Batista passes judgment

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May 19, 2007

Imagine Batista's disbelief on one of the most infamous nights in sports-entertainment -- the night Edge virtually pilfered the World Heavyweight Championship from possibly the greatest legend in WWE's history, Undertaker. It was the fastest six minutes in SmackDown history, but others believe that it was perhaps the most disillusioning six minutes in Batista's career.

That night, The Animal staggered his battle-scarred, 300-plus-pound frame to the locker room just instants after driving The Phenom to yet another draw, this time inside a steel cage. By the time Batista even made it to his dressing room, a wrathful Mark Henry had already selected a crucial moment to unleash a career's worth of frustration upon The Deadman, only for the ultimate opportunist, Edge, to cash in to become a renegade champion.

This image of the Rated-R Superstar's apex play, according to Batista, is what enables the two-time former World Heavyweight Champion to turn frustration into motivation on Sunday. At Judgment Day, he aims to not just reclaim the title against Edge, but also maim his miscreant opponent.

"Edge stole the one thing that I treasure so much and it makes me sick to my stomach," uttered a disgusted Batista. "He did it, but he did it in a cheap, sleazy way. That vulture is going to find out what it feels like to be beaten right in the middle of the ring at Judgment Day."

On that night of infamy, it was through The Animal who drove The Undertaker to the edge of his physical limit. Based on their second draw in two consecutive matches, many believe that at the very least, it should've been The Animal who received the next chance at The Phenom and his gold. And it may have happened, if not for the Rated-R Superstar.

"Unlike Edge, one thing I do respect about Undertaker is that he's a competitor," The Animal admitted. "At WrestleMania 23, Undertaker won the World Heavyweight Championship from me by beating me in the middle of the ring. That was a true victory for a true champion."

From their monumental confrontation at WrestleMania 23 to the cataclysmic Last Man Standing Match at Backlash, Batista and Undertaker were valiant warriors embroiled in arguably the most significant rivalry in modern-day sports-entertainment. But in that turmoil, both men suffered ample scarring -- physical and mental -- that Batista's Judgment Day opponent is likely well prepared to exploit.

"Undertaker and I had pretty much been killing each other since WrestleMania for the biggest prize in sports-entertainment," Batista explained. "Every inch of my body hurt, but I was ready to go again. And I'm ready to go now. I'm sure Edge thinks he has the upper hand, but I'm going to give him an official welcoming to SmackDown."

A nefarious, controversy-studded Superstar named Edge now bears the World Heavyweight Championship and the rivalry between The Phenom and Batista may perhaps never be decided. That being said, with the eyes of sports-entertainment fixed steadily on Judgment Day, The Animal enters a bittersweet confrontation. But, judging by his carefully selected, yet emphatic words on Friday Night SmackDown and with WWE.com, The Animal is possibly more fervent than ever in his quest to reclaim the World Heavyweight Championship. On Sunday, such raw emotion may unleash a most formidable beast within Batista unlike anything the Rated-R Superstar has ever faced in his contemptible career.

"The World Heavyweight Title means so much to me," Batista said, almost visualizing the championship before him. "And as long as I have a breath left in my body, it's something that I'm ready to fight for… at any given time."

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