It's been awhile since I've done one of those, mostly because I never get as much back as I invest into these, but here we go again. The premise of my little board game has always been to make people think by looking at both sides of an argument, supplementing their own opinions on an issue, and perhaps opening their eyes to a few things they ignorantly chose to hate before fully understanding.
This week's case is the state of TNA. In light of some new events, founder and Vice President Jeff Jarrett has been pulled from action by his major sponsor Panda Energy (more specifically Dixie Carter) in hopes of cooling the ego of one Kurt Angle, Olympic Gold Medalist and internationally renowned professional wrestler, after it was discovered that his former wife, Karen Angle, was allegedly having an affair with Jeff Jarrett. Perhaps letting cooler heads prevail, Jarrett stepped out of the spotlight and relinquished his backstage powers indefinitely, leaving Dixie and Panda Energy at the helm of the TNA ship. So far, within the wake of Jarrett's departure, many changes have came over TNA. Bookers have been fired, with the promise of more following out the door, Don West has allegedly been pulled from commentary in favor of Taz. Main Event Mafia has linked itself to the somewhat dead-in-the-water intercontinental faction of the World Elite, thus giving it new life and vicariously giving new life to the former, and hardly formidable "Front Line" in the process, thus giving new importance to talents like Daniels, the Machine Guns, Eric Young, Bashir, and even the somewhat neutral party of Matt Morgan. Other characters outside of this storyline like Abyss have also been given a more serious and brooding element, opposed to the goofy and quirky flawed human approach. More changes are set to come as well, as many speculate that Carter plans on lining more ducks behind the Main Event Mafia in coming months, even after the recent volitile events involving current world champion and Mafia Godfather Kurt Angle outside of the ring with former girlfriend Rhaka Khan, and the recent finding of HGH on his person. TNA has even gone as far as to post Angle's bail in order to keep him in the program up until his hearing, opposed to elevating talents to replace him. While these booking antics are questionable, Carter seemingly counteracts these actions by pushing young talents like AJ Styles towards the main event, and making a list of Jarrett disciples backstage she plans to clean out of the company, including Brian Armstrong, Kip Sopp, Vince Russo, and various other Jarrett supporters. She also seems more interested than even Jarrett himself to push the bigger names into marquee spots, with such bouts as Bobby Lashley vs Kurt Angle for the World Title and Mick Foley vs Kevin Nash for the Legends Championship, along with 3D vs Steiner and Booker for the tag titles being rumored for the upcoming Bound For Glory. While this is an impressive card on a name value basis, one's left to ponder where such originals as AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, the Motorcity Machine Guns, Abyss, or Beer Money Incorperated fall on this card. While the Jarrett era may have been almost equally as Superstar Happy as Carter's oncoming reign over TNA, he was still prone to sprinkle the likes of AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, and even Abyss into the marquee bouts to elevate their status in the fan's eyes.
So it's your call IWC. Will TNA flourish in the absence of the King of the Mountain, or will it flounder in the "Age of the Panda?" Most thoughtful answer gets BA.