So I updated the title of the thread after a very pleasant interaction with Weber today.
To recap I received a 22.5 WSM on Thursday, went to put it together on Friday and the middle section was very bent. I started this thread looking for thoughts on how to fix/repair but thanks to the help of you guys the advice was to call Weber or Amazon.
I decided to start with Weber versus Amazon. Amazon has amazing customer service as well, but I didn't need to return the ENTIRE thing if all I needed was the middle section. I knew Amazon would rush a new one out and I would just have to send the old one back, but again I felt like if only one piece was bad then why replace the whole thing. I know they may send back to Weber, maybe Weber would reuse the non damages parts (maybe?) but still seemed like a waste maybe.
So anyway, I called Weber, told them that I could not get the lid on, it was as much as a 1/2 inch off. He asked I send him a few photos and the serial number. So I did - emailed to someone at Weber the 3-4 photos. A few hours later I got a personal call back (not an email, not told to call back myself Monday) from the same guy.
He is sending out a new center section Overnight mail on Monday. They are also sending out a new top grate since it rocked back and forth. I think it was crookedness of the middle section but he wanted to be sure.
I was looking originally to repair this myself but it was a lot more than a simple bend and fit. Weber really stepped up IMO and helped.
I can't wait to get the new part and get started. Super pleased with Weber. I have been a Weber fan for years already after owning a grill for 10 + years that still looks and works like it is 1 day old.
a HUGE thanks to everyone that took the time to send a response back to a newbie stranger. I am pretty certain this is one of the best forums I have seen.