This week’s Breaking Ground episode starts with the conclusion of last week’s cliffhanger and we see Triple H telling Sasha Banks and Bayley that they will be main-eventing NXT Takeover Respect. And not only that, but it will be an iron-woman match. Lots of emotions from both Bayley and Sasha of course, as HHH congratulates them. Bayley says that maybe, one day, they’ll do the same at WrestleMania. Well, if any two woman can pull that off, I’d say is those two.
Again lots of jumping around from character to character during this episode so please bear with me while I try to make a more or less coherent article out of that. Coaches meeting and they were impressed by Tino Sabbatelli’s showing during last week’s Performance Center matches. They book him in a match against Apollo Crews and say it’s time for Tino to show them what he has.
Scott Hall is a special guest at the Performance Center this week and it was really great to see Scott walk around, catch up with Norman Smiley and give advice to the young NXT rookies. Hall seemed to be genuinely enjoying himself here and it showed. We see him sharing some of his knowledge and experience as “The Bad Guy” with Baron Corbin, who d”definitely needs someone like Hall to overcome his blandness. But to his credit, The Lone Wolf seemed rather open to learn from Hall and eagerly listened to any advice Hall had to give. A bit later, during promo classes, William Regal asked Hall to give some pointers to Apollo Crews who struggles with his mic skills. I had to smile when Razor Ramon asked Apollo Crews if he talked like that outside of promo classes, especially since BG had previously regaled us with some of those early “Bad Guy” promos. Don’t get me wrong, that accent is still outrageously awesome more than 20 years later but I don’t really think Scott hall really talks like that either. Anyway some good advice from Hall to the young ones and survey says: good to see you Mr Hall.
Of course, the fact that both Tino and Apollo got some screen time would eventually lead us to the aforementioned match but first we follow Tino around as he gets some new clothes and calls each piece “gangsta”. And I’m not even kidding the word gangsta gets dropped five or six times. I don’t know, is that a thing in the States right now, you have to look “gangsta”? Especially since it apparently involves dressing up like a Mafiosi straight out of a Martin Scorsese movie. Hey Tino, Ray Liotta called and he wants his clothes back.
Anyway, some heavy duty character building here as we see Sabbatelli walks around in an expensive sports car and talk about how putting him in a match against Crews is a vote of confidence from the coaches. I’m having a flash-back to last week’s episode where Tye Dillinger told Tino people were going to hate him just because of the way he looks, dresses and stuff. Well Tye was absolutely right, this thing works, I already hate the guy and I haven’t even seen him wrestle yet. Speaking of wrestling, it’s match time and the soap bubble quickly bursts for Tino as trainers are looking at him struggle in the ring. On top of that he takes a very strange bump following a Crews dropkick that has Matt Bloom shaking his head. Backstage, Tino thinks he has done well, but Bloom quickly disabuse him by telling him all he has done wrong. His punches are ridiculed, or like Vince would say (according to Bloom), men throw punches. Oh so you mean those awkward hand gestures Cena has been throwing around for years are actually punches? I never knew. But most importantly, that awkward bump draws the ire of the former Lord Tensai. Apollo could have been injured and Bloom wants none of that. A bit later Bloom tells a dejected Tino he’s being send back to coach Robbie Brookeside’s beginner’s classes.
Interestingly, Baron Corbin makes his second appearance here and it’s one of the first times we see him bond somewhat with any other NXT star or rookie. Corbin tells Tino his match really had issues and that he has to take all criticism and learn from it because that’s what he’s still doing even after three years of hard work. Tino admits he looks up to Corbin. Well of course you do, you dunce, he’s taller than you. The whole Sabbatelli experience is perhaps best summarized by Matt Bloom himself: he looks the part, he talks the part, he drives the part… And then the bell rings. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Sami Zayn also plays a part in this episode as we are reminded of the circumstances in which he injured himself (US Open Challenge match against John Cena). Sami explained to us that he actually tore his labrum and rotator cuff when he was firing up the crowd before the match started. The simple fact he somehow managed to make it through that match despite that earned him praise from everyone and deservedly so. We see him talk with William Regal about how he has missed the crowds and how he is itching to get back in the ring. Lord Regal The Wise warns him that he has still a long way to go.
We see several clips of Sami during his rehab session and he talks about his friends thinking he would not make it back? But Sami is determined although he does realize it’s out of his hand whether or not he can pick up where he left up. At the Performance Center, he decides to help out everyone’s favorite Diva Eva Marie, who, as William Shatner explains to us, requested to be put back in NXT in order to hone her ring skills. What ring skills, I wonder. Regardless, at least our Redhead is trying to learn from the best as Tyler Breeze joins Zayn in the training session. This segment was a real eye opener as Zayn obviously has some serious skills as a trainer, not only focusing on the moves but also on what they mean during a match. Great stuff. Zayn also comments on Breeze, and how Prince Pretty was actually on the verge of being fired several times, somehow always finding the strength to hang on before finally finding his stride.
In between those storylines we get some brief skits that did not really seem relevant in this episode, but, this being BG, they might be setting things up for future episode.
First BayMella is back as Bayley and Carmella go get some dinner, with Bayley talking of the importance of her upcoming main event match.
Then we meet Tough Enough winner Josh, who talks with Robbie Brookeside about finally being able to let his family come over. We see Josh and his wife and daughter in their new home and even get some ultra-cute couch-surfing from <Josh’s three year old daughter.
Nia Jax is sitting at home going over her ring attire with some friends. Shatner reminds us all how important a first good impression is in wrestling. The infamous Shockmaster entrance is given asan example not to follow. I don’t care how many time they show this particular clip, it never gets old.
Finally, MOJO RAWLEY IS HYPED ALL THE TIME. ALL. THE. TIME. AND IT’S PARTY TIME AT HIS NEW HOME. AND HE’S HYPED. ALL. THE. TIME. AND THIS PARTY AIN’T GONNA BE PG. BECAUSE HE’S HYPED. ALL. THE. TIME.
Seriously, can someone give this guy a tranquilizer please? Yes, the ones they use for horses will do. I think…
Finally, during this episode we also get Dana Brooke, Peyton Royce and one other I did not recognize are doing a little training session in the park. Of course this isn’t WWE’s way of having an excuse to film hot women in thigh fitting clothes working up a sweat because they would never do that. Yeah, right. Dana’s work ethic and past as a gymnast are emphasized here. Funnily enough we also get a lot of Auska sightings during this episode, usually in the background, but the sheer number of those sightings, combined with a Dana Brooke appearance can only mean…
That we have both in the last segment of this episode. William Shatner introduces Asuka to us as one of the fiercest competitors in the world. We are told that most Divas are intimidated by getting in the ring with the former Kana, but Dana welcomes the challenges as she constantly strives to improves herself. This is followed by clips of Asuka absolutely dismantling Dana during a training session under the supervision of Sara Amato. Which is always fun to watch. The episode ends on yet another cliffhanger as Dan seems to get injured after taking a Rear View from Asuka.
And yet another good episode, but I wish they would focus on just three or four people per episode sometimes as all that jumping around sometime muddles thing, especially if you suddenly find yourself in Mojo Rawley’s home without warning. That aside, it was really great to see Scott Hall interact with the NXT crew and I also enjoyed finally seeing Asuka during a training session. Which actually looks much like Asuka during a match now that I think on it. Oh well, I’m not the one getting my ass kicked so I’m free to enjoy it anyway.
I don’t think there is an episode next week, so see you all next year for more Breaking Ground episodes. Have fun!
Tags: Asuka, bayley, Breaking Ground, Carmella, Dana Brooke, Matt Bloom, Nia Jax, Robbie brookeside, sami zayn, Sara Amato, sasha banks, Tino Sabatelli, Tripple H