While William Regal and Canyon Ceman made a long air trip to India to meet up with the newest NXT prospect from the Middle East, the NXT circuit goes on tour for a not that long Road Trip in this episode of Breaking Ground.
Cal Bishop really had to go but that wasn’t very surprising. When someone’s body is injury prone, you always have to fear for the well-being of his opponents. The door isn’t permanently closed and Cal Bishop wants to prove himself to the world. But I’m not sure if we’ll ever see him on a bigger stage in wrestling. Sometimes good work ethic and a strong mind just aren’t enough. After all, wrestling is still a competitive, professional sport.
Focus of this episode now is the Road Trip and that means that the WWE wrestlers are on the road for fifty weeks per year. NXT still has got its main headquarter in Orlando, Florida, but just recently NXT wrestlers also went out to different states in the U.S. or Great Britain, not just to give fans outside of Florida the opportunity to meet and see their favourites in person but also to give NXT wrestlers the opportunity to wrestle in front of other crowds. When a wrestler works in front of a crowd in his or her home state, chances are that he’ll be loved and he doesn’t need to do much to get this love. But if he wrestles in front of a crowd of his opponent’s home state, then it might be different. So, variety in the ring is great, but variety outside the ring is even better, because you can try different things and notice how different crowds react. This time they first traveled to Louisville, Kentucky.
A far longer trip William Regal and Canyon Ceman had to do. WWE / NXT is searching and scouting new talent all over the world. And as part of the latest WWE world wide talent search, they went to India and found the newest NXT prospect from India, Lovepreet Singh. India not just is a completely different culture, it also has got its own fighting / wrestling style and Lovepreet stood out well enough to not just get the attention of William Regal and Canyon Ceman but he was also signed to NXT to further learn and prove himself and later make it on NXT TV. We saw Lovepreet later in this episode of Breaking Ground in promo class of NXT and he almost reminded me of a Shakespearean actor. Despite saying that his English isn’t very good, he was still confident and clear about his intentions. He didn’t rush through or over the words but also wasn’t boring. He also spoke through his eyes. He clearly has potential.
Meanwhile the NXT wrestlers arrived at “Louder Than Life”, a two-day music and culture festival to perform there. And it had the typical festival weather: rain and storm all day, so the ground was a proverbial mud bed (like William Shatner called it). So, the NXT stars collectively bought some proper footwear but apparently Jason Jordan chose “style over function”. It actually just was a cheap, hardly known brand called Catapult, not Nike or Adidas, so the Catapults were instantly the target of some proper mocking. But Jason Jordan liked his trainers, they also kept his feet dry – so everything’s fine with the Catapults.
But the real focus for this little road trip was on Baymella. Like people who know about all sorts of fanfiction, clearly know that’s a name morphed together from Bayley and Carmella to show their strong bond and friendship. Being in NXT means if you’re good enough you make it to the main WWE roster one day. And Carmella, being one of the newer female wrestlers in NXT, knows that she’ll have to part from Bayley once she makes this step forward. But like she said, that’s also the inspiration for her to step up her own game to join Bayley in WWE one day.
As for a more experience part of NXT already, Bayley got the opportunity in Louisville to coach Alexa Bliss for her match against Eva Marie and then sat with the coaches Matt Bloom and Robbie Brookside at ringside to make the match work, like doing some changes during the match, give advice you only see from the outside, etc. That’s also part of the business, so you’ve got an even deeper and closer look to things around you, not just concentrate on yourself.
We also got a lot to see about Baron Corbin. It’s clear that WWE / NXT really want to built him as one of the next big superstars. And Corbin thinks he already is. Two of his statements are: You love me or you hate me, you’re not gonna to ignore me; and: I’m not saying that I’m above them, but I am. I’m still not sure if all that is just done in kayfabe or if that’s his real opinion. Because if it is, he really needs a reality check. Because he’s still not entirely able to draw hate from the audience. He’s supposed to be a top heel in NXT but I’m not really able to hate him. Because he hardly shows any emotion, he’s got exactly one facial expression and his mic skills are non existent. So, Matt Bloom is absolutely right when he says that Baron Corbin needs a lot more work to do that his own visions and imaginations actually meet reality. We also saw Corbin later on in a strange shop that sold animal and human bones and even shrunken heads. Corbin really bought a part of human skull. Maybe that should be part of his in-ring gimmick.
Later at night, it was time for the NXT wrestlers and trainers to bond over visiting some haunted place in the U.S., the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. They walked around this Tuberculosis clinic and Jason Jordan was certain that he had felt a different presence. But our mind playing tricks to us when it’s all dark around us is actually a remainder of our early ancestors. Fear is helpful to protect us. And when it’s all dark, our brain tells us we should stay at a safe place until it’s bright day again, so we will see some potential enemies from far away and aren’t surprised by them in the dark. You certainly know about people’s personality when you bond with them in such a way.
The next stop for the NXT roster was Nashville, Tennessee, obviously another city with a huge and rich music culture. Jason Jordan & Chad Gable went against Enzo & Big Cass at the NXT live show there. And both teams did an awesome job there, so trainers were very satisfied. Quite the contrary happened with the match of Carmella vs. Eva Marie. There was a big sign in the audience before the match started, stating “If Eva Marie’s here, we riot!”. The producers of Breaking Ground could have cut out this sign easily. So they showed it on purpose. And that made it clear (once again) that drawing a reaction from the crowd is the most important thing in WWE / NXT. If people wouldn’t hate that much on Eva Marie, if they’d actually not caring about her and be silent during their matches, she’d be gone already. But people react to her – heavily – and that’s why she’s still there.
But being in a match with Eva Marie is still a risk, like Carmella had to experience when Eva Marie botched a kick to her head and consequently the match had to be abandoned because of a concussion. WWE / NXT is very serious with concussions and if you get too many, you are at risk of not being medically cleared to wrestle again. So, Carmella suffering this concussion was the cliffhanger to this episode and we’ll get to know how serious it is in the next episode.