Moore’s WWE Breaking Ground Season Finale Review – Respect

By John Moore

WWE Breaking Ground
Available for streaming on the WWE Network

There was no preview video to start off this week’s season finale of WWE Breaking Ground. After the opening theme, NXT stars were shown getting prepped in the Performance Center. William Shatner said that they have been grinding it out for months. Shatner said that the dream can end at any time for anyone. This was the segway to show clips of Cal Bishop and Devin Taylor getting released. Shatner said the journey continues for some. Past clips of Dana Brooke, Baron Corbin, and Nia Jax were shown. The show then transitioned to talking about NXT Takeover Respect, which was the next Takeover show on the Breaking Ground timeline…

Kevin Owens and Neville were shown as men who have benefited from the Takeover show. Shatner also said that the women’s revolution in WWE stemmed from NXT and the takeovers. Canyon Ceman and Triple H got out of the WWE Jet and had a discussion in a car. Hunter was talking to Ceman about how stars in NXT sometimes try to give the executives what they want rather than what they are able to do and brought up Apollo Crews telling him that he didn’t know he was “allowed to” do something. Hunter said it was better to just do it and be told not to afterwards than not to try it out at all.

Triple H said that everyone has this dream job but it’s easy to lose perspective. Ceman said he could see that Triple H was high on Apollo Crews with the huge push out of the gate. Triple H said that Apollo has a clean slate right now to start over and perform in front of millions. Hunter thought that Apollo will be fine as long as he trusts his instincts…

Shatner described how Takeover shows worked and mentioned how global it has gotten as a touring show. “Bayley’s Biggest Fan” Izzy was interviewed and said she connects with Bayley due to Bayley being happy and humble. Shatner said that Apollo Crews has drawn a lot of attention lately. Triple H said that Crews has the world in his hands. Crews said he just has to take it to the next level. Triple H checked with Apollo Crews on developing a new finishing maneuver. Clips of John Cena, Triple H, Randy Orton, and other WWE Stars were shown giving their famous finishers.

Triple H told Apollo to make up a finisher that matches his powerful look. Apollo Crews told the interviewer that he sees that there are high expectations for him and he was there to meet those expectations. Triple H recommended a side carry type slam move for Apollo. It also looked like Hunter was telling Crews to use an atomic drop…

Moore’s Sidetrack: Maybe it’s because I’m watching a lot of Naruto recently but for some reason I’m getting a lot of Kakashi Hatake teaching Naruto to come up with a new finisher out of this so that he may reach the next level. Triple H looks like he is trying to be the Kakashi sensei of NXT, now if only Hunter can use a Sharingan powers to jack other people’s finishers.

Crews said he was excited to work with a top dog in NXT like Tyler Breeze. Crews was shown practicing an atomic drop. Triple H went into the ring and told Crews to make it more like a running atomic drop. Shatner said that Tyler Breeze had been with NXT the entire time during its transformation and even went through his own complete transformation in the same period of time. Shatner said the call up hasn’t happened. Triple H mentioned how Tyler is the longest tenured person in NXT. Hunter said that many factors come into a call up, but the end call is always Vince’s…

Shatner said that the nerves were starting to set in for Bayley. Bayley and Sasha were shown in the makeup room as they were getting ready for their IronWoman match. Bayley said she almost broke down due to the pressure. She said it was tough having the pressure of making history in WWE. Bayley said she was here for a reason. She said it was inevitable that she was going to the main roster and no one was going to stop her…

Dana Brooke was the next subject and they reviewed her injury to Asuka during practice. Shatner said that Dana started doubting herself due to this dilemma. Dana Brooke had a meeting with her mom and Athletic Trainer Tara Hallaby. Dana said all she needed was a hug to get her through this problem. Tara assured Dana’s mom on Dana’s clearance for this Takeover. Dana said she went into survival mode and put on her Dana face for the upcoming show…

William Shatner said this show was called respect for a good reason, because no one has embodied respect more than The American Dream, Dusty Rhodes. More current clips of clips of Dusty Rhodes in promo class with the NXT crew were shown. The Dusty tribute was also shown. Bayley said it was never going to be the same without Dusty. Baron Corbin said Dusty was one of the most unbelievable people in the world.

Triple H talked with Road Dogg, Brian James, about Dusty where he said that Dusty was one of the few acts that Vince McMahon’s dad would bring up to work at the Garden (MSG) with people like Superstar Billy Graham. Triple H said he was proud to make the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Hunter spoke with Stephanie McMahon about how cool the trophy looked. Triple H told Steph that Dusty would have loved the trophy.

Shatner said that at the show, Dustin Rhodes and Cody Rhodes would be presenting the trophy to the winners of the classic. Hunter told Dusty’s sons that the trophy was trying to show Dusty’s entertaining side as well as his fighting side. He also allowed Dustin and Cody to say whatever they want about the situation…

Triple H talked to Sami Sayn about his recovery next. Shatner talked about Sayn not being on the Respect card. Sayn recapped the injury and how he got it hyping the crowd. Shatner said Triple H has had his own share of injuries in a similar fashion. Triple H talked to Sami about how even when he returns, the injury will still linger for a few months upon return. Sami said he’s never missed more than four weeks in his fourteen year career, and how he misses the fans and their emotion…

Tino Sabbatelli was featured next and Shatner recapped how he was demoted to just watching the show in the crowd and how this demotion can keep him years from getting on TV. Tino talked with Baron Corbin for advice. Tino talked about watching old NFL tapes. Corbin told the interviewer about his and Tino’s similar NFL background. Baron talked about how that made him and Tino better than everyone else. Baron told Tino that he started at zero at the beginning and now he’s dominating!

John’s Thoughts: This show is really helping Baron Corbin establish that heel character that he’s pulling off on the main show! It also cool to see him take that advice that Scott Hall gave about trying to at least act like “the man” to be “the man”. Is he trying to turn Tino into a Baron Corbin 2.0?

Shatner said that the time has come for possibly the best NXT show to date. Rhyno and Corbin vs. Chad Gable and Jason Jordan was hyped as a Dusty Rhodes Classic match. The rest of the card was laid out including the IronWoman match between Bayley and Sasha Banks. Finn Balor gave Bayley a hug outside the arena for support.

Triple H was in a meeting room with the coaches. Big Johnny Ace got an Easter Egg appearance for sitting in the meeting room. Hunter talked about Bayley vs Sasha being a shoe-in to steal the show. The coaches agreed…

Shatner laid out all of the challenges that Dana Brooke has to face. She’s fighting through an injury, she’s against an international superstar, and she’s against the person who was in the ring during her injury moment. Dana said she had to lay in all in the ring and how being on PPV was everything to her. William Regal and the rest of the coaches, including Hunter, had a collective gasp when Dana Brooke ate another Hip Attack, which was the move that put Dana on the shelf. Dana cried and said that no injury was stopping her. Dana talked about feeling amazing and never giving up…

John’s Thoughts: Not quite the story I would have liked to tell about an injury as it also kinda buries Asuka, but it’s also cool to see a babyface story told under the heel story of Dana Brooke that we usually see on NXT Television.

Shatner talked about the Dusty Rhodes Classic and how the semifinals were happening tonight. Jason Jordan talked about him and Chad being on a live special for the first time. Gable talked about this being about Dusty. He also talked about elevating themselves. Baron Corbin said he tastes blood now and now he wants more and more at the top. The great match between Corbin’s and Gable’s team was shown in clip form. Shatner said that Gable and Jordan won in defeat. Jordan reiterated that thought…

Road Dogg and Triple H were impressed and Shatner said that Gable and Jordan will be a force in 2016. Corbin was shadow boxing backstage. Corbin said that some people have NXT as a ceiling, but his goal is to main event WrestleMania. Shatner talked about the true challenge was facing veterans like Samoa Joe and Finn Balor. Terry Taylor was shown backstage on the headsets getting into the match. The match saw Balor and Joe win the classic.

Cody Rhodes said that Dusty Rhodes was the oak of NXT to some, but to him Dusty was dad. They then played the promo that Cody cut on his father where he went “we were all Rhodes”. Joe and Balor stood in victory, but Baron Corbin was sad and distraught outside at the lunch seats. Corbin was crying and Shatner said that not winning hit Corbin really hard.

John’s Thoughts: To quote the wrestling lawyer Joseph Park, Kay fab?

Corbin said this was such a “fu[bleep]ing emotional ride”. Corbin talked about Dusty playing an integral part in his career. He talked about it was tough fighting for a trophy he was not going to get. He then said it was back to the drawing board…

They showed Triple H and Apollo Crews training and trying to come up with a new finishing move. Shatner said that his match against Tyler Breeze was a good chance to show the fruits of the training. Apollo ended up not doing an Atomic Drop, but rather a powerslam converted into a powerbomb. Triple H was pleased as he looked on, on the headsets…

John’s Thoughts: Now I kinda want to see the Sensei Triple H character make the main roster where he’s training Roman Reigns or Cesaro in the WWE Performance Center dojo on how to ascend to the next level.

Shatner talked about Bayley vs. Sasha Banks being the match of the year in Brooklyn and how they had to follow that up. The IronWoman match was shown next as the crowd chanted “Main Event” (not the lame wwe tv show). Bayley said she never knew Sasha had such a vicious side and taking Bayley to the next level. Triple H and William Regal came out at the end with their bouquet of flowers for both women. Bayley said this was history!

Triple H took Instagram photos backstage with Bayley and Sasha. Michael Cole said that “Bayley was real!”. Michael PS Hayes said he was at the edge of his seat during Apollo’s match. Triple H talked about creating stars tonight in Crews, Asuka, Brooke, and Jordan/Gable. Hayes really fanboyed over that finisher that Hunter and Apollo came up with.

Triple H addressed the NXT roster in the lecture room next. In another Easter Egg moment, The Cowboy James Storm was in the front row of the lecture hall alongside Billy Gunn in the post Takeover lecture. Triple H said this was what the business was about, it was family. Hunter commended all of the finalists in the Dusty Classic. He gave Asuka credit for making herself a superstar and making Dana a superstar as well. Hunter told the crew about the “real” stories that they tell every day.

Triple H said some people are here for a long time and some people were here for a short time. Tyler Breeze was the “long time” and tough enough Josh was “short time”. Triple H said tonight boils down to one thing, Respect. He then talked about respect to everyone by saying respect a lot of times. Triple H said that Dusty would have been here tonight to show his respect due to the talent showing Dusty respect. Clips of the first season of Breaking Ground was shown. Triple H said tonight he was giving everyone respect.

Tyler Breeze was called up to the front of the lecture hall. Triple H gave Tyler a playful massage and told the class that Tyler has been here for a “long ass time!”. Albert said that Tyler was the man. Hunter gave Tyler breeze for coming up with that character and how he pulls everyone else up with him. Apollo Crews agreed. Triple H said Tyler Breeze was being called up to the main roster. The NXT roster gave him a standing ovation. He thanked everyone in his farewell speech, it was basic. William Regal hoped it works out for Tyler. Tyler Breeze went into Zoolander mode and told the interviewer that Raw and Smackdown will now be gorgeous…

William Regal said that Tyler Breeze will not be forgotten in NXT. Tyler was met by his old friends now on the main roster like Natalya, Paige, or Kevin Owens. Owens asked Tyler what it was like down there in the PC.

John’s Thoughts: Triple H was right in saying that Tyler has been in NXT for a long ass time. Mike Dalton (Tyler 1.0) was around for most of FCW Developmental. Mr. Long Ass Time right now might be Tye Dillinger who goes back to the OVW/DSW days when he debuted on the Main Roster as Gavin Spears.

Shatner talked about Jordan and Gable rising as one of the popular teams in NXT. Shatner said that even though Mojo and Ryder don’t really get along, at least they were hype. Shatner said that WWE Officials were really interested and Raw and Smackdown will be hype soon (are they debuting on USA?). Shatner said that Baron Corbin was still improving mic skills and patience. Shatner talked about Sami Zayn’s return in the UK recently. They showed Sami’s “I’m back” statement.

Shatner said that Sami was now excited for a main roster call up. Shatner talked about Nia Jax dominating in defeat to Bayley. Shatner said Dana Brooke was in recover from injury. He said Bayley was still champion, but still looking to join the four horsewomen. He talked about Crews working hard on his mic skills and determination to make the main roster. Shatner talked about Tyler Breeze’s dream coming true. They showed clips of Josh, ZZ, Mada (I think due to the mohawk), Lovepreet, Tino, the young bloods, who were training at the PC. William Shatner said that this is and will remain “The Breaking Ground”…

John’s Thoughts: This was a really good finale to the Breaking Ground show. It was a good series overall in that they took what they have at the Performance Center and turning it into a solid reality television show similar to Hard Knocks on HBO. This episode also featured a lot of that oil pastel filter that they tend to use, but on this episode it fit well as it is usually a good visual representation of the unnerving emotions of the NXT wrestlers that the show focused on.
It looks like they saved a bulk of the Triple H spotlight for this episode as he was featured a lot, but of course it’s as that proud father character that we all know him as on NXT. Of course, he might draw a little bit of hate from people for hogging a lot of the spotlight to himself, but he did a good job here carrying the finale to this show. The show also didn’t rely on solely Triple H, so that was good. They also had the goal of finishing off some of the stories that were built up throughout the season, such as the Tyler Breeze, Tino Sabbatelli, Nia Jax, Apollo Crews, and others. Baron Corbin’s character benefited the most from this season long story. I’ll have more to say in Breaking Ground Season 1 article. Again, though, a good show overall and I hope that we can get a second season to help out a few other NXT up and comers.


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