This episode of Breaking Ground was all about tag teams and tag teaming, especially Jason Jordan & Chad Gable (now known as American Alpha) and Mojo Rawley & Zack Ryder, the so-called Hype Bros. And ZZ learns everything about Robbie Brookside’s soft side.

Like we already got to know in the previous episode of Breaking Ground, sometimes a gimmick or character sounds great in theory but doesn’t work in front of a wrestling crowd. That happened to Jason Jordon. He’s someone who actually came from wrestling / athletics and learned how to do his craft on the mat from a very early age. He also takes his two imprisoned brothers as a negative example to prove the world that his family can do better and also make his family proud of him. He started as a singles wrestler in NXT but it just didn’t work. So, him naturally gifted and talented was still on the verge of not making it as a wrestler because he just wasn’t able to find the right persona for himself.

But this is where Chad Gable came in. Far smaller than Jason Jordan but equally gifted and trained in wrestling early on, both men formed a tag team that instantly clicked and that is responsible for the most exciting tag team matches in recent NXT history. Usually I’m not much into tag team wrestling but together with The Vaudevillains, Jason Jordan and Chad Gable – or American Alpha, like they used to be named recently – gave me a soft spot for tag team wrestling. And there are also Big Cass & Enzo Amore who are also very entertaining but their wrestling style isn’t that much technically orientated. Mostly it’s about Enzo doing his shenaningans and then Big Cass gets the hot tag. But with Jason Jordan & Chad Gable it’s literally tag team action.

Another guy who thought could make it as a singles wrestler was Mojo Rawley. We already saw a promo from him and I had already know him before Breaking Ground, of course. I wasn’t very surprised to see him equally hyped in private like he appears in and around the squared circle. He certainly exaggerates the hype in the ring. But that’s exactly what’s annoying to me. At least, it was nice to see him interact with that little Jordan guy after the show. The boy regularly shows Mojo his report card from school and he clearly takes Mojo as a positive example for his own life. It was great to see Mojo that hyped about the boy’s good grades and I like this side about him, taking his time for the fans and showing real joy about them doing well. So, I guess the character of Mojo Rawley is well fitted for the little kids. He’s just not my style. I can’t help it.

Also, Zack Ryder was a little suspicious about the prospect of working with Mojo Rawley in a tag team. Because he’s far from Mojo hyped as a persona. But he’s on the sidelines in WWE, so he finally took the opportunity in NXT. For me, watching those Hype Bros, it’s simply Hype 2.0 – even harder to stand or watch. But the kids seem to like it, so it’s all good. I just can’t imagine them having success in WWE. But you never know. If such a ridiculous act like The New Day can have success than maybe The Hype Bros will as well. At least, WWE is all about the little kids.

Now what we saw in this episode of Breaking Ground was a little inside of the daily life of those two tag teams. While Jason Jordan and Chad Gable formed a great tag team inside and outside the ring, driving together to the shows inside and outside Florida and also spending some time together, playing basketball or caring for each other when one of them is struggling with an injury, it’s much harder for Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder. The latter still has to go with the WWE circuit, so he’s only able to do the very matches with his tag team partner. And Mojo Rawley’s carpooling partner in crime is Dana Brooke. Lack of in-ring reliance is just one consequence and sometimes a little misunderstanding about both of their interpretation of the team’s gimmick.

And we closed this episode of Breaking Ground with two cliffhangers. First there was Cal Bishop, a guy who was signed by NXT / WWE straight from collage but was very unfortunate with injuries. He dislocated his right shoulder in a match, needed surgery and now his shoulder is prone to pop out again very easily. So, Cal Bishop has got a lot of commitment and a good work ethic but we will have to see if that’s enough for him to stay in this profession.

The other guy is ZZ who, rather opposite to Cal Bishop, has got no work ethic at all. He talks big but can’t make his acts follow his big mouth. He says his family isn’t quitters but then he almost cries when he says that being just 19 years of age does matter in this business. Which basically means: I’m only a young chicken, so no-one has to yell at me or demand a good work ethic from me because I’m just a little child who has to be packed in cotton.

Robbie Brookside did everything for ZZ to hate him and make him get the desire to prove people wrong. But it didn’t work. After a lot of drill (that didn’t look too hard to me) ZZ just left and made his trainers think their part. If he doesn’t change dramatically, ZZ is definitely out of NXT.


S01E03 | Back to the Breaking Ground main page | S01E05

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