Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 08.06.03


Stupid f*cking Warcraft 3, stupid f*cking Frozen Throne expansion set, stupid f*cking capture the 4 obelisks level…stupid f*cking game. – Smitty

And that, in a nutshell, is why I didn’t pay for either of them.

Ah, Wednesday comes and provides me with at least a little material to work with.  Not much, but enough to actually justify some wrestling material for once.


Williams has his much-anticipated Top 50 North American wrestlers article up, and he was nice enough to pop me a preview before it was posted.  Now, in case you were wondering why Bower and I got a shout-out in it, here’s a bit of the Inside Dope (but not enough to piss off Ross):  Ross wrote me last week and told me that he and Iain were having a bit of a disagreement on the top two spots.  They had the same guys, but in different order.  He wanted my opinion on the subject.  He didn’t mention the wrestlers involved, but I figured out quickly that they were Angle and Guerrero (yeah, didn’t require much brain power to do it, but kudos to me anyway because he gave me no clues whatsoever as to who they were).  I gave Ross a few reasons why I thought Angle should be at the top, some of which he incorporated into his blurb in the column.  Bower was asked and did the same thing.  So, we might have turned Ross’ head on who #1 should be.  So, that’s why we got pimped by Ross.

Haley gets to use the “I’m moving, so I’ll take some time off” excuse whenever he likes.

Murphy has a close encounter with Danny Hodge.


Well, the autopsy finally confirmed what we all suspected at the time:  Miss Elizabeth died of an act of misadventure involving prescription drugs and a huge amount of booze (she was at three to four times the legal limit depending on where you live).  According to the report, she had significant levels of tranquilizers, Soma, and Vicodin in her system at the time.  However, there are some interesting little tidbits in the autopsy report that the Smoking Gun printed:

Examination of the victim’s face shows bruising around the right eye.  The color of the bruise reveals it is aged…right orbital ecchymosis is noted.  This area has a yellow-purple coloration.

A yellow-purple bruise is noted over the right cheek.  A purple bruise is noted over the left lateral forehead.

That leads to one conclusion in my book:  Luger beat her recently, and then again shortly before the accident, and she decided to drown her sorrows.  It wasn’t suicide, but if she had to turn to a combination of pills and booze, something was very, very wrong with those two.  Dear God, people, mourn Elizabeth, but you cannot give Luger a free pass on this one.  The autopsy made it perfectly clear what he was doing to her.

Dead valets can tell a lot of tales, depending on what book you’re reading.


The story about Goldberg, Australia, and why the SummerSlam main event might have got changed because of it is very interesting.  Not because of what happened, but because of the story behind it.

Here’s the short version:  1bullshit put out a blurb coming from their “inside sources” that, when asked, Goldberg refused to sub for Trip on the Australian jaunt, and that he’s now being punished for not being a “team player” by having the SummerSlam main event turned into an Elimination Chamber match.  Now, after posting that, 1bullshit decided to clarify things.  Turns out that Goldie didn’t have an Australian work permit, his passport was three thousand miles away, and the decision to replace Trip with Goldie was literally a last-minute decision.  Certainly puts a new spin on things, doesn’t it?

This points out a few very important matters, which a lot of readers should recognize when they see wrestling reports:

1) 1bullshit printed rumor and supposition as fact based on their “source”, and it was information that played right into their hands.  Milord and Chester absolutely love information that supposedly demonstrates “dissention” in the WWE locker room.  Anything negative coming from them about WWE operations, I have to put in the category of “give me more proof”.  Their anti-WWE political agenda is too well-known for me to take anything like this coming from them with a grain of salt.

2) They then compounded their irresponsibility by printing a follow-up, which directly contradicted their first post.  This is flat-out admitting that they didn’t even try to get a follow-up from another source, and just took the first source’s word as being gospel.  Their mindset predisposed them to believing that this rumor was fact, and presented it as such.  Why print the second post, then?  Because Keller and Meltzer would have seen the first one, got on the phone to their sources, and printed what apparently is the real story, and that would make them look bad to the people they’ve buffaloed into believing that 1bullshit only prints objective news.

3) There’s obviously a group of people inside of the WWE locker room who haven’t liked Goldberg from moment one.  We’ve seen too many negative things come out, from various sources, to discount that.  Was this whole situation due to a source who didn’t have the full story, or was this someone who had an agenda against Goldberg feeding enough of a story to Milord and Chester that 1) would sound believable and 2) would embarass Goldberg, with the change in SS mains being the hook to make the IWC believe it?  In other words, was this just a case of 1bullshit biting on incomplete information in order to advance their agenda, or was it someone who wanted something bad about Goldie out there, knowing that 1bullshit would bite on it, and leaking enough info to them to make the whole situation sound realistic?

Because of Vince’s lockdown policy regarding information, we’re at the victim of unknown “sources”, who have their own games to play, and we’re also at the victim of sites who have writers with access to those sources, who also have their own games to play.  As long as major wrestling sites decide to only play journalist instead of being journalists, the quality of information we receive is going to be pathetic, and we’re going to have more and more stories like this.


Oh, God, I hate it when the guy who was at the event is a complete and utter retard.  Such was the case with the Observer’s submitter.  Forced me to go to Rajah to find a collection of them that, combined, might be coherent enough to get a 3S out of.  I hate having to rely on Kumar so much for this, but beggars can’t be choosers.  Especially since one of his submitters was the same retard who gave the stuff to the Observer, and the other, despite being Canadian, writes like a product of a US public school system.  I should NOT have to pop a tranquilizer this early in the morning, folks.  Okay, here goes…

Someone in Ross’ Top Ten gets a decision over another person in Ross’ Top Ten (hint:  it’s a returned job), but the way to the decision happens to involve Sergeant Slaughter, who apparently is Steph For A Night (Vince can’t run things, remember; he’s preoccupied with a certain Happy Fun Bomb and a certain steel cage).  Slaughter taking Steph’s place…I think I’ve just found the answer to “What’s worse than Steph?”.  No, sorry, that comes later in the show, when Sable comes out and threatens that same proposition.  Just between those two, I have my excuse for the week.

In certain situations, I like to think that the IWC is like some celestial judge who has some kind of mental influence over the bookers in cases where wrestler egotism and bad judgment come into play.  I can just hear our Collective Jurist pronouncing sentence now:  “Mark Calloway, you have been found guilty of abusing your status by preventing John Cena from getting elevated and getting a rub from you.  You are hereby sentenced to have a program with Albert.”

The theme for this episode of Smackdown is obviously “Who’s Turning Next?”.  From my count, there’s one official face turn (and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying it’s Noble, since we expected that after last week), and one shocking, SHOCKING I TELL YOU!, heel turn.  Okay, this one’s expected too, but I’ve decided not to spoil it any more than it’s been telegraphed.

That’s enough of that.


Sometimes I have to start this off with a wrestling-related thing, and Regular Cabbageboy316 gives me a good excuse to do so:

…that RVD/Jericho match was odd.  A few minutes after Jericho is put in the main event for SS, he jobs clean to RVD via a transition move.  I haven’t seen RVD put someone away with the split leg since he beat Sabu with it in 1996 (Matter of Respect, I think).  Thing is, most people seem to think the Kane/RVD announcement last night was a smoke screen and the real match will be Shane/Kane.  I actually think it might be interesting to see Shane manage RVD in this match, then we could perhaps see a double Van Terminator spot. 

If Shane takes this match from RVD, what exactly does Van Dam do at the PPV?  Maybe throw someone out of the Chamber match and put him in it, I dunno.

They’re not going to go with Kane/Van Dam at SS.  It’s going to be Kane/Shane.  The only way Van Dam gets involved is if Bisch is in Kane’s corner (and that’s a possibility considering Raw).  That would be an interesting twist, Van Dam being in Shane’s corner rather than the other way around.  I’d love to see both of them pull out the VanTerminator (obviously Shane on Bisch and Van Dam on Kane), but that would just close the book on Kane’s current gimmick, which does happen to be working quite well for him.  Right now, Kane beating the piss out of Shane would be the best option for them to keep the status quo and enable them to give some thought to where they want Kane to go after the current gimmick’s used up.

As for what Van Dam would do without any involvement with Kane, I dunno.  The way I’d do it is to have a IC Number One Contender’s Match at the beginning of the show between him and Christian with Van Dam going over and facing Booker later that night.  Gives them something both to do, because Christian’s at a loss of what to do in regard to SS as well.

BFM’s back, and he focuses on the mic aspect of Raw:

Has Lawler just stopped trying?  Or has JR said “No, this guy sucks WAY too much, so please point out how horrible he is as much as possible”.  I mean, “I hope JR doesn’t come back next week, so I can hear more of your little comments like ‘rubber legs galore’ and ‘110%'”  I mean, he’s got a point, but damn!

I never thought I’d be enjoying Lawler’s commentary this much.

The problem I have is that going after Coachman…well, barrel of fish, meet shotgun.  As everyone knows, if I had my druthers, Coachman would be gone next week, and Ross still wouldn’t be back (and would never be back).  How the hell does Coachman have a job?

Regular Andrew Brown contributes a LOOONNG one:

Where the hell does Scott Keith get off claiming that his opinions are backed by an entire country? Here’s the quote: “This is actually kind of a mistake because Goldberg means nothing in Canada and never has, and in fact we’re all kinda pissed at him for ending Bret’s career and all.” Yup. EVERYONE in Canada hates Goldberg because Scott Keith thinks he’s an utter asshole for “ruining Bret’s career”. There’s so much to say here, I can’t think of where to start, so I’ll give you the ball on this one.

Well, we have to look at how much truth is behind that statement.

1) Does Goldberg mean nothing in Canada?  He doesn’t mean nothing, but he does mean a lot less than he does in the US.  Due to history, WCW never concentrated on Canada and never bothered to sell their guys in a way that a Canadian audience would appreciate.  We all know that WWWF/WWF/WWE has had a long history of being in Canada, so they understand the Canadian audience better.  Since WWE isn’t doing a refocus on Goldberg, letting his WCW reputation stand pat, I can see where this conclusion can be made.

2) Are they “all” pissed at him for ruining Bret’s career?  Again, dunno.  That would imply that every Canadian wrestling fan is a Bret Hart fan, and I can’t believe that that’s true.  Besides, Bret’s career wasn’t ended by Goldberg.  It was over long before that, when WCW turned him into a joke.  Goldberg’s foot provided a mercy killing.

So, yeah, Keith was improperly using synecdoche when he claimed to be speaking for all Canadian wrestling fans.  But there is an element of truth in what he’s saying.

As a segue, isn’t it interesting that people who pay attention to sports entertainment aspects who give a rundown of Raw (you) can pick up on Goldberg’s selling the knee for Flair but the guy who’s supposed to focus on wrestling (Keith) didn’t mention it once? Bias in a Keith column? Color me suprised.

Everyone has their biases.  For Keith, someone he absolutely loathes was in there with someone he considers to be at the right hand of God.  Naturally, he wasn’t going to pay attention to the match other than to be as critical as possible.  I, on the other hand, kept an open mind and specifically watched for something I was expecting not to happen, but which did.  The situation would be reversed if it was, say, Jericho versus Flex, although I don’t idolize Jericho like Keith does Flair.  I’d be the one people would claim was being biased to the point where it was blocking my judgment of the match, and Keith would be relatively detached (as detached as he could be given that it’s Jericho, a Canadian, in the ring).  So you have to know where the writer’s coming from before making judgments.  For me, his recap was exactly what I expected from him given the participants and past behavior in regard to those two.

This is why I read more than one recapper and don’t take Keith’s word as law. In order to make Keith happy, you’d have to just have wrestling and do very little promo work (unless of course you have Mr. D. Johnson around, then Keith doesn’t mind promos or any other SE stuff at all. Gee, go fig).

That’s the one thing that makes me want to break into his house and give him repeated swirlies until he screams for his mommy and tells me that Flex sucks.  Logic doesn’t work with the guy; I’ve tried.

Personally, I enjoy the SE aspects of wrestling, I just wish they wouldn’t focus so much on “The McMahon Saga” on Smackdown. If you’re wondering why there aren’t very many heels on Smackdown, it’s because Vinny Mac is stealing all of their heat. The walkout at the end of Smackdown last week was a nice way to set up the cage match and special referee stips, but it also gave all the heat to Vince. That’s kind of smart, I guess, because they don’t want to do a Brock turn just yet (it’s WAY to early to do that) and it keeps him a tweener.

You spoke too soon.

But, look at Vince’s record of late. He’s been the heel against Gowen for at least two months and then he kicks his ass on a PPV. So, he’s the default biggest heel for deliberately mocking and beating a cripple. Now, he’s doing a modified verision of “Austin versus McMahon” with a face Angle and a (now) tweener Brock. Plus, now we have Vince in the main event of Smackdown (again!) this week. Two Vince matches in around two weeks.  They’ve gotten smart with Steph (the bruised sternum angle is a good way to get her off TV for a time) but they’ve gone f*cking overboard with Vince recently. The only way Vince will win the cage match is by multiple run-ins (I’m guessing Big Show and A-Train since they had the tag match last week, although they could have Benjamin and Haas do a run-in to give a nod to the history they have with Angle) and it’s going to be an over the top clusterf*ck either way. Which is either going to be really good or it’s really going to suck. Vince is alright in the ring, but the only way I’m really going to enjoy the cage match is if Vince gets “injured” and he goes away for awhile. Either that or he keeps his promos short to just issue decrees from his wheelchair/hospital bed/cell phone/etc. Hell, we could have Cole and Tazz say things like, “Vince McMahon set up this match from his hospital room!” and Vince wouldn’t even have to be on TV. Of course, that won’t massage his ego, so that won’t happen.

And it didn’t.  And we’re all going to pay for this, especially Lesnar.

The other interesting thing about Smackdown is John Cena. EVERYBODY was screaming bloody murder after his loss to UT at Vengance. Even the MARKS were upset. That should be a wakeup call to Vince about what to do with Cena. The guy is golden on the mic and he plays to the crowd like a conductor with an orchestra.

I don’t understand this one, other than to say that UT gets to ride the short bus along with the rest of WWE’s Special Children like Austin and Flex.  The news that Vince overrode the decision of the creative staff in order for UT to go over just makes this absolutely clear for those idiots in the audience who never believe me when I say this.  And I can’t believe the back-pedaling on the part of the IWC when it comes to this.  “Oh, they’ll have a rematch at SS and Cena will go over and everything will be all right,” my ass.  The damage to Cena has been done.  Nothing can be done to correct it except some hard work and a lot of luck.  See Huffman, Booker for an example.

Rhyno is also being allowed to not only work as a heel, but give good promos in that vein. Eddie’s establishing the U.S. Title (and how about elevating Tajiri on his night back by putting him in a title shot match when he returns? Bravo!) If you get Vince (and Sable for that matter) and Steph off of the TV so much, Smackdown is a home run hitter waiting for a fastball up the middle. Adding in that the space that Vince and Steph vacate can go to more feuds or longer matches and it’s even *more* golden. Hell, look at the Rey Rey/Kidman feud for the Cruiserweight belt that’s being teased with a possible Kidman heel turn. And they’re putting on great tag matches while that’s brewing.

Except that the SE shit is spoiling the show.  That’s why I can’t watch it, because they’ve integrated the SE shit so tightly into the great matches that they can’t be separated without destroying the whole experience.

Raw, however, needs an overhaul. Get rid of Nash, Sump Pump, and cut back on HHH and things will start looking up.

That’s a start.  You forgot about the key element, though:  get rid of Austin.  Then things will really start looking up.

I don’t like the Rosey/SHIT stuff because it’s downright stupid. Although if they go WAY over the top with it, it might get to “so stupid it’s funny”. They already dropped the ball with Rico, unfortunately, so we’ll have to see how things go with other people.

I hate Novocaine Helms’ gimmick to begin with.  Now they’re sticking it on a fat Samoan.  I’ve said it a lot:  many times, the only reason I watch Raw is because of the column.  And now they’re giving me justification for that attitude.

I don’t know if Lance Storm can have good charisma with Goldust or not. Hell, team up Lance with Rico and let Rico round out his character while Lance plays the “non-emotional, not funny guy” routine he used in WCW.

Lance/Goldust will probably work quite well, both from an SE and from a tag standpoint.  Dustin’s turned himself into a decent technician when he isn’t trying to work the gimmick in the ring, so he can keep up with Storm.  And the “odd couple” thing worked for two guys less talented in SE than them, Steve Blackman and Al Snow.  Don’t team him up with Rico, though; team Val Venis up with Rico and have them to go town on the mic.  Oh, if only Russo could be here to write those promos…

Going back to HHH, I personally don’t care who he lays down for as long as he gets eliminated early (Which is entirely possible due to his groin) and they give the belt to someone who can really run with it (which means either Jericho, Goldberg, or Orton). Jericho probably won’t get it because he’ll be dealing with Nash somehow (if the beatings on Raw lead to Jericho eliminating Nash, I won’t mind), so that leaves Goldberg or Orton. At this point, if Goldie keeps up the learning process and effort (I give him kudos for selling the knee so well) let him have the strap. Orton has shown glimmers of really becoming a big player with his RNN stuff in the past. If it comes down to Orton and HHH (which is a long shot, but don’t put it past them) and they actually put Orton over (clean or not) they may unintentionally create a huge face out of Orton. Which would be *rather* interesting to watch since he has Flair to give him tips and tricks of the trade.

I’m going to give my feelings about who’s going to be in there at the end later.  If I had any confidence in their writing ability, I could believe that they could pull off something as psychologically subtle as Orton winning without having it break up Evolution.  I know that I could do it.  I damn well know that Grut could do it.  I know that Gewirtz can’t jack himself off without detailed instructions.

Memo to Slick Rick:  Well, it looks as if Nash will do the job to Jericho in the hair match because he needs short hair for a movie role (unless Nash is working all of us).  Personally, I couldn’t resist teaming him up with Nash to form the Bald Diesels afterward.

Memo to Aussie Bureau Chief Brett Wortham:  But Goldberg did sell for Flair in there.  He sold the left knee.  You may be disappointed that he didn’t sell the chops, but not selling the chops is understandable given Goldberg’s character.  The way Goldie’s been booked since he debuted, he shouldn’t sell the chops, even if it’s Flair delivering them.  They shouldn’t do any damage to Goldie other than some red marks across the ol’ pecs.  I give Goldie not selling the chops the same leeway that I gave UT or Kane not selling a high-impact finisher by doing the zombie sit-up.  Maintaining character is much more important than selling when the wrestler is primarily character-based.  Goldberg selling chops would be like, oh, Eddy Guerrero using a title belt and then having conscience pangs about it.

Memo to Semi-Regular Christopher Arrington:  You ever hear the phrase “the people get the government they deserve”?  California deserves Larry Flynt as governor.

Okay, lots of bitching for me saying things about Moline, Illinois actually being in Iowa yesterday.  I didn’t mean physically; I certainly know which two of the Quad Cities are east of the Mississippi and which two are west of it.  I meant mentally.  To all of you who bitched who I didn’t get back to, I’m from Chicago, remember?  Anything in Illinois outside of the Chicago area is in another state.  As I said to someone, I know people here who think that you require a passport to go to Rockford.  So consider it a tweak from the Chicago perspective about other places that claim to be in Illinois but aren’t near Chicago.  That being said, here’s a pertinent comment on the subject from TheD511:

I’m sure you’ve been inundated with irate rantings from my fellow Quad-Citians who’ve pointed out that Moline Il is the only one of the Quad Cities to not have a riverboat casino.  I can completely understand the confusion, however.  See, while you only had to pass through, (and believe me, the only thing that makes Davenport any more interesting than Moline is the addition of a few strip clubs)  I live in the area.  You have no idea how on the mark (pun not intended) your “shithole” comment is.  Living here is somewhat akin to being surrounded by zombies;  excepting that while zombies like to eat brains, the yokels here like to try to gnaw at your individuality.  Any attempt to find enjoyment outside of the majority proscribed methods, (you know:  drooling one’s way through the bush league hockey, arena football and baseball teams’ games, going to church, voting Republican, beating up homosexuals;  good wholesome family entertainment) results in being harried into conformity or evacuation.  Of course, like any loyal Eric S. fan, I thrive under the challenge of being a pain in the ass of any establishment this smug and self-satisfied.  Wish I could write something more coherent, but a late night and early morning happened to coincide with each other, and the brain is yielding to the lack of sleep.  Thanks for slamming on the QC area, and if you ever end up having to drive through here again, take 280 and bypass the actual cities altogether.

Last time I was there, I couldn’t avoid going through the Quad Cities, since I had an interview in Davenport.  Usually, I do try to avoid the area as much as possible.  What’s really strange about the Quad Cities is that Davenport, Moline, and Quincy get a lot of shit press, but Bettendorf somehow seems immune.  Wonder why?

A follow-up to yesterday’s YAM from the person who initiated my “burn in hell” comment about Reagan, KROMADAS13:

Well, well. The YAM doesn’t like what I said about that “great, great man” Ronald Reagan. Well, f*ck him. Maybe if he had lived life in the 80’s like countless others in the blue collar sector of the US had, he would get it. Or maybe if he just opened his eyes and would realize the Reagan/Bush administration was the most crooked this side of Nixon/Agnew (the jury is still out on Bush/Cheney, but I’m sure they’ll rank high) he would see it. I don’t view myself as a liberal. I’m a registered voter without a political party. I just get more than a little pissed though when people try to defend that wrinkle bag of shit, let alone praise him as a hero.

Well said, my friend, well said.

Memo to Anubistb:  Good points all around, but there’s no way in hell Trip comes out of the Elimination Chamber with the title barring something incredibly stupid on their part like Nash turning (and there’s no way Nash would do that, since he couldn’t play dog with the big nuts in Evolution like he did in the NWO).  I’m thinking of taking a wait-and-see on this and watching how the booking’s going to develop between here and SS before coming to a firm conclusion.  But, given the participants and the booking as it is, there’s no real good result from anyone other than Goldberg winning the title.  Makes sense from the standpoint of making Goldie look tough (Survived The Elimination Chamber!) and not having to have him pin Trip (SurSer, anyone?).

In fact, I’ll be willing to go on record now as to what the result will be:  Goldberg and Orton will be the last two guys in the Chamber, with Goldberg going over and Trip doing an injury angle that will keep him out until after the honeymoon.  This gives Goldberg an opponent that’s reasonably credible but not too much so, and Orton a one-month shot in the spotlight to see what he can do as Number One Contender in a relatively low-pressure situation.  He won’t be thrown to the wolves like Cena was.

To all those who are denigrating the EC match, would it be acceptable to you with those results?

Even with that caveat, Santeria36 wishes to disagree:

The Elimination Chamber sucks because while it protects some involved, it doesn’t showcase anybody. Goldberg/HHH is a money match, one of the few, never before seen matches, the WWE can give us. I dig Goldberg more than most, and was thinking a SummerSlam headlined by Angle/Lesnar II and Goldberg/HHH would be pretty damn awesome. Especially since it would have seen the end of Triple H’s reign as champ and would have finally made Goldberg into the star that WWE fans think he is but haven’t been shown yet. Goldberg could have squashed the shit out of them without PPV buyers complaining that it wasn’t worth it because Angle/Lesnar can go 30 minutes and gobble up snowflakes to please everybody.

The Chamber Match continues to suck because it robs the WWE of a chance, from what I had read, to make Orton a legit star by having him go 20 minutes with HBK. Win, lose or draw…20 minutes with HBK, and Orton can keep up, would have done wonders. Furthermore, the match is a continued waste of Jericho, who could be making the IC Title mean something, and features a very un-over Nash. And you know the chamber is just an excuse for Triple H to not job to Goldberg, which further pisses me off, because he’s probably going down to Nash or HBK.

Finally, SummerSlam is the WWE’s second-biggest event. SummerSlam has never dissappointed, has never been saddled with gimmicky matches outside of a couple of great ladder matches, and has been a showcase for solid wrestling through its history…take a look back at last year for well-built single and tag team matches that took place with being clusterf*cks. After Vengence, I’m kind of wishing that all PPVs were Smackdown only.

Look at what the SummerSlam card COULD have looked like from Raw.
Triple H vs. Goldberg
Kane vs. RVD or Shane
HBK w/ Nash vs. Orton w/ Flair
Jericho vs. Booker T

Now its Clusterf*ck city and the Kane match. And if the Kane match eventually becomes Kane vs. Shane…what the hell is RVD to do…and Booker/Christian part 337 is doing it for me.

Okay, here’s where you f*cked up.  You’re neglecting the real purpose of the Elimination Chamber match:  Give The Boys Some Camera Time.  The IC title is going to be some combination of Booker, Christian, and Van Dam (I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Triple Threat involved here).  Kane/Shane, no matter what the announcers say, is fixed.  There has to be a La Res/Dudz match in there, along with a Women’s title match (you forgot about those).  Those, plus a World Title match, have to share a card of about nine or ten matches, maximum, with Smackdown.  A lot of people are going to get shafted if you’re going to have singles matches only from Raw.  A collective solution had to be found, and the Elimination Chamber is it.  From a practical standpoint, this was probably the best way to do it.  If this was a Raw-only PPV, I’d be right there with you.  But not on a shared PPV.  Yeah, it’d be nice to have Orton/Michaels, but there’s no way to jam it into this card.  So you’re going to have to live with the clusterf*ck.

And you’re going to have to live with a clusterf*ck as well.  His name is Grut, and he’ll be in tomorrow.  Until then, enjoy.