‘WWE Breaking Ground’ Season 1, Episode 4 recap: Tag team turmoil
You never know when opportunity will strike at the WWE Performance Center, but when it does, you’d better be ready to answer its call.
In this week’s edition of WWE Breaking Ground, several Superstars get a new outlook on life in developmental, thanks to the formation of tag teams, though the perils of being part of a package deal also become apparent. One promising athlete from the collegiate wrestling ranks anxiously awaits his chance to break out from the pack, though a long-debilitating injury puts that fate in jeopardy.
Not all recruits are making the most of their time at the Performance Center. On his own for the first time in his life, WWE Tough Enough runner-up ZZ makes his home in a newly purchased bus — which he calls his “groupie bus” — and spends much of his downtime by himself.
Whatever comfort he finds in his home-on-wheels is absent in his training. The self-proclaimed “King of the Bayou” still struggles to bring his conditioning up to par, and worse yet, Head Coach Matt Bloom warns that the 19-year old has to work even harder than most because of the unique way he entered developmental. The proud ZZ insists that quitting is not in his genetic makeup, but cameras catch him exiting the Performance Center mid-workout, to his coaches’ dismay.
Like ZZ, NXT Superstar Mojo Rawley has recently purchased new digs, and he, too, has a nickname for his abode (the “Hype House”). Unlike ZZ, Rawley’s passion is never in doubt. The infectiously enthusiastic brawler nonetheless remains raw inside the ring, and so WWE management hopes he will glean some knowledge from his new Hype Bros. tag partner, battle-tested WWE Superstar Zack Ryder.
Both athletes were apprehensive about teaming up at first, only to realize they each stand to benefit from a successful partnership. Long Island Iced-Z admires Rawley’s fun-loving spirit, but is quick to point out their differences, such as Rawley’s insatiable appetite for partying. Regardless, the NXT upstart is all heart, as evident by his special relationship with the NXT Universe. In one touching moment, the always-hyped Superstar takes time after an event to congratulate a young NXT fan on getting straight A’s on his report card.
Still, Rawley can't help but acknowledge the divide between he and his teammate. Rawley remains in NXT, waiting for his call up; Ryder is already an established Superstar on WWE's main roster.
Forming a tag team has also been a blessing for Jason Jordan, a gifted athlete who has had his share of ups and downs since arriving in WWE developmental years ago. The coaches agree that Jordan lacked a certain intangible quality, until he partnered with former Olympic wrestler Chad Gable.
The duo has displayed remarkable chemistry from day one, bringing out the best in each other, and Jordan and Gable have become friends outside the ring. Yet, with an important match against The Hype Bros. on the horizon — and an opportunity to perform live on WWE Network hanging in the balance —the hazards of tag team competition become clear when Gable suffers an ankle injury. Still focused on getting his reps in and increasing his exposure on TV, Jordan can’t help but be nervous over his partner’s status. Will Gable’s bad wheel hinder his partner’s recent progress at the worst time imaginable?
Speaking of stalled progress, big Cal Bishop is no stranger to it. A rugged but immensely likable collegiate wrestler who was introduced to WWE by Hall of Famer Gerald Brisco, Bishop has been plagued by a series of injuries since he arrived at the Performance Center. His most recent snag — a dislocated shoulder — sent Bishop into depression, as it happened shortly after he returned from an earlier injury.
With a return to the ring seemingly imminent, the NCAA standout is now recommitted to keeping a good attitude and staying out of trouble. The coaching staff loves his potential and outlook, but his shoulder injury poses a major risk — for himself and others.
Has the Performance Center seen the last of ZZ? Will The Hype Bros. continue to gel as partners? Can Gable bounce back in time for his team’s big match? What’s in store for Bishop as he awaits his return? Find out next week when WWE Breaking Ground returns to WWE Network!