This week’s episode starts with a recap of last week, with Gable and Jordan getting ready for their important match against the Hype Bros and ZZ reminding us all that cardio sucks. After watching ZZ walk out of practice last week, we find ZZ lying on a bench, selling being near-death quite well I must say. Matt Bloom reminds him that all the other guys are still going and that he needs to be able to keep up if he wants to make it. And The Voice (William Shatner) reminds us that the only reason ZZ is employed is because he was Tough Enough’s social media darling. Well, at least they’re honest about it.
We switch to the live event where Jordan feels the pressure of having to step up a notch because of gable’s ankle injury. The match goes well though and Jordan delivers a strong performance against the Hype Bros. Backstage, Mojo asks Zach Ryder if everything went well and then carefully listens to the veterans feedback. Shatner calls the Hype Bros’ chemistry a work in progress, and that’s probably the best way to describe the team itself.
Cal Bishop’s storyline from last week continues after a recap where we are shown footage of the match in which he injured his shoulder and &are reminded he suffered and fought through 3 shoulder injuries and 2 operations. We meet physical therapist Tara Halaby who puts him through some exercises before he engage in a in-ring training session under the watchful eyes of coaches Matt Bloom and Robbie Brookside. While Bishop is technically cleared to resume training, Bloom’s main concern remains if his shoulder will hold up. Much is made about his safety in the ring and also that of his opponent. There are definitely dark clouds gathering around poor Cal Bishop’s head.
It’s Nia Jax’s turn to get the spotlight and her take on her character is “I am the main bitch and nobody’s going to mess with me.” I wasn’t really planning to Nia so calm down please you’re scaring my cats. Anyway we get the obligatory The Rock plug-in (who is Nia’s Cousin). Pretty standard stuff here has Nia’s explains her unique look gives her an edge and that she wants to prove that woman of her size can also make it in WWE. Well, you got my support there Nia. Her storyline ends with a positive evaluation by Sara Amato.
Nia also gives us an easy transition to Nhooph since they often travel together apparently. Nhooph is still training in the hope of becoming a Diva. While her trainers comment on her progress, she gets the big news that she’s being given a definite ring name. Alliyah, as she’ll apparently been known from now on immediately phones William Regal and makes an appointment to discuss further details about her character. Enters Lord Regal and Alliyah came prepared with a collage of how her character is supposed to look like. If I understood thinks correctly (which is never guaranteed with me) this is supposed to be some sort of Kardashian doll who’s dressed like a belly dancer. Regal made me laugh here as he sort of came over as the kind grandfather who is trying hard to look pleased with the macaroni necklace one of his grandchildren made for him at school. In Nhooph’s case, I guess it’s better to have her make collages and stuff than to leave her unattended on twitter. Regal then gives her some sound advice (ditch the Kardashian thing, keep the Middle eastern influences) and gives her a pat on the head. Figuratively.
We also get to see Tyler Breeze interact with some of the female NXT rookies, sharing his experiences, explaining character development to them and revealing he watched a lot of Gorgeous George tapes to help him develop aspects of his own character. But he also warned them that just imitation isn’t enough, you got to adapt it all to your own personality and style. The Rookies look flabbergasted. The trainers praise Breeze for his willingness to share his wisdom and experience. I’m not sure what was accomplished here, except for the Gorgeous George reference which I found apt in Breeze’s case.
There was also a rather short storyline with Tino Sabatelli obtaining a try-out for his brother which goes nowhere since said brother unfortunately suffered an injury during an indy show.
At the end of the episode, WWE’s vice-president of talent development Canyon Ceman arrives and this is treated like the arrival of Darth Vador on the Death Star. You know shit is about to hit the fan. In a montage, 4 people (Jordan, Jax, Crews and Bishop) are told Darth Ceman (… that sounds weird, no?) wants to see them and for Jax, Craws and Jordan it’s good news since they’re getting a pay raise.
Unfortunately for Cal Bishop, it’s not an happy ending this time as he’s told they’re letting him go.
While not bad, I didn’t think this was the best BG episode they’ve done so far. It was a bit all over the place, jumping left and right in an attempt to build up towards the dramatic ending. Needles to say it didn’t work that much since we KNOW all the others they’ve presented are still with NXT. Also, I do realize wrestling is a though business and that Cal Bishop, despite all his hard work and determination, was always gonna be perceived by some in WWE as a liability because of hi weak shoulder, but, he gets cut and ZZ, whose only accomplishment until now is getting some facebook likes, still has a job? Wrestling (and life) is very unfair sometimes.
See you all next week where the spotlight will be on Alexa Bliss and what happens when you step into the ring with Eva Marie. Spoiler: it doesn’t look good.
Tags: Breaking Ground, Cal Bishop, Matt Bloom, Nia Jax, William Regal, zz