TNA developmental report card
There's an interesting situation going on in OVW lately with the new developmental talent (re. Gutcheck winners), as well as current TNA stars all being featured in high profile roles on the weekly TV show. I suspect it's just OVW wanting to show TNA that they know what side their bread is buttered on, but still, it's amusing to me.
If you've never seen OVW's product, I would suggest fans check it out at ovwrestling.com. The production values are admittedly not great, but I enjoy watching their product to see how the potential TNA stars of tomorrow are developing, and it's fun to watch and chart the progress (or lack thereof) they make.
-Alex Silva- Silva just recently returned after sorting out his visa issues and is not too far from main event status right now. In fact, at the time of this writing he's just won the OVW television title for the third time. I like Silva; I don't necessarily love him, but I like him. He's scrappy and he has a charisma that comes out when he has the opportunity to show it, though I don't see him being quite ready for TV yet as his ring work could still use some polish. Also I keep thinking a guy his size should be incorporating more high flying moves, but maybe that's just me.
-Taeler Hendrix- Though she briefly lost it to Epiphany (and to Heidi Lovelace a few days ago), Hendrix held the OVW women's championship for months and it's not hard to see why. Aesthetically she's the best-looking girl they have right now by a mile, but she's also got the mic skills and performance aspect down better than most of the roster. As a babyface she felt a bit generic, but she seems like a natural baddie to me; personality-wise she's been quite engaging since she turned heel. However, I sometimes feel like she's trying too hard to be "bitchy". Her heel persona can be downright funny at times, but she has a tendency to go overboard with it to the point where it can come off as rather phony, particularly in backstage segments.
Also there seems to be a case of Madison Rayne syndrome going on with her in-ring work lately where she's focusing so much on playing her character that her wrestling becomes secondary and the match quality suffers. In the future I'd like to see her dial the personality back a bit so it doesn't seem forced. Playing a character is great, but if it's negatively effecting your matches, then the character needs a tweak.
-Rob Terry- TNA officials sent Terry to OVW because -- well, let's not kid ourselves here -- he sucked. He's been there for a while now and... yeah... he still sucks. The best thing I can think to say about him is that he botches less now, but that's pretty much it. His matches are as exciting as watching paint dry and he still can't cut a decent promo to save his life. OVW had him as their heavyweight champion for a while, presumably to keep TNA happy, but if you ask me, they're just hurting their own product keeping this guy in a main event spot. Terry is a total bust.
-Jesse Godderz- Godderz was the first prospective future star sent to OVW. He's been training under a developmental deal the longest, but that might be hard to tell at a glance. Some people I've conversed with online seem to have bought into the hype (if you can call it that) of the unfortunately named 'Mr. Pectacular', but I'm just not one of them. Frankly, he doesn't seem like much more than a run-of-the-mill musclehead to me.
From what I've seen, Godderz seems to have a passable set of mic skills, so I'd rate him above Rob Terry on that basis, but wrestling-wise he's another David Otunga. It seems like he spends a sizable chunk of almost every match posing, his repertoire is about as generic as it gets and even his basic move-set doesn't seem all that polished. I wouldn't expect to see Godderz on iMPACT any time soon; he still needs a lot of work.
-Crimson- Crimson showed up in OVW just recently. Whether it was for him to get more seasoning or just to keep him busy while he's off TV is unknown at this time, but what a change! He's only been there for a few weeks and I already like what OVW has done with Crimson so far more than what TNA has done with him.
For the last year and a half Crimson wasn't given much to work with outside of an inconsistently booked win streak, and as a result he struggled to get over for much of that time. It wasn't until he turned heel and was given more of a character that people started reacting to him. The OVW bookers are expanding upon this, turning the Crimson character into a cunning, conniving manipulator who's been taking shortcuts, playing his enemies against each other and thinking two steps ahead of everyone else to get to the heavyweight title (which he just won), and damned if it's not working!
It might seem like a strange fit, but Crimson is actually really good at playing a thinking man's heel. In a short time, he's become one of the most compelling characters in OVW. This is what I wish TNA had done with Crimson instead of the ill-concieved win streak angle. This is the type of character Crimson should be playing and what I hope he'll be more like when he returns to iMPACT.
Very intrigued by this show. I wasn't familiar with the male competitors, so I've been looking them up for a bit and it seems like a pretty stark contrast.
-Rockstar Spud- Quite a mouth on this guy. I youtubed a few of his promos and I admit he made me laugh more than once. Not so sure about his wrestling since he spent most of the matches I watched bumping all over the place, but he doesn't lack in the personality department. He might be a bit too abrasive for some people though. He'd have to tone down the trashier elements of his gimmick for American TV, but I could see him fitting well in a tag team with Joey Ryan if the writers wanted to go that route.
-Marty Scurll- Scurll seems like the polar opposite of Spud. I'd say he's got more of a professional look and from what little I've seen he seems to have the in-ring skills (he's probably the better worker of the two men), but I didn't see a ton of character coming from this guy. It might just be because his gimmick is less defined than Spud's, but I don't find his promos all that interesting. I wouldn't say his mic skills are bad, but I hesitate to call them good or engaging.
-Holly & Hannah Blossom- I've name-dropped these two plenty in previous columns, so you probably know what I'm going to say here. Suffice it to say, regardless of who wins British Bootcamp I do see the Blossom Twins getting signed in 2013. With the current state of the Knockout roster, TNA is going to have no choice but to sign new female talent in the near future, and I imagine the Blossoms' inclusion in this show (not to mention that the division is now Brit-less with the departure of Winter) points to them being near the top of management's wish list. Their history in OVW certainly doesn't hurt their chances either.
Personally, I think they would be a great signing. Aside from the fact that beautiful identical twins are a great marketing gimmick, aesthetically speaking, you're not going to find a better team to possibly make the Knockout tag titles relevant, provided those belts even still exist if/when the Blossoms get a chance to compete for them like they want to.
Plus, I still think putting them together with Magnus would be a match made in heaven. The international ladies man with a twin on each arm -- it seems like such an obvious thing to do that I'm kind of surprised it hasn't happened already.