‘WWE Breaking Ground’ Season 1, Episode 3 Recap: Hittin’ the road
The men and women of the WWE Performance Center experience NXT’s rapid growth from developmental group to stand-alone touring brand as they journey to Texas for a rousing three-city tour of The Lone Star State. Meanwhile, Tough Enough winner Josh Bredl, fresh off signing a $250,000 contract, looks to get comfortable in his new home of Orlando, Fla., in week three of WWE Network’s docu-series, WWE Breaking Ground.
Departing their home base of Florida, the NXT Superstars and Divas board planes and head to the first leg of their tour in Houston. Upon landing, NXT’s surging popularity in the state is apparent, as fans gather at the airport terminal to capture photos and get autographs. Apollo Crews has no problem indulging such requests; having spent 10 years toiling on the independent circuit, the NXT newcomer relishes the spotlight he’s earned during his short time in NXT.
Underscoring Texas’ support of NXT is the fact a capacity audience packs the venue in Houston. The standing-room-only crowd “oohs” and “awws” during Tyler Breeze’s match against NXT Champion Finn Bálor. Breeze reflects on how far he has come since he was on the chopping block two years ago, before he reinvented himself as NXT’s Sultan of Selfies, a transformation that came along after he had already spent three years in WWE’s developmental system.
The tour’s second stop in Austin is another sellout, and Assistant Head Coach Sara Amato explains that such success outside of NXT’s home base galvanizes the troops. A thrilling encounter between Breeze and Samoa Joe captivates not only the NXT fans but also producers and coaches watching backstage. The showdown also puts extra pressure on Baron Corbin, whose bout against Bálor must follow. Nonetheless, The Lone Wolf is up to the challenge and freely admits that he loves to be booed by the NXT Universe. “That’s a lot of fun,” he says.
Not as much fun is having to deal with overeager fans away from ringside. While Corbin tries to take in some rock music at a local bar following the event, one such fan clings on to NXT’s breakout Superstar, making it difficult for Corbin to enjoy his alone time. The Lone Wolf fights his natural instinct to smack the overstepper into smithereens and exits, steamed.
More sightseeing is on tap as the tour heads to its final city, San Antonio. While several Superstars head to the Alamo, where they debate the facts of the historic battle that took place there, Colin Cassady and Carmella take advantage of the local flavor by shopping for cowboy hats and boots. Before that night’s event gets underway, Corbin reconnects with his cousin and his cousin’s son, and Crews reunites with his older sister, who he hadn’t seen for more than a year. With their family members watching on, the event invigorates both Superstars.
Back in Florida, six-figure rookie Josh Bredl adjusts to his new life inside the WWE Performance Center. He stumbles early on during an interview class, losing his train of thought, comparing himself to marinated “new meat,” and relying on the “yeti call” the WWE Universe became acquainted with during Tough Enough. The “Yeti” nickname has followed the former NFL pro since his youth, when he played junior football. William Regal breaks it to Bredl that he might not want to get too attached to the “Wookiee stuff” since Superstars never know what they’ll be called on to do in NXT.
Bredl’s growing pains don’t end there. At the encouragement of Head Coach Matt Bloom, Bredl must quickly find housing and settle in so that he can focus on the task at hand. Not one to be deterred, the Tough Enough alum wastes no time finding options, as he explains in a phone call to his daughter and girlfriend, who are preparing to make the move from Colorado to join him. Knowing he is responsible for their wellbeing motivates him to work ever harder at the Performance Center.
That includes interviews. Taking Regal’s advice into consideration, Bredl downplays The Yeti persona, but doesn’t abandon it entirely. Instead, he unleashes a powerful and confident promo — noting his high-dollar developmental contract and popularity on Tough Enough — and warns everyone within earshot to “get ready for The Yeti.”
How will the experience of touring Texas, a famous wrestling hotbed, shape the NXT roster’s attitudes going forward? Has Bredl found his stride at the Performance Center? Stay tuned to WWE Breaking Ground, every Monday after Raw on WWE Network, to find out!