After a two-year hiatus from wrestling, Tyler Breeze reclaimed the spotlight with a triumphant return to the ring. On July 8, he bested Matt Cross to become the New Generation Wrestling Champion, marking his first match since defeating Imperium's Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser with Fandango in "WWE NXT" on June 15, 2021.
This victory was not initially planned but came about organically, and Breeze embraced it with the same spirit that led him to enjoy his extended break. "I never really intended to take two years off," Breeze confessed during a recent appearance on the "Lazy Booking" podcast.
"But after 15 years in wrestling, including 11 with WWE without taking any significant breaks, I welcomed the downtime when it came. The rest was refreshing."
Breeze's Hiatus: Reflection and Recovery
Over the years, Breeze had built a robust career in WWE, remaining relatively injury-free and avoiding major surgeries.
However, the constant travel and rigorous schedule began to wear on him. The time off gave him a chance to appreciate life away from the road. He found solace in staying at home and running his wrestling school, Flatbacks, with AEW's Shawn Spears.
"My wrestling itch was scratched at Flatbacks," Breeze explained. "I didn't particularly miss the hectic life on the road." Then Spears proposed an independent match, setting in motion a chain of events that led Breeze back to the ring.
Initially reluctant, Breeze agreed to one match, which soon led to multiple bookings. "Someone saw that, and before I knew it, my September calendar was filled with bookings," he said. Breeze's return to wrestling may have been unexpected, but the thrill of performing in front of a live crowd reignited his passion for the sport.
"I think that's why we do this, and why people have a hard time stepping away—it's the crowd," Breeze admitted. "It's just so much fun." The joy of wrestling and engaging with fans have once again become a part of Breeze's life, and his journey thus far serves as an inspiration for many in the industry.
• Tyler Breeze: Prepared for WWE Release, Embracing the Uncertainty• Tyler Breeze's WWE Identity Struggle: On-Screen Evolution• Tyler Breeze & Fandango Initially Resistant to Forming WWE Tag Team• Tyler Breeze Urges Work Ethic Improvement in Young Wrestlers• Tyler Breeze's Memorable Showdown: WWE NXT Takeover with Jushin Thunder Liger• Tyler Breeze Sets the Record Straight on WWE Ties, Opens Up About Potential AEW Move