Something clearly stands out in this second episode of Breaking Ground and that is – like I call it – The Left Foot Incident. The fifty Tough Enough recruits went through a three-day tryout and that meant basic training and promos.

The cliffhanger from the first episode of Breaking Ground was picked up at the start of the second episode. We went back to Tino Sabbatelli and got to know that he was medically cleared, so he could continue training in and for NXT. But Devin Taylor wasn’t that lucky. Because she didn’t make any in-ring progress, she was indeed released after two years with being in the company.

The main subject in episode two New Energy was what it means to be new in NXT and that basically means having a basic tryout and what you can expect from it. Head coach Matt Bloom started day one with a bit of pep talk but also might have opened some people’s eyes about the business. There is also this kind of fear factor to such speeches to see which people are able to stand hard talk and who are breaking at only a few louder words directed at them. It’s certainly not about covering these people into cotton.

After a little warm-up session it’s about making these recruits doing bumps on their backs as if their life depends on it, like NXT coach Robbie Brookside used to tell them. Along with his friend William Regal he was seen far more in this episode because he actually lead the wrestling training class. To show the new boys and girls how it’s done, a few NXT wrestlers were recruited. Billie Kay, who already made her on-screen debut in NXT, and Nhooph led the female section and Elias Samson helped out the males.

So, after bumping on the back, it was all about rolling and getting a feeling for the size of the squared circle. A huge part of this is how you finish the roll and that means how you make it back in a fighting stance, ready to continue, covering your body, ready to fight. The most important thing about this position is to step forward with your left foot, so you’ve got the best stability to continue. It’s probably very simple but the new guys and gals simply refused to do it. Lack of hearing? Ignorance? William Regal really wanted to know. But he soon left patience. Because if you say something that basic for a couple of times and people just don’t do it, you really start to wonder.

It’s like telling three-year-olds to stop wobbling around in their chairs. But they will only stop after they fell from the chair. They refuse to listen to people who know it better because they somehow need to make the experience first to believe it.

So, after William Regal noticed that good advice just didn’t work, he made his good advice into an outburst, so probably people would listen to him now. And most people did. What made this scene really telling was knowing that he just had his second neck surgery a few days before this scene was filmed. William Regal learned everything from a very young age. And he very well knows that you can get injured rather easily in this business. But you can avoid stupid injuries if you know at least the basic moves and do these the very right way, textbook style and out of sleep. So, knowing what wrestling is all about and seeing people basically refuse to listen, clearly brought him over the edge.

I can also speak of experience when it comes to giving good advice to people in a nice tone. Some people take this advice immediately and such people will make it far in life. Other people only take it if you speak to them in a more serious tone and after a couple of repetitions. These people can do it but take a little longer. And then there are people who wonder why they need school and learning anyway because they think they know it since they were born. Those people won’t ever make it. This goes for every single profession or business in life. So, keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut while you’re learning. Like Robbie Brookside said, it’s really something you should take to heart.

Another important aspect about sports entertainment and wrestling in particular is how you portray yourself and that basically means how do you present yourself verbally in the form of promos. So, the third and last day of the tryout happened to be promo class. Some people seemed to be well prepared but if you recite a promo about how you’ve trained for six years to achieve your dream while in reality you didn’t train one day, you aren’t believable. Authenticity is one major factor in wrestling. Even if you are given a character, you have to act like you mean it, bring in emotion and speak from the heart. Or do something people didn’t expect but made them laugh. Some people tried to act confident when they weren’t. So it’s better to show your insecurity instead of trying to hide it. Because this will always come over as arrogance and the feeling that you think you already know better.

In the following meeting it was decided which new recruits would have to leave and which ones are promising enough to have a closer look. To me the guy called Nico also left an impression on me. He seems to be quite funny. And the lady with the long blonde locks who never laughed also looked promising. Let’s see if we’ll see them on-screen in NXT someday.

Another character that already is a main part of NXT, was introduced for a closer look in this second episode of Breaking Ground and that was Dana Brooke. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of her because what she does in the ring still isn’t very good. She actually is good as a heel when it comes to all the stuff outside of the ring. She portrays her character highly annoying, so she’s easily to hate. The cliffhanger for this episode is that Dana Brooke has to get a lot better in the ring, otherwise despite all her good work ethic, she’ll meet the same fate as Devin Taylor.


S01E01 | Back to the Breaking Ground main page | S01E03

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