As a longtime admirer of the Steiner Brothers -- Rick and Scott -- I was excited beyond words in 2021 when the announcement came that Rick's son Bronson had signed a developmental deal with WWE. I knew that with him would come the type of hard-hitting action his father and uncle perfected, one that perfectly blurs the line between legitimate sport and theatrical violence.
And to his credit, the man dubbed Bron Breakker has not disappointed.
From Uncle Scotty's Frankensteiner to his dad's powerslam, it's almost like 1991 again. Yet, as much as I appreciate seeing Bron play Rick and Scott's greatest hits with an ode to Goldberg mixed in, sadly, something's missing, which became evident as Breakker successfully defend the NXT Title at Vengeance Day.
Watching Bron Breakker is reminiscent of Keanu Reeve's character, FBI agent Johnny Utah, in the 1991 hit Point Break. As Utah takes up surfing to infiltrate a group of bank robbers, his love interest, played by Lori Petty, describes Utah's sudden obsession to ride waves in a way that applies to Breakker's wrestling:
"...you have this intense sort of scowl, of concentration on your face, like you're doing all this for a school project or something. Or, like, you've got something driving you."
In the past, Breakker has acknowledged his intensity saying that he has to force himself to go to a dark place to help him focus on being the best athlete he can be. Considering that Breakker is still in the early stages of his career, sharp focus is critical for an endeavor that requires skill and precision, such as professional wrestling.
Unfortunately, that laser focus may explain why Breakker's matches sometimes resemble a paint-by-numbers performance. Like Johnny Utah, Breakker has the moves down, but he's yet to tap into that place that allows him to flow naturally, which for Breakker, means finding himself as an entertainer more than an athlete.
Though successful as a unit, it wasn't until the Steiners found themselves individually that they became more engaged with the audience, first for Rick as the smiling, carefree Dog-Faced Gremlin in the late '80s, then for Scott as Big Poppa Pump in the late '90s.
Undoubtedly, Breakker will find his comfort zone in time. The question, however, is if Breakker will find himself before he heads to the main roster, which might be coming soon. Outside of a heel turn, which could lead to a creative breakthrough, Breakker has seemingly gone as far as he can in NXT.
At the same time, it seems too early to call Breakker up to Raw or Smackdown for further on-the-job training, and WWE shouldn't rush Breakker to the top and risk turning fans against him as crowds did in the early years of Roman Reigns' singles career.
And so, the next few months may prove critical in the development and future of Bron Breakker. What happens next is anyone's guess. But just like the next-gen Steiner, it's something to keep an eye on.