I have been experimenting with take-and-bake versions of the Lehmann NY style dough, and your characterization of the dough as "dead" is fairly accurate. Because the doughs are pre-formed into skins, cold retarded, and dressed a day or so later for "the trip home", the doughs can't have a lot of yeast. While I haven't tried using a coated leavening system like WRISE yet, I have tentatively concluded that products like WRISE make sure that the dough will rise when the pizza hits the oven. In the case of WRISE, it is designed to be activated only in the oven. That way, the dough won't rise in the back seat of someone's car for the trip home or if the unbaked pizza sits around too long before being baked. An apparent negative of the leavening systems is that they introduce a different flavor profile to the finished crust that takes some getting used to.