As a creative person, I live for those moments where a project comes together. It starts off with an idea, a concept that needs to be developed before it can be something special. You work at it, and you work at it, and if you’re patient and diligent, eventually you’ll be smacked in the face with the right direction, the correct path to take. There is nothing better than breaking a story, and coming up with that perfect, poetic moment that eluded you for so long, and finally makes the story work.
WWE’s embodiment of that moment is the new NXT character Tyler Breeze. Formerly known as Mike Dalton, he was just a promising prospect trained by Lance Storm, with very little personality or character. He could wrestle, but he needed more to be something special. He needed to develop a character. He was in WWE’s developmental system for 3 years, and finally they found it. Tyler Breeze was born only about a month ago, but having seen it, everything Mike Dalton was missing, Tyler Breeze has.
This week I am going to analyze NXT’s Tyler Breeze. I will delve into the few negatives and the positives about the new character, compare it with the old Mike Dalton character to illustrate the improvement, and I’ll make suggestions where I see fit. I’ll wrap it all up by telling you how I’d debut him on the main roster. Let’s Do This!
Tyler Breeze is 6 ft 1, 195 pounds of sheer talent. Having watched the guy back when he went by the name Mike Dalton on FCW, and even seen him perform as Mattias Wild for the Elite Canadian Championship Wrestling (ECCW) promotion, I can tell you that the guy can wrestle his ass off. He is in great physical shape and he has great in-ring instincts; always has from what I have seen. He is a good chain wrestler, he can high fly, with the best and while he isn’t an absolute technician as far as submissions and strikes, he is a great performer and storyteller.
As Mike Dalton, he was a great performer in the ring, but never stood out in any other way than maybe his extremely blond hair. He was carried the Florida Heavyweight Championship in FCW because he was such a good performer and storyteller but quickly dropped it because he needed more than that to stand out and be a real player in developmental. As Tyler Breeze, he’s found not only a character he can sink his teeth into, but also a look that will take him beyond just being that blond kid that can wrestle. With his long hair tied back, shiny and sometimes holographic gear, along with tassels on his boots (so glad he’s bring them back), he stands out. He may have struck gold with the Tyler Breeze character.
One of the greatest weaknesses of Mike Dalton as a character was that he had no personality. Think Bo Dallas, but blander. He could wrestle, but beyond that and rooting for him because he was smaller than his opponents and felt like an underdog, he didn’t provide the audience much reason to cheer for him. The character was the definition of white meat babyface.
As Tyler Breeze, he now has something to work with. The character is vain, self indulgent and selfish. He also believes he is giving us a gift every time that we see his gorgeous face. He dresses as flashy and avant-garde as possible because he wants to be seen. He is dashing Cody Rhodes, only a little more ostentatious. In his brief appearance on NXT this week to hype his in-ring debut next week, he delivered a promo with more personality than I have ever seen him deliver, and it’s because the character finally has some aspects that he can truly tap into and convey via his promos. This is what developmental is for, finding what works.
Words & Actions
He cut a very brief promo on NXT this week, and I have to say, it was pretty spectacular having had my eye on this guy for a couple years. Let’s break down all the ways he showed improvement during this quick taped segment backstage. Tyler Breeze was confident in what he was saying and it showed, which I could never really say about a Mike Dalton performance. The promo was nuanced, whether it was the fact that he had his back to the camera the entire time, hiding his beauty until next week or the way he shoed away the person doing his nails, he truly conveyed the characters personality perfectly in about 30 seconds, which isn’t easy. Finally, his voice… I don’t know what else to say other than I absolutely love the choice he made as a performer, to accentuate this model character obsessed with his own beauty in the most narcissistic way possible, with an incredibly soft and feminine voice. You may think it’s a throwaway point, but it isn’t. It really does add to the character.
He hasn’t taken action as Tyler Breeze yet, but if they portray him as a man prone to extremely violent outbursts, and one who if easily offended and pays back any offense tenfold, you have yourself an interesting villain. It would be a mix of Rick “The Model” Martel, and Skyfall’s Raoul Silva, another character whose effeminate nature mixed with absolute malice, made the character absolutely captivating (aided obviously by a wonderful performance by Javier Bardem).
This is the best part of the new Tyler Breeze character, and it’s that fact that his motivation is more than he wants to try his best to be great. That’s literally almost everyone’s goal everywhere on earth. What motivates Tyler Breeze, his vanity, his sense of entitlement, and his entire pompous and grandiose view of himself, is his insecurity. Tyler Breeze is not happy with himself, but if he can make you feel like he’s gorgeous, maybe it will be true. If he makes you think he’s special, maybe it will be true. His character’s entire personality is based on the fact that he’s insecure, and that’s why something as little as a snide remark or a wrong look could set him off.
This motivation is great for the main roster because what he wants most is to be seen, and admired. He dresses flashy to be seen, he’ll interrupt people in order to be seen, he for all intents and purposes is an attention whore. One who active pursues cameras and spotlight, which will constantly engage him in conflict, which is the main component of storytelling on Raw and Smackdown.
Tyler Breeze’s starvation for attention will not ingratiate him with his peers in the locker room, and will often put him at odds with others. He being the vindictive, malicious character I imagine, will only exasperate those situations, which is great TV. That being said, Tyler’s greatest conflict comes from within. He will need to learn to accept his flaws, and become a stronger, more secure person if he ever wants to truly earn the admiration of the WWE Universe. This character’s narrative definitely has the potential to be incredibly compelling.
Tyler Breeze is the poster child for what developmental is all about, which is developing, developing, developing, until you find something that fits. Tyler Breeze found a character that fits like a glove and after a few months of getting a complete grasp of the character, he will belong on the main roster. The question will be how do you debut him?
Thinking outside the box as I often do, I might try to introduce him on the Total Divas reality show. You see Tyler Breeze is a Canadian wrestler, who cut his teeth in the wrestling business training in Canada. I would posit that he has crossed paths with Tyson Kidd and Natalya in that time. Why not set up on that “Reality Show” that Kidd and Natalya run into him while he is doing some modeling and he uses them to get his foot in the door with the WWE. I don’t generally have a problem with the classic video packages leading up to a debut, but I really like when the WWE does something different that people don’t expect.
Once on Raw/Smackdown, you can have him ask Natalya for her managerial services, since her husband Tyson Kidd is out of action. Eventually Breeze will make a pass at her and she will rebuff his advances. Enraged, we will see Tyler Breeze’s vindictive and malicious personality come shining through as he sets out to embarrass and humiliate Natalya for rejecting him and his gorgeousness. Tyson will then return into a ready-made feud with Breeze. I think these two would work well together and it would give each a chance to showcase their talent to the WWE Universe.
There you have it, but what do you think? Do you like the Tyler Breeze character? Do you think it’s too much like Cody Rhodes’ dashing gimmick? How would you debut him? And what do you think his ceiling is on WWE TV?
Until next time folks, I’m Matty J. Douglas saying Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black is a pretty great show. You should watch it. Have a great week everybody!