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Posted in: Hustle Is Posting Right Now
Believe The HIPE - Day 49 - To Watch Elimination Chamber Or Not To Watch Elimination Chamber?
By Hustle
Feb 18, 2012 - 9:09:15 PM

1. Day 43 - Thoughts For Jesse

2. Day 44 - Raw Running Diary

2.728 Day 45 - Out Of Nowhere

4. Day 46 - N-E-W Jerz, Where WrestleMania Occurs

5. Day 47 - Best Of Three? Not For Me

6. Day 48 - Smackdown Running Diary

7. Day 49 - To Watch Elimination Chamber Or Not To Watch Elimination Chamber?

1. Day 43
"Can't prepare for everything.."

Writer's Note: I want everyone to save the following link. Starting today, with TNA's Against All Odds pay-per-view, the Lords Of Podcast Roundtable will be having live streams of every major event (Raw, WWE PPVs, TNA PPVs, UFC PPVs, etc). It's just another twist on things. Instead of doing, say, an audio Running Diary that gets posted to YouTube a few hours after the show is over, you can now watch the shows with us as they happen and interact with us live. It was a fun experience for today's show, which was basically put together at the last minute, but we're expecting a whole lot more people to join in with us from here on. If you're a friend/follower of mine (or any of the other LoPR guys), you'll get the update as to when we're all in the rooms for the shows, but if you aren't a friend/follower, just know that 15-20 minutes before every show starts, we'll be ready to roll. Also at the link, you can find the Against All Odds stream, in case you missed it (it's broken up into two parts, though, because of a brief technical glitch that we had). Here's the link..

Lords Of Podcast Roundtable LIVE

Originally, I was going to write about something else for tonight's column, but after Against All Odds, I had to change my plans. Chances are, a lot of you didn't get to watch it, but during the opening match of the show, Jesse Sorensen appeared to suffer a serious neck injury. During his match with Zema Ion, Sorensen was on the receiving end of a knee to the head as he took a Moonsault, with all of Ion's weight and force coming down right on top of his head. Watching it live, you could see that something was wrong, because Sorensen dropped like he was just shot. The dreaded "X" sign was thrown up, but I didn't know whether or not to view it as legit because the camera continued to show the referee doing the sign. Normally, with a legit injury, they try to keep as much of that off-camera as possible, or to have it in the background. When we got to see the replay, that's when we saw Ion's knee crash down onto Sorensen's head. As the live shot cut back to Sorensen, he still wasn't moving, and that's when a little bit of worry started to creep in. We just assumed that the blow knocked him unconscious, and he would end up with something of a major concussion.

It turns out that Sorensen only having a major concussion would actually be a good thing at this point. Word came out that it was a neck injury that Sorensen suffered, not a head injury. Also, his body went numb, and here we are, nearly seven hours after the injury happened, and not a single piece of information has come out saying that he has regained any sort of feeling. I realize that it's incredibly late in Orlando right now (2:47am, as of this very second), but if there was some good news to report on his condition, you'd think we would have heard it by now. With every hour that goes by without an update, it just makes it more and more likely that the country will wake up to some really bad news, perhaps even by the time most of you read this column.

Sorensen is 22 years old. That's it. I can't even imagine what it would be like to be 22 years old, at the very beginning of your wrestling career, and for all of that to come to an end in an instant. The closest two wrestling-related examples to this scenario have some major differences..

- Darren Drozdov became a quadriplegic on a pre-taped episode of Smackdown in 1999, but because it was pre-taped, his match never aired on television, and has yet to be seen by the general public to this day.

- Jose Estrada broke his neck after Edge (who was making his WWF debut in the match) landed on him incorrectly after a plancha to the outside. However, Estrada was already a veteran in the business at the time, 20 years into his career.

22 years old. That's crazy. I really hope that things work out for him. Maybe he'll get "lucky". Maybe it'll just end up being a really serious stinger. For those unaware, a stinger is actually a rather common injury in contact sports. Stingers happen either by the head and neck being forced toward from the shoulder, which compresses the nerves that go from the spinal cord to the arm, or the head and neck being forced away from the shoulder, which stretches those nerves out. Stingers often cause partial or total paralysis, but obviously, partial paralysis would be the better option. A stinger would actually fit in with what we saw happen, and the news that has come out since then. If it is a stinger, a best-case scenario could actually see all of his symptoms gone within two-to-three weeks, and a return to the ring not long after that.

Like I said, though, with every passing hour that goes by, more and more bad ideas begin creeping into my head, and I'm not alone on that, based on the people I've been talking to. With every passing hour, the chances that we saw a 22-year-old kid have his career ended in a heartbeat becomes more likely, and I'm going to be perfectly honest here.. that frightens me a bit. That's not something I'd like to say that I was able to watch. I don't want to see these guys get hurt out there. I don't even want to see "small" injuries, let alone one that could end up in someone being paralyzed for the rest of their life.

For those wondering, with the recent scenario on Raw involving The Miz and R-Truth, I don't think you can blame one person for this. Zema Ion was out of control during the move, and had his legs flailing a little more than he probably should have, but at the same time, I think Sorensen was out of position a bit and didn't get his arms up to protect himself. It was an absolute accident, and it's unfortunate to see some of the blame that Ion is getting for this. Again, maybe he could have tightened up the execution of the move, sure, but if Sorensen had been in position and was able to protect himself better, I might not be writing this column at all. If this does end up in a major, career-ending injury for Sorensen, you have to assume that Ion is going to receive even more blame, whether he deserves it or not. Some are even speculating that Ion will receive the blame from TNA itself, which would seriously derail his career with the company, although Edge injuring Jose Estrada in his debut match clearly didn't end up affecting him too much in the long run.

It's still early. Too early for speculation on what the rest of Zema Ion's TNA career is going to look like. For now, we just await more information on Sorensen's condition and hope for the best. What this does is simple.. it gives me a much greater appreciation for what these people put their bodies through for the entertainment of fans across the world. They really don't get anywhere near the amount of credit they deserve.

If you're a religious person, it might be a good time to say a prayer to whatever it is you pray to. If you're not a religious person, it might be a good time to just find a way to send some positive vibes in his direction.

He might need the help.

"I told him I'm doing fine, doing well. Everything happens for a reason. I'm not mad at what happened at all. There's no animosity between us. We were just playing a game we both love, and freak accidents happen. You can't have animosity. It's just the way the game is played. It happened just like that." - Eric LeGrand, after being paralyzed from the neck down during a college football game in 2010. Since then, he has regained movement in his shoulders and arms, and has had sensation throughout his body as he continues his fight, hoping to walk again one day. Hopefully, in a matter of time, this quote will be irrelevant to this column altogether.


2. Day 44
"Bad until the end.."

Writer's Note: Just like yesterday, here's the link to the Lords Of Podcast Roundtable's justin.tv page, where you can check out our Raw stream and live discussion, if you'd like to do so. If you haven't already done so, bookmark the page. We'll be back in there for Elimination Chamber, so feel free to join us.

Lords Of Podcast Roundtable LIVE

9:00pm: It's the "go home" show before Elimination Chamber. The Road To WrestleMania continues from San Diego, California.

9:01pm: Starting the show with an extreme close-up of KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE's face. Quite the way to kick things off. Goodness gracious. They should warn people. KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE says that tonight is the night John Cena finally embraces the hate, and also the night that someone will take a ride in an ambulance. Just a ride? Like a Ride Along Program? Fun! Can I control the siren?!?

9:04pm: Oh sweet mercy.. an Elimination Chamber Debate, featuring all six people in the WWE Title Chamber. Jerry Lawler is conducting the debate in the ring, and Vickie Guerrero is there with Dolph Ziggler. Yes, that's a whopping eight people to kick things off. My rule for clusterfucks, however, is that you must hear three different entrance themes, and we haven't heard one yet.

9:05pm: Alright, I might have to change things. Before the debate can even begin, John Laurinaitis and David Otunga come out onto the stage. Still no music, but now we have ten people involved here.

9:06pm: Laurinaitis simply wanted to say he's glad to be back. That's it. Now he's gone again. Wow.

9:08pm: Is this really going to turn into six people going back-and-forth, saying "I'm going to win the match".

9:09pm: R-Truth says that if he's "elected", he's going to trade Ziggler and Guerrero to Smackdown for Hornswoggle and a box of spiders, which gets a pop from the crowd. He also says he'll make it legally required to chant "What?" after every line of the Pledge Of Allegiance.

9:10pm: Truth ends an epic ramble about "spider stew" by saing "God bless the United States Of America", and lol @ the camera cutting to Dolph Ziggler with his hand over his heart and a confused look on his face.

9:11pm: Now it's Miz's turn to fuck a promo up and overact. Joy.

9:12pm: Sure as fucking day turns to night, Miz stumbles in his promo, prompting CM Punk to chime in with "Good job".

9:13pm: It's Chris Jericho's turn to speak. This is still going on.

9:15pm: Jericho just called Punk "boy", and then said he (Jericho) is Punk's "master". Had he said that exact same line to R-Truth, Al Sharpton would be picketing outside of WWE Headquarters right now.

9:16pm: Truth is making dolphin noises. This is really happening.

9:17pm: The segment ends with Kofi Kingston dropping Jericho with Trouble In Paradise, and the camera pulls back to show The Miz looking on. I think Miz was supposed to be looking like he was surprised or confused, but instead, he was literally doing the "duck face" that random heauxs do on Facebook every day. #StopThatThatsGay

9:22pm: Back from commercial break, it's time for the first match of the night.. Kofi Kingston VS Chris Jericho.

9:22pm: Logical booking would have Jericho win here, or at least lose in a screwy way (perhaps after a distraction from Punk), but it would be nice to see Kofi get some shine here. If he's going to lose, the least they could do is have him look strong in the loss.

9:26pm: Kofi just fought his way to the ropes after being locked in the Walls Of Jericho. He even held on for several seconds before making the ropes. That's what I'm talking about. Make him look strong.

9:27pm: Jericho gets the win after nailing Kofi with a Codebreaker, which came after poking Kofi in the eye. Kofi got a large portion of the offense in the match. Thank you, WWE. That's all I asked for. He looked like he belonged with a main eventer.

9:29pm: Shawn Michaels is here, and he bumps into Triple H backstage. THE MEGA POWERS HUG~!

9:33pm: John Cena, complete with a shaving cut on his chin (must have been using a Schick razor this time, instead of his normal sponsor, Gillette), is backstage talking to Zack Ryder. Ryder is still rocking the neck brace and is in a wheelchair. Cena is apparently Ryder's wingman, as he says he's going to find Eve for Zack so Zack can get some alone time with her for Valentine's Day. What a nice guy.

9:35pm: Wait.. did David Otunga just hint at ending the brand split completely? He mentioned a "plan" of his that would ensure John Laurinaitis was the permanent General Manager of both Raw and Smackdown. Hmm.. that has piqued my interest.

9:37pm: Our next match, here on Monday Night Smackdown, is Randy Orton VS Big Show, but before they can come out, the World Champion, Daniel Bryan, comes out for a closer look.

9:42pm: Michael Cole just said Daniel Bryan is "wonderful" and called him a "tremendous champion". He really doesn't want the taste slapped out of his mouth.

9:48pm: We've had a lot of commercials so far tonight, and when we get back from this latest break, we have a rest hold. Probably could have put the match together a little better.

9:49pm: "I love when the champ smiles!" - Michael Cole.. umm.. chill.

9:51pm: Instead of his usual second-rope DDT, Orton hits Big Show with one from the top rope. That was nice.

9:51pm: What wasn't nice was the ridiculous-looking RKO botch. Show looked like he was trying to push Orton away or something, but dropped and sold the move, anyway, while Orton just stood there.

9:52pm: Orton hits an RKO successfully this time, but Bryan runs in and attacks both men with the World Title to get things thrown out. Now that Bryan isn't sitting at the announce table anymore, Cole is yelling about him and how he ruined the entire match. [ClevelandBrownVoice]Okay.[/ClevelandBrownVoice]

9:59pm: Shawn Michaels gets the "hour one main event" spot, and he gets a nice ovation.

10:00pm: A "Funkasaurus Ate My Family" sign in the crowd. That explains his absence, I guess.

10:02pm: HBK is clearly enjoying his retirement. He looks to have put on 10-15 pounds, and has no real muscle definition in his arms. Honestly, though.. good for him. He deserves that enjoyment. Glad to see him taking advantage of retirement.

10:05pm: Michaels talks a bit about a possible rematch between Triple H and The Undertaker at WrestleMania, and this, of course, brings Triple H out. THE MEGA POWERS REUNITE~!

10:07pm: Michaels says he returned to see Triple H VS The Undertaker, but Trips basically says he shouldn't have come back then, because there won't be a match.

10:09pm: "Are you telling me you married that chick and now you've become one of them? Is that what you are now? A sellout?" - That's some mighty strong words there, Shawn.

10:09pm: Uh-oh.. they're about to argue here. THE MEGA POWERS EXPLODE~!

10:10pm: HBK just called Trips a "coward" for backing down from another man's challenge. As a great philosopher once said.. it's.. about.. to go.. down.

10:12pm: Trips says that all of "this", meaning the company itself, will one day be his, and the crowd boos. Uh-oh, part deux.

10:12pm: This is some real soap opera-type shit here.

10:13pm: Now Trips accuses HBK of trying to live vicariously through him because HBK wants him to accomplish things that he could never get done during his own career, and that draws a loud heel reaction. If you didn't know any better, you'd think they were shooting out there.

10:15pm: HBK wants Trips to look him in the eye (notice he didn't say "eyes", lololololololololol wonky eye joke) and tell him he doesn't want to end Taker's streak, and that's exactly what Trips does. Michaels leaves the ring to a loud "H-B-K" chant. Well.. that was a powerful segment, but I think.. and right as I'm typing that, the lights go out and the familiar Undertaker bell tolls.

10:17pm: No Taker again. It's another vignette with Taker watching the WrestleMania 27 match in a room all by himself.

10:19pm: The vignette ends with Taker taking a razor out and cutting his own hair. The final product of the self haircut isn't shown, but now everyone can stop talking about Taker wearing a wig, as the company has solved that issue.

10:20pm: As I was going to say before Taker interrupted me.. powerful segment, but at the same time, what purpose did it actually serve? It's too similar to things we've already seen in the last few years, and it was nearly 20 minutes that perhaps could have went to people that are regular members of the roster and who wouldn't normally get time on television. It's things like this that make WWE's midcard, tag and Divas scenes a joke. You have, maybe, four or five properly developed characters on each show, and that's it. Unless Shawn Michaels is returning to actually wrestle a match, that entire segment is going to go down as another waste of time, when all is said and done.

10:22pm: Dolph Ziggler gets the jobber entrance for our next match. Good Lord.

10:23pm: Ziggler's opponent is R-Truth.

10:26pm: Truth wins. Nothing even happened, of note, in the match. Looks like they're running short on time. Gee, I wonder how that happened?!?

10:28pm: Santino shows up to give Zack Ryder some garlic-flavored breath strips. Ryder doesn't like the taste, but Santino loves it! Somewhere, someone thinks this is funny.

10:32pm: Tamina VS One of the Bella Twins (I don't care which one) is up next. Joy.

10:32pm: Divas Champion Beth Phoenix is on commentary for this. More talk about how nobody can beat her, but still no talk about Kharma. I really don't get why they even brought Kharma back at the Royal Rumble at this point.

10:34pm: Tamina wins. Beth Phoenix VS Tamina for the Divas Title at Elimination Chamber. This show is starting to spiral down at this point. I mean, it wasn't all that high to begin with, but now.. yikes.

10:38pm: Video package for The Rock! Hooray!

10:40pm: 45 seconds of the package are dedicated to the fact that Rock can bounce his titties. Now that is valuable information for your everyday life.

10:42pm: ..aaaaand WWE had a huge production error. Cena is about to cut a backstage promo when he hears a woman screaming. He runs off-camera, and we then see Eve slowly walking into the back of an ambulance. KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE is looking just off-camera, and then quickly turns around and shuts the doors quickly. Someone missed their cue. You could say that KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE was just waiting for Cena to show up, and then he would rush out of there, but that doesn't explain why Eve was trying to "escape" by slowly walking away from someone who was just standing there.

10:43pm: KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE locks Eve in the back of the ambulance, and he goes to drive off with her, but ambulance doors open from the inside, and Eve jumps out at the last second, into Cena's arms, before the ambulance can drive away. Eve and Cena are kissing!!! Of course, the camera cuts over to show Zack Ryder, sitting in his wheelchair, with roses on his lap, looking on pissed. We finally have storyline development in this storyline! Rejoice! From now on, though, I think I'm going to refer to the Cena/KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE match at Elimination Chamber as an Amber Lamps Match. Some of you won't get that, I'm sure.

10:47pm: Eve catches up to Zack backstage and tells him she wants them to be friends. FRIEND ZONED~! That's a fate worse than death right there. By the way, tonight is the best Eve has looked in a long, long, long time.

10:48pm: Next up is the main event.. CM Punk VS The Miz. The Miz gets the jobber entrance here, because they're still running short on time.

10:49pm: LMAO @ "Poor Zack" trending on Twitter.

10:51pm: Miz drops Punk's neck across his knee to set up his finisher, but Punk slips out and then looks to have lost a bit of feeling in his arm. He's shaking it out like he got a brief stinger. I can't really blame Miz for that, but it might be clear that he's cursed now.

10:53pm: Punk's still trying to shake some feeling into his arm and his hand.

10:54pm: Miz taps to the Anaconda Vice. Match over. Three "Chamber preview" matches tonight. All three were short matches. I don't see how that's supposed to make everyone look strong heading into the pay-per-view, but alright.

10:55pm: We go backstage again, and the Amber Lamps has returned. Apparently, KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE is back, and.. we go to commercial? At 10:55?

10:59pm: It's time for a John Cena promo. This is either going to be really brief, or they're going to have a longer-than-usual overrun.

11:01pm: Cena says that this was KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE's plan all along.. to turn his friends against him. Umm.. I don't think he made you kiss Eve, Johnny Boy. I don't think that's how it works.

11:02pm: lol @ a loud "We All Hate You" chant, which is getting louder by the second. Ouch. That's new.

11:03pm: I can't really see the entire thing, but I believe there's a sign in the crowd that says "69 Cena". Well, that's not TV-PG at all.

11:04pm: As Cena is about to address his "good friend, Dwayne", Zack Ryder wheels himself out on stage, and he gets boos. This crowd is confused.

11:05pm: Proving that he has never seen a crutch in his life, nor does he know how to use them, Ryder uses crutches to do the worst sell job of all-time as he walks to the ring. He goes from selling a leg injury to not selling it and walking correctly, then back to selling the leg again. Clown.

11:06pm: Ryder slaps Cena across the face. Hey, man, it's stupid moves like that which have you one step away from a full body cast to begin with. Cena takes his shirt off and looks ready to snap, and you can just feel that the crowd is ready for Cena to destroy Ryder here. Ryder goes to slap him again, but Cena blocks it and pulls his fist back to hit Zack, but Zack pulls away and falls to the mat, telling Cena to "get away". Hey, dumbass, you're the one that went to him, remember?

11:08pm: As Ryder gimps himself away, we get KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE cutting a promo on the TitanTron, saying that Cena finally embraced the hate by stealing the girl of his best friend.

11:10pm: KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE walks out on stage and pushes Ryder, wheelchair and all, SMOOTH THE FUCK OFF OF THE STAGE!!! LMAO!!!

11:10pm: Cena rushes over and throws up the "X", which probably made Jesse Sorensen's family and friends want to shoot him in the fucking face. I've said it time and time again.. when wrestling promotions do these fake injuries and try to pass them off as serious, legit problems, they end up looking like fucking fools when someone actually does get hurt somewhere. They're pretending that Ryder is really hurt, and meanwhile, there's a 22-year-old kid in an Orlando hospital that might have lost his career last night. Dumb.. as.. fuck.

11:12pm: Eve runs out to check on Ryder, and she's nearly booed out of the building. Yikes. The show ends with everyone looking concerned about Ryder's condition as the medical personnel show up with a stretcher.

#ThankYouKAAAAANNNNNEEEEE: The first 80-90% of Kofi Kingston VS Chris Jericho was fun while it lasted, I guess.. The Shawn Michaels & Triple H promo was emotional, and it had the crowd into it.. Storyline advancement with John Cena, Zack Ryder & Eve.. Eve's outfit (pause).. Zack Ryder getting wheeled off of the stage, which was one of the funniest visuals I've seen in wrestling in a long time

#FuckYouWWEForNotHavingAnyClass: A "debate" taking up nearly 20 minutes.. The Miz messing up another promo.. Big Show's RKO botch.. The Shawn Michaels & Triple H promo went nearly 20 minutes, and it didn't lead to anything except for The Undertaker cutting the hair off of a wig.. No real focus on the Elimination Chamber's participants, with no time being dedicated to make them look like anything more than people that can waste time in a "debate".. Pathetic timing on WWE's part with faking a serious injury.. No Sheamus, who won the Royal Rumble, by the way

Grade: C-. Honestly, I think the show was in the D/D- range until KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE made Ryder sing "I Believe I Can Fly" for a few seconds. That alone was enough to bump the grade up.

"No woman will ever be truly satisfied on Valentine's Day, because no man will ever have a chocolate penis that ejaculates money."


2.728 Day 45
"Out of nowhere.."

It's been an interesting last few months in the world of sports.

In (American) football, the talk of the NFL was Tim Tebow and TebowMania. He wasn't the starting Quarterback for the Denver Broncos at the start of the season (he wasn't even the backup), but when he got the chance to step in and play after seeing people ahead of him fall due to injuries, he lead the team to win after win, eventually taking them to the playoffs, where they would win their first game before finally losing to the New England Patriots. He had his fair share of detractors, but everyone was glued to games when he was playing, and it took the sports world by storm.

Now, in basketball, the talk of the NBA is Jeremy Lin and Linsanity. He wasn't the starting Point Guard for the New York Knicks at the start of the season (it was actually his third different team in as many months), but when he got the chance to step in and play after seeing people ahead of him fall due to injuries, he has lead the team to win after win, setting records galore, and has Knicks fans actually thinking about the playoffs after the season was starting to slip away a bit. He doesn't quite have as many detractors as Tebow, but either way, everyone is glued to games when he's playing, and it's taking the sports world by storm.

It got me to thinking about wrestling, and if we've seen a "Tim Tebow" or a "Jeremy Lin" in the business. The more I thought about it, the more I figured I needed to come up with some solid criteria. One of the first people that came to mind, naturally, was Hulk Hogan and Hulkamania, but that really wasn't the same thing. Hogan was a big star before "Hulkamania" was born, and seemed to be destined for greatness long before he actually achieved it. That isn't the same as either Tebow or Lin, so I can't include him in this discussion.

Instead, it would have to be a "rookie" or someone unexpected, coming out of nowhere, to take the wrestling world by storm. Not someone like, say, Mark Henry, who became the talk of the wrestling world, but only after floundering for 15 years prior to it. Making things a little more complicated is how different the landscape in wrestling is today compared to what it was a decade ago, a decade before that, a decade before that, and so on. We've gone from dozens of "territories" in wrestling to one huge promotion and only a couple successful indy promotions. It's more difficult for a really young talent to make a splash now, compared to, say, the 80s. Let's see what I can come up with..

The first name I came up with is someone that a lot of you will argue doesn't belong on the list, and technically, you might be right. However, I'm going to use him, anyway. I'm talking about Samoa Joe. When he showed up in TNA, he was on fire, plain and simple. An 18-month undefeated streak kicked off his time with the company, and for a lengthy part of that streak, he helped to elevate the X-Division Title above the company's World Title. At the time, it could be argued that he was the most over worker in TNA, and one of the most over workers in all of wrestling. He was one of those heel wrestlers that the fans couldn't help but cheer and chant for, to the point where there wasn't much of a heel reaction left at all. Rumors and buzz about Joe jumping ship to WWE started running wild. Of course, we've seen what has happened since that initial momentum, but that doesn't change the fact that Samoa Joe was at the heights he was. The reason some will say he doesn't belong is because he was a huge name in Ring Of Honor, and even known for his work with Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan, before he ever made his TNA debut. While that can't be argued, that was also during an RoH era where they weren't on television, pay-per-view, internet pay-per-view, etc. The quality of the RoH product was top notch at the time, but as far as the company's size and the mark they left on the face of wrestling, they weren't that big, so TNA really was his first true time in the North American mainstream spotlight.

My next two names are people that are linked together for various reasons. They have similar bodies, relatively similar movesets, spent only a short amount of time in the business.. hell, they've even faced each other at WrestleMania. I guess I'll go in chronological order, with the person who hit the scene first.. Bill Goldberg. To say he came out of nowhere would be quite the understatement. To say he was on top of the wrestling world, after coming out of nowhere, would be an even bigger understatement. He had a different background than most people that wrestle. There would be no "boyhood dream" stories with him, as he wasn't a fan of wrestling, either as a kid, a teenager or as an adult. He just looked at wrestling as a relatively logical alternative after his dreams of a pro football career ended. He began training, and in a year's time, he was the WCW World Champion, and one of the top two or three biggest names in all of wrestling. He was in the right place at the right time, coming into the business at the height of its popularity and reach. When you talk about "overnight sensations" in wrestling, you have to talk about Goldberg. There's no way around it. Week in and week out, this "nobody" would come to the ring to some deafening pops. The fans made sure he would reach the main event scene, and they made sure it would happen quickly. Unfortunately for him, he was done in by the poor booking, decision-making and backstage politics that WCW had at the time. If not for all of that, I can't even imagine the heights he (and WCW, as a whole) could have reached.

The other name that I was talking about is none other than Brock Lesnar. As I said, there's some similarities between his rise to stardom and Bill Goldberg's rise. The main difference, in my opinion, is that Brock appeared to be backed by the company for a main event spot from day one, while Goldberg was just put out there and had the crowd carry his push. Brock was just a physical freak of nature that had the great amateur wrestling background to help round his game out. Within five months of his debut, Brock defeated The Rock in the main event of SummerSlam to become the WWE Undisputed Champion. The sky really looked to be the limit for the guy. Not even two years after the SummerSlam victory, Brock had left the company, in an attempt to play pro football. He just had other ideas and other plans for his life, and the lifestyle and schedule needed to be a pro wrestler on that level was wearing on him emotionally and physically, so he went elsewhere. Like Samoa Joe and Goldberg before him, though, there was a time when Brock popped up and just left a path of destruction in his wake.

The next name on the list is someone that doesn't immediately jump out at you as someone who belongs here. He's also someone that breaks a sad trend that I've had with these names.. the previous guys either left the business or saw a major free fall that happened almost as quickly as their ascension. This next name is someone that saw some legendary success, and while he did eventually leave the business, he's someone that remains at the top of the wrestling world even to this day. I'm referring, of course, to The Rock. Now, the reason that he might not immediately jump out at you for this conversation is the several months he spent at the beginning of his WWF career as Rocky Maivia. The company damn sure wanted him to become a huge star from the beginning, but it just wasn't working. He wasn't clicking with the fans, and they turned on him pretty quickly. However, when he went from being Rocky Maivia to being The Rock, the rest was history. To try and make a bit of a comparison to someone I mentioned earlier, The Rock would be like Jeremy Lin in this regard. Not exactly, of course, but Lin was released from two different NBA teams before making it to the Knicks roster, and even then, he didn't have immediate success. With the other wrestlers I've mentioned here, you're looking at people that had success from the beginning, as well as immediate connections with live audiences and those watching at home. Jeremy Lin didn't have that immediate "connection", and neither did The Rock. Of course, that is pretty much where the comparison ends. Then again, with the ride that Lin is taking everyone, he could very well be a contender for the Hall Of Fame 15 years from now like The Rock is now. Looking back, though, when Rocky Maivia became The Rock, that was such a different character, heading in such a different direction. You almost had no choice but to pay attention to him, both in the ring and on the mic. He rose to heights that nobody could have predicted, and he did it almost immediately after his heel turn, when people were viewing him as someone who didn't even belong in the company, period. Minus the "heel turn", that is Jeremy Lin.

There are other names out there. There are probably a lot, if I really stopped to think more about it (maybe I will one day, turning this into a "series"), but unfortunately, I'm running out of time. It's a rarity to see someone with that type of meteoric rise in wrestling anymore, but that's the fun part.. you literally never know when it's going to happen again, but when it does, we find ourselves wrapped up in it.

"Here's an easy way to figure out if you're in a cult. If you're wondering whether you're in a cult, the answer is yes."


4. Day 46
"Jersey just got colder.."

Well, it's been rumored for a while, with people either really rooting for it or really rooting against it, but now, after all this time, the announcement has been made official, and WrestleMania 29 will be taking place in..

East Rutherford, New Jersey!

It doesn't really sound too appealing when you say it that way. It isn't quite the same as saying New York City. For those of my readers who aren't from America, or who give zero fucks about the National Football League, East Rutherford is the home to (relatively) brand new MetLife Stadium (opened in April 2010), home to both the New York Jets and the New York Giants. Before you say anything.. I already realize that it's both dumb and confusing that New York football teams play their home games in New Jersey. That isn't the point, though.

MetLife Stadium has a whopping $1.6 billion price tag on it, and it seats well over 82,000 for football. New Jersey officials are looking for over 70,000 to be in attendance for WrestleMania. It's a beautiful, gigantic piece of modern architecture. That's fine and dandy.

The problem that people have is that MetLife Stadium is just that.. a stadium. It isn't a dome. It doesn't even have any type of retractable roof. It's just an open-air stadium, and we're talking about New Jersey in April. A lot of you have never been to New Jersey in April, so let me help you out, with an assist to Weather.com and their crack staff..

- The average high temperature for East Rutherford in March is 50 degrees Fahrenheit. That's 10 degrees Celsius.
- The average low temperature for East Rutherford in March is 30 degrees Fahrenheit. That's -1 degrees Celsius.
- The average high temperature for East Rutherford in April is 62 degrees Fahrenheit. That's 17 degrees Celsius.
- The average low temperature for East Rutherford in April is 40 degrees Fahrenheit. That's 4 degrees Celsius.

The reason I listed both March and April is because WrestleMania 29 will be held on April 7th, so the temperature could very well be in the middle of the March and April numbers. As far as precipitation is concerned..

- The average precipitation for East Rutherford in March is 4.11 inches. That's 104.4 mm.
- The average precipitation for East Rutherford in April is 4.36 inches. That's 110.7 mm.

Now, as you can see, this presents a situation that WrestleMania has never seen before. It will be the first outdoor WrestleMania held in a cold-weather city. We've seen WrestleMania have outdoor shows before, but we're talking about places like Las Vegas, Miami and Orlando. Throw in the fact that there's a good chance it will be raining at the time, and you have the potential for a disaster of epic proportions. The ring will be covered by whatever fancy schmancy set-up the company can come up with (for WrestleMania 24, in Orlando, there was a spaceship-like object above the ring to keep it dry), but that's only the ring. The announcers won't be covered, and the fans damn sure won't be covered. Do you realize how poor that's going to look on television? From beginning to end. That affects more than just the wrestling itself. That affects little things like.. the pyro. Hell, it even affects people's entrances. Pouring rain on a metal ramp that slopes downwards isn't exactly the greatest combination. How animated can you possibly be during your entrance when the slightest move is going to dump you on your ass, or even cause you to slip and tear some knee ligaments?

This weather situation just has bad news written all over it.

On top of that, based on conversations I've had with people that either live in New Jersey or know the area well, people in town for WrestleMania would be better served staying in New York. According to the crack staff of Google maps, the time it would take to travel between East Rutherford and New York City is about 28 minutes. Each way. Many people will see even longer trips. That's not very convenient at all. Also, if you know anything about that area of the country, the traffic is ridiculous on a regular basis. Bringing 70,000+ people into town, plus the folks showing up for things like Ring Of Honor and Dragon Gate USA shows, plus anything else that is going on during the week (it is the New York area, after all, so there's always things going on), and you have some potential traffic nightmares. The traffic in Orlando was insane during the week of WrestleMania 24, so I can only imagine how much worse it will be during the week of WrestleMania 29.

Of course, the main reason the company is going in this direction is to stick it to football a bit. The NFL will be using the stadium to host the Super Bowl in 2014, so WWE getting to host their "Super Bowl" almost a year before the actual game is a big deal, and will be mentioned a minimum of 17,000 times on WWE programming between now and then. I'll give the company credit for being able to say they "got" MetLife Stadium before the NFL could place the Super Bowl there, but I really don't think this idea has been thought through well enough.

What will really get people worked up is the fact that WrestleMania 30 doesn't look like it will be coming to us from Madison Square Garden anymore. It appears there every ten years, but at this point, WrestleMania might be too "big" for an arena that only holds 22,000 people for a wrestling event, no matter how much history the building has. I just don't see WWE going back to that area that soon. New Jersey and New York in back-to-back years? I think that would actually be one of the most surprising things that the company has done in a long, long time, especially when places like Dallas, Toronto, Indianapolis and others are still in the running like they were for WrestleMania 29. We may very well have seen the end of WrestleMania at Madison Square Garden, folks. I think you'll see the company try to put more pay-per-views in MSG because of it, though, which eases the pain a little bit. It's still just strange to me, for a few different reasons, but I guess the company has decided to roll the dice a bit. We'll see how it goes.

While we're discussing WrestleMania 29, I do have a bit of an announcement to make.

In recent years, you've seen me mention the LordsOfPain.net WrestleMania Weekend Wrestling (W)Extravaganza, with a whole bunch of LoP'ers getting together in the city that hosts WrestleMania for a bit of a shindig. We had one in Orlando for WrestleMania 24, and there have been others since then (although I didn't go to any of those), but something different is being planned for next year. Instead of heading to New Jersey, the Lords Of Podcast Roundtable guys and myself will be heading to Florida for the week. When more things are planned, I'll be revealing exactly where in Florida, but for now, just know that it will either be Miami Beach or the Orlando area. While there, we will be "borrowing" from the WWE Legends House idea. All of us, various significant others, random heauxs, etc.. all packed in a gigantic house.. with cameras running 24/7, documenting everything that goes on. We'll also be having various shows going on, both of the audio (podcast) and video variety. There might even be legit shoot fights between some of your favorite LoP personalities taking place, including myself taking on fellow main page columnist The Crow. There will be a whole lot more planned for the week, but again, I'll get to those details when the time is right. Folks, I wish I could tell you I'm only kidding, but I'm not. I'm absolutely, positively 100% serious. Keep ya peepers peepin for new details.

"Insomnia is my greatest inspiration."


5. Day 47
"One ain't enough.."

As members of the IWC, we see a whole lot of rumors, either posted here on LoP or on any of the hundreds of wrestling news sites out there. Some of those rumors become reality, and some don't. Some of those rumors sound really amazing, and some don't.

Today is one of those times that a rumor comes along that doesn't sound amazing. In fact, I think this rumor sounds like a horrendous idea. Here's the rumor..

John Cena and The Rock will have a Best-of-Three series in the next year.

It won't originally be called that. The rumor has Cena and Rock facing each other again at some point in 2012, and then having their final match at WrestleMania 29.

The rumor came to be in a simple way. There's heavy buzz that WWE has been working with The Rock for another pay-per-view appearance in 2012, with the leading candidate being SummerSlam. With the event being held in Los Angeles and having the "Hollywood" vibe to it, it makes sense in that regard. Now, with the news that WrestleMania 29 is heading to New Jersey, The Rock was heavily involved in the promotion of it. He appeared at the press conference to officially announce the news, and now, "MetLife Gets ROCKED" is a heavily discussed tag for the event, with Rock even tweeting it.

Now, we've also seen a rumor that The Rock will be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame next year, which would mean he'd be involved in WrestleMania weekend. That's fine. I get that and all, but let's be honest.. even though Rock carries huge name value, would a Hall Of Fame induction (and only a Hall Of Fame induction) be enough for him to be involved in that kind of promotion, almost 14 months in advance? Also, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the Hall Of Fame ceremony won't be taking place at MetLife Stadium, so the whole "MetLife Gets ROCKED" indicates Rock will have more to do at WrestleMania than the usual Hall Of Fame bit where they introduce the names during the show and they come out to wave at the crowd for a few seconds. If that's all Rock does at WrestleMania 29, it kind of makes the big promotion a bit of a waste, doesn't it?

So, we're about to get Cena VS Rock in about six weeks, but for the other matches to take place, we're going to need some sort of shenaniganery taking place in the match. Either some sort of non-finish like a No Contest or a Double Countout, or someone wins by some sort of underhanded tactics in some way, shape or form. Would WWE really have the balls to have one of their most highly promoted matches of all-time main event WrestleMania and end in a No Contest or a Double Countout, though? I hate to bring this up again, but if they were going to have a No Contest or something, there would have to be some sort of big news story coming out of the match to make up for it.. a heel turn, perhaps. Again, I'm not predicting anything. I'm just saying that people are going to be spending extra money to either watch WrestleMania in person or on pay-per-view, with all of the elevated prices, so just giving them a No Contest in the main event is basically begging wrestling fans not to give you their money anymore. If they got something that would get the entire wrestling world talking, it would take some of the sting away from the non-finish. However, for this particular scenario, you'd need an actual finish, but one that wasn't clean at all. That way, the person who lost the match would have a reason to request the rematch to even the score. So, for example..

- Cena defeats Rock, cheating & either turning heel or starting his heel turn in the process
- Rock shows up at some point before the summer to reignite the feud
- Rock defeats Cena at SummerSlam, evening the "score"

Rock still hates Cena. Cena still hates Rock. Both men are still bitching and arguing. The only way to settle it is to have the "final showdown", where Rock would come back for WrestleMania 29. Throw in some random stipulation or gimmick for the match that would force a winner, once and for all, and have it booked as Rock's absolute final match, and there you have it.

Of course, there's a downside to this, and it's actually a huge downside. Heading into this year's WrestleMania, we're already looking at an entire year of promotion for this match. With Rock not being a full-time member of the roster, and technically not even being a part-time member, it's difficult to do much other than have Cena take random shots at him on television and for the two to argue back-and-forth on Twitter. That's already annoying as all hell to a large portion of the WWE Universe. Imagine what another year of that would do. That's two whole years.. two consecutive years.. dedicated to a singles feud. Also, something tells me that Rock's schedule won't be clearing up during the second year, which means more of the same.. more of Cena randomly taking shots at Rock in his promos, and more of Cena and Rock arguing back-and-forth on Twitter. There's no way I could handle that, even if Cena does turn heel at WrestleMania this year. It's still two grown men arguing on the internet for a year.

This one won't really affect the WrestleMania 28 buyrate too much, but isn't the main selling point of this year's event that The Rock is returning for something special? It hasn't been said that it will be his final match, but isn't that kind of implied with how infrequently Rock makes appearances in recent years? If that's the case, what will make this match so special? No, it won't be announced on television that they'll just be facing each other two more times in the next year, but that's why I said it won't affect things too much. There's still going to be a decent amount of people that will know about the future plans, which makes the WrestleMania 28 main event considerably less important and "must-see". It's still WrestleMania, though. It's still something that people will order and buy tickets for. That won't change, no matter what else happens during the year.

All in all, I hope that this rumor stays a rumor. I can't properly put into words just how little I care about seeing another year of Twitter beef. Maybe it's just me, though. What say you, ReaderLand? Would you want to see John Cena VS The Rock turn into a three-match series, culminating in a "winner-take-all" match at WrestleMania 29? Holla at ya boy and let me know what's on your mind.

"Katie's got some big ass tittays!"


6. Day 48
"Not even close to good.."

8:01pm: We're starting the show with Randy Orton in Teddy Long's office, and Orton doesn't look very happy at all. Teddy looks scared.

8:02pm: Teddy says that Orton isn't medically cleared to wrestle, so he won't be competing tonight.

8:03pm: Teddy says that Orton also isn't cleared to wrestle at Elimination Chamber, but he doesn't mention what the plan is to replace him. As crazy as this sounds, I hope it's a legit injury of some sort for Orton. Not because I want him to be hurt, but because the idea of willingly taking the biggest star out of the World Title match for nothing more than storyline advancement is an incredibly dumb idea.

8:05pm: The actual "in the arena" part of the show is starting with a tag team match, and here comes Big Show as the first person involved in the match.

8:05pm: Show's partner is The Great Khali. This, of course, allows the announcers to break out the classic "this team is over 14 feet tall" line that is both hilarious and stupid at the same time.

8:07pm: Cody Rhodes and Wade Bar-ruh are out to be the opposition here. Helluva size disadvantage they have here.

8:09pm: Khali.. is.. so.. slow.

8:11pm: Umm.. Show tags in and just slices through the heels like a hot knife through butter and gets the pin after maybe 20 seconds of in-ring action, and then he hits the WMD on Khali (which Khali sells incorrectly, like it were just a regular punch or something, and not a "knockout punch", like it's supposed to be). There goes any momentum the heels might have had.

8:13pm: Mark Henry makes his return to say that he should be placed in the Elimination Chamber to take Randy Orton's place, but it ends with him receiving a WMD from Big Show, who barges into Teddy Long's office, demanding a match with Daniel Bryan tonight. So.. uh.. yeah.. Big Show is on quite the roll here tonight.

8:16pm: Peanuthead tells his personal security staff that they need to find Show and calm him down, but the security refuses to go anywhere near Show. Smart guys. Security work doesn't pay anywhere near enough to justify going near that big bastard. Trust me. I would know.

8:17pm: For the 982nd consecutive week, we're getting Ted DiBiase VS Hunico. WWE, your writers are fucking pathetic. The WWE Universe wants to see DA BYSICKLE~! in action, but once again, he's just sitting there, looking ominous in the corner. This is bullshit. I don't even know what the hell the point in calling Camacho up to the main roster was.

8:19pm: Camacho interferes behind the referee's back, and Hunico wins. Oh, so that's the point in calling Camacho up to the main roster. Alright then. This feud needs to end, either way.

8:21pm: After I fast forwarded through a video package for Raw, our next match is a (non-title) tag match, with Primo & Epico taking on The Usos. Again. Because there are no other tag teams in the company. Again.

8:23pm: I'll say this again.. Rosa Mendes is every bit as hot as her Spanish is gawdawful.

8:25pm: You know.. when one of the Uso brothers yell out "Uuuuu", I think they want the fans to yell back "Sooooo", not "Uuuuu". I'm just saying.

8:27pm: Primo & Epico win. Again. The WWE tag division is being booked as bad as it ever has. Again. These teams would have some nice chemistry if the company would give them more than four or five minutes to work with.

8:28pm: In-ring promo time for Daniel Bryan. Apparently he just got to the building. Gotta love how various wrestlers can just show up at the arena halfway through the show like that. I dare all of you to show up to your job tomorrow, halfway through your shift, and see what happens. Let's see if your boss allows you to go out and speak to the people with a microphone while you stand there in your Hanes briefs.

8:31pm: Going the classic heel route, Bryan mentions that all of his enemies are afraid of him because they aren't here in the building right now. This is awesome.

8:33pm: A "You Suck" chant breaks out, and Bryan seems to be loving it.

8:33pm: He tells Lilian Garcia to announce him as the winner of tonight's match by forfeit because Randy Orton isn't able to compete, so she does just that, prompting a celebration from Bryan as if he won the lottery.

8:34pm: Uh-oh.. it's Teddy Long. The Undertaker is back, so maybe he'll book Bryan VS Taker here right now. No? Alright.

8:35pm: It's a shameful thing, Lobster Head! Too many limes! Too many limes! That's why I don't read the newspaper! Because it's garbage! The editor who let it come out is garbage! Attacking an amateur athlete doing everything right! Then you want to write articles about guys who don't do things right and downgrade them, the ones that do make plays! Are you kidding me?!? Where are we at in society today! Come after me! I'm a man! I'm 40! I'm a District Manager! I DRIVE A DODGE STRATUS!

8:37pm: ..and now, because they can't have any sort of consistency, Michael Cole just said he's "starting to come around" on the idea of Daniel Bryan as World Champion. I hate this fucking company sometimes.

8:38pm: Bryan takes the forearm shots to the chest from Sheamus, and he's had enough. He grabs his title and he starts to leave, but Sheamus makes sure that won't happen. Thank goodness. I would've been upset if the match had ended that quickly.

8:39pm: A dark match at WrestleMania 27, and then a main event at WrestleMania 28? I'd love to see Daniel Bryan VS Sheamus for the World Title in Miami. That would be a great match, and possibly an even better story. It would also be a sign for "the boys" in the locker room.. just because your current booking isn't what you'd like, keep working hard, because things could completely change for you in less than a year's time.

8:43pm: Christian just spat in Randy Orton's face, causing Orton to flip out and bring on a disqualification victory for Christian. Wait.. what? It wasn't a match between them? Well, it happened, anyway. Bryan's spit. Sheamus' rage. Bryan wins by disqualification. He escapes yet again.

8:44pm: In another backstage segment, Teddy Long says that any man that has ever put on a pair of wrestling boots is eligible for a Battle Royal tonight, with the winner of the Battle Royal being Randy Orton's replacement at Elimination Chamber. My pick to win? Randy Savage. Imagine the pop he'd get if he came out for the match.

8:46pm: If I had to guess, I'd say the inside of Jinder Mahal's head wrapping smells like mediocrity, underachievement and tikka masala. Just a guess.

8:46pm: Ezekiel Jackson VS Jinder Mahal. I must have helped a bunch of old ladies across the street in a former life, only to rob them blind at the other side, to deserve something like this.

8:49pm: Mahal wins. By submission. Don't worry, Zeke.. I tapped out, too. I couldn't take watching the match anymore.

8:49pm: Remember those old ladies that I must have robbed? Apparently I killed them, too, because now it's time for Tamina & Alicia Fox VS Beth Phoenix & Natalya. Hooray.

8:52pm: Natalya has Alicia in a Sharpshooter, and suddenly, the ref stands back up and covers his nose. BECAUSE NATALYA FARTED AGAIN, YOU SEE! ROFFLECOPTER~! I guess I also killed the families of those old women, stole their identities, and racked up millions in credit card bills, too.

8:55pm: John Laurinaitis and David Otunga show up in Teddy Long's office, marking the 109th time Teddy has been shown on-camera tonight. That must be a record. Laurinaitis enters Otunga into tonight's Battle Royal, and Teddy mentions that Otunga "grajerated" from Harvard. That really happened, folks.

8:57pm: Another video package from Raw, this time showing KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE wheeling Zack Ryder SMOOTH THE FUCK OFF THE STAGE!!! WHEEEEE!!! Pure. Adrenaline.

8:58pm: Oh. My. God. The entire Battle Royal field consists of jobbers, rookies and people that aren't even used on television.

8:59pm: Further proving my point, Camacho is in the match, but DA BYSICKLE~! isn't. Well, I guess they didn't want to make the winner too obvious.

9:01pm: Josh Matthews, ever the wordsmith, says "LOOK, LOOK, LOOK, LOOK, LOOK, LOOK, LOOK" on commentary. Seven times. That isn't an exaggeration.

9:02pm: This is really the main event WWE decided to give the fans of Fresno. Wow.

9:04pm: A few people have been eliminated already. I don't think I care enough to keep track. I'll just wait until there's only a few people left in the match.

9:09pm: The final four.. Ezekiel Jackson, David Otunga, Drew McIntyre & Santino. Heaven help us all.

9:10pm: The final two.. David Otunga & Santino. The crowd wakes up for the first time all match long, and they're on fire for Santino.

9:11pm: Santino just "hulked up", and the crowd exploded.

9:11pm: Otunga botches a neckbreaker, making sure he takes the worst of the move. Smooth move, Ex-Lax.

9:12pm: Otunga gets tossed over the top rope, but gets his foot caught up in the ropes for a moment, very nearly breaking his ankle and tearing every ligament in his knee before he even hits the ground. That could've been a disaster for the guy. Santino wins, though, and the crowd goes banana pancake again. Yes.. The Great Khali, and now Santino, are in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber. I legitimately don't know what to say to that.

#ThankYouWuTangClanForAllTheClassicTracksYouGaveMeThroughTheYears: Sheamus VS Daniel Bryan was fun while it lasted.. At least the crowd was really into Santino winning the Battle Royal

#FuckYouPeopleWhoSayOlDirtyBastardWasntAGenius: Not a whole lot of people with momentum heading into the World Title Elimination Chamber.. WWE having absolutely, positively zero clue what to do with just about anyone on the roster that isn't in any sort of main event.. Still no in-ring action for DA BYSICKLE~!.. The Tag Team Champions beating every fucking tag team in the company in non-title matches, making everything completely pointless.. A gaseous Diva.. The list of competitors in the Battle Royal.. Way too much Teddy Long for a single episode

Grade: D-/D. Just a poor episode of Smackdown, all around.

"Like my good friend, Eminem, the rapper, says.. you only get one shot."


7. Day 49
"Step into the chamber.."

Writer's Note: It's that time again. Another pay-per-view means another live session for the Lords Of Podcast Roundtable. We had a very nice turnout for both TNA's Against All Odds show, as well as this week's episode of Raw, so we're expecting a really good turnout for Elimination Chamber. Come by and watch the show with us and listen to our thoughts in live time. If you feel froggy, use the chat box to talk to us during the show. We take a whole bunch of questions during the event, so it's a real interactive shindig. We'll be starting an hour before the event begins (join us at 7pm EST) for our official predictions and some last-minute talks, so please join us if you can. Here's the link, in case you don't have it yet..

Lords Of Podcast Roundtable LIVE

For the last two weeks or so, people have been asking me, time and time again, if I think Elimination Chamber will be worth watching. People seem to be on the fence about whether they should order the show or not, so I'm going to put something together at the last minute to try and help those people out a bit. I won't be giving my predictions for winners and losers (as I already said, I'll be doing that during tomorrow's live broadcast). Instead, I'll be looking at the positives (reasons to watch) and negatives (reasons not to watch) of things, and we'll see what the "score" is at the end.

I want to start things off by talking about a match that has the potential to be a lot better than people are expecting. Beth Phoenix VS Tamina Snuka for the WWE Divas Title. If you're looking for a positive, look no further than the simple face that Beth is actually defending the Divas Title against someone that is a credible threat. That's not really something that we've been able to say for a while. We've seen way too much of Kelly Kelly, The Bellas, Eve and Alicia Fox getting in line for shots at the Divas Title, and even being able to hold the title for a while. Giving Tamina a shot is a step in the right direction. I don't think the match will be that long, and normally, that would/should/could be a negative, but let's be honest.. not only is this a match that won't really change the opinions of that many people, but it really doesn't matter. Let's go to the tally so far..

Positive: 1
Negative: 0

Next up is John Cena VS KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE in an Amber Lamps Match. In case you've missed any of the 82 million explanations on WWE programming recently, an Amber Lamps Match is basically a Hardcore Match with one major twist. There are no pins, no submissions, etc. The only way for someone to win is to place his opponent in the back of an Amber Lamps. I don't know about you, but I think that's stupid. Every single variation of this match involves Person A placing Person B on a gurney as they try to wheel them to the Amber Lamps, but it's pretty difficult to keep someone on a gurney, so they almost always end up legit falling off, and if they don't fall off, they simply roll off the gurney once it gets to the Amber Lamps. It's dumb, dumb, dumb. Because of that, I'm going to go ahead and list the match stipulations as a negative.

It isn't all bad, though. With Cena and KAAAAANNNNNEEEEE, you have two workers that fit in well with a match involving any sort of Hardcore rules that allow for brawls and weapon shots. Throw in the added items to the storyline.. Cena possibly heading towards a heel turn, the involvement of Zack Ryder, etc.. and this looks like it could end up being a really intense, physical brawl. Back to the tally..

Positive: 2
Negative: 1

The World Title Elimination Chamber is next, and first things first, I have to say it.. I hate how weak the list of competitors is. I, like many others, have to hold out hope that someone busts out a sneak attack to get themselves inserted into the match at the last minute. Santino being the victim makes the most sense, but at least he's over with fans. Personally, I'd have Khali get taken out, perhaps by a returning Christian. It would get the worst worker out of the match, and it would instantly get Christian over as a more dangerous character than he was before he left. As it stands, though, having The Great Khali and Santino in a pay-per-view "main event" for the World Title is actually something of a disgrace, even with how over Santino is.

The main thing I'm looking forward to in the match is the continued character development of Daniel Bryan. If he wins, how will he pull the rabbit out of his hat? If he doesn't win, how will his character take losing the title that makes him celebrate like a giddy child at even the smallest of things? That entertains me. He's becoming one of the most "must-see" wrestlers in the business today, in my opinion. Tally time..

Positive: 2.9
Negative: 2

The final match is, of course, the Raw Elimination Chamber. Some feel it will be the show's actual main event, while others feel that honor will go to the Amber Lamps Match. Either way, this is different from the other Chamber match, because there's a solid list of competitors involved. CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler and Chris Jericho all have long lists of fans who feel their guy is the "Best In The World". R-Truth is really coming into his own as a wacky face character. Kofi Kingston is the type of worker that shines in matches like these, as he'll be able to have some extra things to climb, jump off of and add to his aerial arsenal. The Miz can really use this as an opportunity to build back some of the momentum he's lost in the last several months, with all of the extra eyeballs on him here. If Miz is motivated in any way, shape or form, this match will feature a grand total of zero sub-par workers. That's directly tied in with the next positive.. this has the makings of a Match Of The Year candidate. Yes, that counts as a second positive. Even though the list of people in Smackdown's Chamber are much weaker, that doesn't mean it has the makings of a one-star match. It just has a weaker cast of characters. This match has a stronger cast, and that should be directly responsible for the match being really good.

That's actually it. No negatives for this match that I can think of. I'm really looking forward to it. Let's look at the tally again..

Positive: 5
Negative: 2

I like the way those numbers look. Of course, there could be a bonus match added to the card during the show itself, but I can't exactly speak on something that hasn't been announced, or even rumored, now can I? As of right now.. 9:01pm (2:01am EST on Sunday).. things look good heading into the pay-per-view. I know better than to ask the company not to give us as many video packages and commercials as they did last month for the Royal Rumble. I'm hoping, though. It's time for the Chamber, folks. Whether you're watching it on your own, or joining me and the LoPR boys to watch it, enjoy the show.

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