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Wham! Bam! Thank you, 'Slam


Summerslam is traditionally the second-biggest card on the U.S. wrestling calendar.

But this year's pay-per-view, which will air live from the America West Arena in Phoenix tomorrow night, is setting up a string of new feuds for future shows instead of providing a climax to the most bitter battles of the summer.

The main event is a poorly built elimination chamber match featuring Bill Goldberg, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels and world champ Triple H.

When the smoke and mirrors clear, it'll be a two-horse race.

The plan to have Goldberg win the title has apparently been scrapped and WWE bosses are hardly going to put the belt on Orton (too green), Nash (too immobile) or Michaels (too retro), so the smart money is on Triple H walking out with his arm raised.

If you want to bet on the underdog, the booking over the past two weeks has clearly set up Y2J as a viable contender for the strap. With his crossover potential starting to catch the eye of record executives, now would be the perfect time to push the Winnipeg native as the company's key player.

The other reason a once-unthinkable Jericho win could happen is it would allow a certain person (who shall remain nameless) to lose the title without being pinned and also get out of doing the job to Goldberg at Unforgiven next month, which perfectly fits said person's M.O. of doing absolutely nothing to get anyone else over.

Moving into less political territory, Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle will battle for the WWE championship in a followup to their awesome Wrestlemania tilt.

I have a feeling they're going to attempt to re-enact the infamous shooting-star press finale from 'Mania, but either way, this match will definitely be used to make Lesnar look like a monster with plenty of Vince McMahon involvement thrown in for good measure.

Speaking of McMahons, Shane McMahon's match with Eric Bischoff and Rob Van Dam's one-on-one with Kane seem to have been reduced to a Summerslam side-story to keep the younger McMahon and the Big Red Machine apart until their pay-per-view headliner next month.

Van Dam, who has been publicly critical of the WWE's use of his character, will have even more to complain about when he and Bischoff stare at the ceiling for their respective opponents tomorrow.

Also on the card: La Resistance will defend the tag straps against The Dudley Boys (watch for Rob Conway to be in the French tandem's corner); Eddie Guerrero will risk his U.S. title in a four-way with Chris Benoit, Rhyno and Tajiri; and then the vast majority of North American viewers will get to take a bathroom break or go make a sandwich when A-Train plods to the ring to take on The Undertaker.

The match between Matt Hardy and Zach Gowen may or may not take place.

You can catch all the Summerslam action starting at 6 p.m. on pay-per-view, in Famous Players theatres or at Bottoms Up Sports Pub.

- - -

CHYNA CRISIS: According to a story that aired on the Celebrity Justice TV show, Joanie (Chyna) Laurer has issued a restraining order against her (presumably ex-) fiance Sean Waltman.

The general gist was, fearing for her safety, Laurer was forced to go into hiding and disconnect all her phones.

Waltman responded with a statement denying any wrongdoing, pointing the finger at Laurer's psychotic tendencies (which, if you read her autobiography, you'd be inclined to believe are real).

More on this when the facts become a little clearer but amidst all the he said-she said drama, there are allegations of verbal and physical abuse and some drug issues.