Alex Silva needs to grow as a performer
As a regular viewer of OVW's TV show I try to track the progress of TNA's developmental stars, or lack of progress in this case. Unfortunately, from what I can see, the first Gutcheck winner, Alex Silva, seems to be suffering from a bad case of what I like to call 'Kofi Kingston Syndrome'. By this I mean that aside from what he apparently ripped directly from the pages of Generic Babyface 101, he has virtually no identity of any kind. I challenge anyone to watch this show and actually describe his character to me in more than one sentence; there's just nothing to go on.
This might not be entirely Silva's fault. The OVW writers may be to blame for not giving him anything interesting to do, but Silva doesn't seem like he's bringing much to the table in this department either at the moment. If Crimson can flourish as a character under the same creative team, there's no reason why Silva can't as well if he has the tools like Al Snow seems to believe, but I'm not seeing it yet. Hell, even though he just debuted, I'm already seeing more personality from Sam Shaw, the lack of which being one of the things that had me on the fence about Shaw during his Gutcheck tryout.
Silva seriously needs to work on this. On the most recent episode, he cut an in-ring promo that was so bad it made me cringe, challenging a heel for interfering in his match even though he'd just wrestled, simply because he's an, "I'll fight anyone, anywhere, anytime," type of guy. Not shockingly, he then got suckered into putting his TV title on the line when he had no reason to and promptly lost it, looking like a bit of an idiot in the process. The same thing happened to Rey Mysterio in WWE once upon a time when he got suckered out of his Wrestlemania title shot by Randy Orton, and it's the mark of a weak character (and weak writing). But while Rey Mysterio could recover from something like that because, well, he's Rey Mysterio, Alex Silva is a different case.
I keep waiting for the OVW writers to give Silva something to work with that will show whether or not he can actually be an engaging character outside of what he does in the ring like they have with Crimson and Taeler Hendrix, but right now, it's not happening. Until it does, I'm not in any hurry to see TNA management bring this guy up to the main roster as I imagine he'd just quickly fade into the background like Tony Nese did.
Taeler Hendrix is a future star
The longer I watch OVW, the more I wish the TNA writers would find a role for Taeler Hendrix; not even necessarily a wrestling role (and really, that's the only aspect she still needs to work on at this point IMO). If she were just a manager for someone I think she could still have something to contribute.
Week after week, I find Hendrix's heel antics one of the most entertaining things about the OVW product, and even when she's just managing Dylan Bostic from outside the ring she finds ways to make herself stand out. Part of this may be because I'm comparing her to the rest of the OVW roster, which is admittedly not nearly as impressive as TNA's, but Hendrix consistently outshines the majority of them in promos, pretapes, etc. Much like we're seeing with Crimson, Hendrix has a star quality most of the others lack. If what she's doing in developmental right now is any indication, I look forward to her eventual debut.
British Bootcamp contestants in OVW
Just recently the British Bootcamp contestants competed in dark matches at the iMPACT Zone in what was called the "finals" of the show before the winner(s) is/are announced on the UK tour in January. With filming of the show apparently finished now, I thought the four of them would be heading back across the pond until then. Instead, all of them made their OVW (re)debuts this past week.
If filming of the Bootcamp show is completed, then what's going on here? Are they still being evaluated? If so, why is this not going to be a part of the show? Or is the show just a formality? I've wondered previously if this reality show was going to be similar to WWE's Tough Enough in that regardless of who actually wins the competition, the company will just end up signing all the contestants they like. Them reporting to developmental points to that being the case, and I wouldn't be against it at all.
Looking at the whole group, I'd say Scurll is the best wrestler, Spud is the best talker and the Blossoms are the most marketable, so they all bring something to the table. Yes, TNA doesn't even have enough spots on the show for the talent they already have, but if they're cycling wrestlers in and out like Bischoff once described, it would pay to have solid people in reserve ready to go.
One idea I had (if they do all end up with contracts) that I'm hoping happens is that TNA has them come in together as a faction and get behind Magnus as their leader. British Invasion 2.0 FTW! Should they start amassing championships (Magnus: TV, Scurll/Spud: X/tag, Blossoms: KO/KO tag), TNA could have a pretty hot UK heel stable on their hands.
Why bring Matt Morgan back?
Be honest. How many of you were not exactly thrilled when TNA resigned Matt Morgan? I don't really get it myself. Personally, I've been rather ambivalent about Morgan for a while now, and I got the impression that TNA felt the same way. He can have good matches, but rarely great ones, he can cut good promos, but great ones seem to elude him most of the time, and an awful lot of his feuds just don't seem to turn out very well. He's one of these upper midcard guys that you'd think would be a natural fit in the main event scene because of his size, and yet Morgan in a top spot has never really worked out. He's flirted with it, had semi-main event pushes now and then, but every time the writers have stopped themselves from completely pulling the trigger on him, eventually making it seem like he plateaued in the midcard.
It feels as if management really want Morgan to be a main eventer and aren't willing to give up on him completely, but they just don't have the confidence in him to pull it off. That being the case, I have to wonder why they brought him back if he'd apparently reached the limit of what they thought he was capable of. Frankly, I find myself wondering if Hogan's comments about Morgan on last week's iMPACT were a veiled shoot (you're not a reliable promo, management thinks you have no charisma, etc); they did hit pretty close to home.
I think TNA made the wrong call here. After a number of years, Matt Morgan's tenure in TNA has looked promising at times, but overall has been largely unimpressive. There were moments when I thought he might become something more, but looking back on everything he's done, Matt Morgan in TNA has just always seemed like an awkward fit. Him returning to the WWE would have been best for both parties IMO -- I really thought he would have been better off there -- but thanks to a certain lawsuit this was made impossible.
I don't know what TNA will do with Morgan this time around, but if history is any indication he'll most likely hit his ceiling and get lost in the midcard again until he finds that piece of the puzzle that management thinks he's missing, if he ever does.
Hogan, please give the Aces & 8s their balls back
The reasons why the Aces & 8s angle is losing steam have been covered ad nauseam by myself and other writers on TNAsylum, but what we saw at Bound For Glory (and the following iMPACT as well) was the latest and one of the stupidest examples why. If you want your audience to take an invading faction seriously as a legitimate threat, you can't do asinine things like what happened at BFG where, after the match is over, Hulk Hogan hobbles to the ring, and the half-crippled 60-year-old takes out every single one of the Aces & 8s by himself on his way.
Even for someone like Brock freaking Lesnar it would be kind of ridiculous to book them to look that invincible, let alone a broken old man who is so immobile that the only way he can manage this is if, one-by-one, the supposedly badass gang of thugs run directly into his fist and then sell their asses off when mere moments ago, the combined forces of Sting and Bully Ray couldn't beat them. What should've been a big dramatic moment ended up being unintentionally hilarious just because someone couldn't keep their ego in check.
I mean, good god, the writers couldn't have neutered the Aces & 8s faster if Hogan had brought along a surgeon to hack their balls off with a hot knife right there on the ramp! And now TNA seriously expects us to be filled with dread that these guys have free access to the iMPACT Zone when just a few days prior they were basically lining up to take turns letting Hogan shit in their mouths? Sorry, TNA, it doesn't work like that.
And when you add this to the fact that the first member to be unmasked was about to be beaten clean by Sting on iMPACT until his buddies bailed him out and this faction can pretty much kiss their street cred goodbye. After 4 months of build up this is hardly the reaction TNA want, but nevertheless it's the one they're getting, and this is the only kind of thing that is ever going to result from protecting old timers like Hogan and Sting to the extent that they do. After making this same mistake more times than I care to count, TNA really should know better.