The John Report: WWE Breaking Ground – Episode #1

TJR Wrestling

“This is not a job, it’s a lifestyle. No one here is guaranteed a thing and they all want to make it to the top.”

Those are the first words spoken by William Shatner, who is the narrator of WWE Breaking Ground, which is the new “reality show” on WWE Network. The show focuses on the journey of superstars and divas trying to make it as a major star in World Wrestling Entertainment.

It began with Triple H talking to the camera about how they are there to groom the future superstars and divas and to find “it” even though we don’t always know what it is. He admitted it took him a while to get there.

Early on, there was a clip from when Tough Enough winner Josh signed his WWE contract with Matt Bloom (Albert/Tensai) telling him to remember the date on September 9, 2015.

The head trainer at WWE’s Performance Center, Bloom, was featured along with the rest of the coaching staff instructing the performers in the rings and those working out.

One of the unknown performers (at least to regular WWE performers) is Tino Sabbatelli, who was a former NFL player that people call “Sabby” mostly. I remember him in the NFL. He had a seven year career in the NFL when he was forced to retire and try his hand at wrestling. He has been in WWE for about ten months and was dealing with a concussion.

Baron Corbin talked about the similarities and difficulties comparing his NFL career to being a WWE performer. It was noted that Corbin has been in developmental for three years and felt like he should be on the main roster.

Coach Sara Amato (Sara Del Rey) talked about how training was her passion while they showed clips of working with some of the girls in developmental.

A woman in training named Nhooph (last name is Al-Areebi) noted that she started training for wrestling when she was 16 without telling her parents. Then she had her WWE tryout at 19 years of age. It was mentioned that the coaches felt like she wasn’t ready yet, so she needed more training.

They showed Devin Taylor doing some work in the ring with Nia Jax. She has been in NXT over two years and they mentioned that she was a backstage interviewer. Devin talked about wanting to be a diva and felt like Sara was her biggest advocate. Sara told her that it might be a hard transition to have Devin become a wrestler.

There was more talk about Corbin with him saying he won’t put up with shit. Bloom said he wanted to keep Corbin focused on the mission at hand and accomplish his goals.

Apollo Crews spoke about how he had a lot of experience and that he paid his dues. He mentioned that his parents taught him to stay humble.

While showing Sabby working out, they mentioned all the measures that WWE goes through in order to protect performers dealing with concussions. Bloom said that Tino is trying to be the best at everything, but it’s been a tough transition. Bloom believes in Tino becoming a NXT and WWE superstar.

There was a feature about William Regal training people specifically in promos There were clips of silly parts of Regal’s career with his Real Man’s Man character (love that song!) and when he had to wear a dress. There were clips of some performers doing promos with Regal telling Mojo Rawley that his promos work very well.

Baron Corbin was shown again with his girlfriend (not a wrestler) and coach Norman Smiley on the road to a NXT live event in Gainesville. They spoke about Corbin’s journey in the last three years and they don’t know when he’ll be out of NXT. It’s really not up to either of them and that’s the reality of the business.

“Work that fork, dude.” – Mojo Rawley encouraging Corbin to eat with Corbin looking like he wasn’t amused by it. Mojo is a unique guy.

There were clips of a pre-show meeting by the ring with all the performers finding out who is wrestling on the card. It was actually read by performer Colin Cassady, which was unique, but I guess they do that once in a while. Corbin complained about how long it was taking to set up.

Bayley and Carmella were shown talking about the show with Bayley saying she was still getting used to being the NXT Women’s Champion. There were clips of Bayley in a tag match with Carmella against Dana Brooke and Emma.

Corbin talked about being in the main event of the show in a tag match with Tyler Breeze against Samoa Joe and Finn Balor. He says all of the things he goes through are worth it because he wants to end up on Raw and performing at WrestleMania.

There was a clip of Nhooph being told by Sara that she was off the card at a show and Nhooph look frustrated by it.

Matt and Sara spoke about Devin’s future noting that she has had some injuries in her career, which isn’t a good thing for her future in the company.

A clip was shown with Tino doing some work with a WWE trainer checking on him and if he’s physically able to be in the ring. It was mentioned that if he doesn’t pass the test, it could be the last time he’s in a NXT ring. There was no indication on if he passed the test.

There was a feature on Canyon Ceman, who is the Vice President of Talent Developmental with him saying he’s the lead recruiter for talent. He said the hardest part of his job is having to let somebody go. The show ended by showing a door with Ceman telling somebody that they would be released. We didn’t see who it was, but it’ll be on the next episode.

There was a preview of things to come in the season.

You can watch the first episode on Yotube, but the rest of the series is only on WWE Network.

My Thoughts

– What’s great about this show is the access we are given to the WWE Performance Center. It’s awesome to see how hard these guys and girls work to climb the ladder in WWE. The wrestling business isn’t easy and nothing is handed to them, but if you put the work in you can succeed. We’ve seen it many times. We also see people quit when the going gets tough, so perhaps that might happen on this show as well.

– I think what might hurt this show to the average wrestling fan is that there isn’t a lot of star power here. It’s about showing people training to get to that spot on Raw, Smackdown and eventually on a WrestleMania card. However, if you watch wrestling for the stars like a Brock Lesnar

– The run-time of 30 minutes is perfect. It doesn’t need to be longer than that and I feel like they switch between performers seamlessly. It’s a good mix of talking about people we know pretty well from NXT like Corbin and Crews,

– It wasn’t mentioned here, but WWE recently released Devin Taylor. I can see why because Sara didn’t seem that confident in her. I guess that’s a spoiler for next week.

– Corbin was portrayed as a guy that wasn’t much of a people person and there’s nothing wrong with that. Not everybody has to be outgoing or have an over the top personality all the time. I think he knows who he is and what he can bring to the table. He has a very bright future in WWE.

– I chose to review this show because I know this is the kind of “reality” show I like. Yes, they may play up things for the camera at times, but what I like is that it’s about the business and it’ll provide the viewer with insight into how some things work. We all think we know a lot more than we do. With Breaking Ground, we will get that chance to learn more. That’s why I feel it’s a show worth watching.

Did you watch it? Let me know your thoughts.