samoa Joe, and looking slightly annoyed at them stealing the show. Corbin vs Balor is next and William Shatner tells us that Corbin held his own. Again WWE makes an attempt at passing those Corbin boos for heel heat. I’m still not convinced dear WWE. But there was also a great moment with Corbin. As We watched Corbin battle Samoa Joe in San Antonio, Corbin told us that his five year old nephew was in attendance and the little kid was so pissed that Corbin got beaten that he wanted to beat Joe’s ass. Such stories are part of what makes this show great.
We also follow Carmella as she goes shopping with Big Cass. Carmella tells us how she used to be a fan of Macho Man and Elizabeth and that she would like to follow in Liz’ footsteps. She and Cass then have some fun at a Cowboy store, and I’m wondering if something is going on between those two. Well that’s not accurate, I’m not wondering that of my own free will, WWE forces me to. More not so subtle hints are dropped later when Carmella watches a match involving Cass. Finally, we see a short clip of her own match with Carmella pleased that people were cheering for her.
Apollo Crews talks about how much they all appreciate the fans and indeed seems happy to oblige in signing autographs and taking pictures at the airport. We also see a very different side of Apollo when he has the occasion to meet his sister (who is in the military and is stationed in San Antonio, the final stop of NXT’s Texas tour). Apollo expresses his joy and gratitude at being able to perform in front of his family.
Shatner notes that the Texas tour was a success and that all venues sold out (which is impressive as they were 3000 to 4000 capacity venues). But Shatner also slyly adds that as successful as the tour was, it still isn’t WrestleMania.
I’m torn between tow feelings concerning this how. First of all, seeing the NXT roster travel to Texas and perform over there, watching the backstage happenings and hearing the stories was great. Some will probably like some stories more than others, but that’s irrelevant. Breaking ground continues to give us great insights into how NXT and the Performance Center works and into the people behind the characters and that’s what counts.
I’m less enthusiastic about the Josh Bredl part. Not that I have anything against the Tough Enough winner, but here is the thing. Everything we’ve seen from Josh and ZZ was already known from the Tough Enough series. Josh, understandably, misses his family. Josh sucks at promos. ZZ is lazy and wants to become a wrestler by clowning around. Ect… We already got ten weeks of that. Do we really need more of the same? I get WWE wants to squeeze all they can out of the TE contestants, before their already waning popularity completely disappears, but I would have given this week’s Breaking Ground a full five star if the whole episode had been about the Texas Tour. Now I would give it 3 and a half star, because everything around Josh was completely redundant. OK except the wookie thing, that gets an extra half star.
Tags: apollo crews, Baron Corbin, Breaking Ground, Carmella, Finn Balor, Josh Bredl, Samoa Joa, Tyler Breeze, William Regal, William Shatner