I think everybody can agree that the latest season of Tough Enough, both in form and function, was kind of bullshit. True, the concept as a whole is definitely bullshit because the only people still currently involved with the company to come out of the doomed “The Bachelor, but wrestling” concept are *shudder* The Miz (who was already famous from The Real World anyway and didn’t even need the exposure) and, *double shudder*, Ryback. This past season though, with the live segments and the online voting, was extra bullshit-y. But don’t worry, even though this episode opens up with TE winner Josh Bredl showing up for his first day on the job at the WWE Performance Center, this isn’t just more TE, not even close.
NXT, the Florida based, Triple H-led developmental arm of the WWE can seemingly do no wrong with fans or critics and Breaking Ground is the latest jewel is it’s crown, a no nonsense, fly-on-the-wall look at, as Hunter says in the intro (and we stole for ours), “what it takes to be a WWE Superstar”. We spend a little time with Bayley (who seems just as charming in real life as she does on TV), newcomer Apollo Crews (his pre-NXT career as Uhaa Nation briefly alluded to, but inexplicably never mentioned outright given the kayfabe break-ery on display here) and Baron Corbin (the douchiest bag that ever sailed the seven seas), but this episode mostly centers on Tino Sabatelli, a former NFL player trying to make a name for himself in NXT despite lingering issues with concussions, and 19 year old Nhooph, struggling to find her place in an NXT Women’s Division currently overflowing with talent.
The trials and tribulations of these hopefuls are given even more gravitas by the narration of none other than William Shatner, maybe veering too close to melodrama at times but never going full camp. Like Head Coach Matt Bloom says in the preview for the next episode, “Millions upon millions of people love what we do, hundreds of thousands of people think they can do it, but a very small amount can”. Never before have we as fans been granted this type of access to the inner workings of the current machine, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.
The full premiere episode of Breaking Ground is currently available on WWE’s Youtube Channel, future episodes will debut Monday Nights after Raw exclusively on WWE Network.