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Edge ditches The Animal?
At Vengeance: Night of Champions, Edge did it. The World Heavyweight Champion went 3-0 against the raging beast, defeating Batista in a Last Chance Match and ridding himself of The Animal as a threat to his championship gold.
The Rated-R Superstar may have been utterly obliterated by his opponent on Sunday -- even left near-unconscious following a Batista Bomb to the floor of the Toyota Center -- but when he finally woke up from the trauma, it was beside the World Heavyweight Title. When Edge did, in fact, finally wake up from the thrashing he received in Houston, he shared his thoughts on the proliferation of his title reign with WWE.com.
"The Rated-R era continues," proclaimed the World Heavyweight Champion. "You can call me the Ultimate Opportunist, you can call me the master of mental chess. You can call me the smartest man in this industry. Call me champion. That's what I am."
The Rated-R Superstar is right; he still is the champion of the SmackDown brand. By the skin of his teeth, Edge was victorious against Batista for the third time on pay-per-view. Some would argue, however, that it wasn't quite Edge who beat Batista, rather the provisions of the match that led to The Animal's defeat.
Desperation forced the Ultimate Opportunist to try to end the match by landing a blatant low blow on his opponent, causing the referee to disqualify Edge. SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long overruled the decision and demanded the match be restarted to ensure Batista's potential last chance would at least be a fair chance.
Moments later, it seemed The Animal might reclaim the gold by landing a powerbomb outside the ring, but in an effort to get the champion back in the ring before the referee's count of 10, Batista himself was counted out. While the defeated challenger wrenched his skull in disbelief, the World Heavyweight Champion lay helplessly incapacitated on his back in the center of the ring.
"I always find a way to win," asserted a recuperated (and much more vertical) Edge. "I may have been knocked out at the end of the match, but guess what: I still won, didn't I?"
He continued, "I beat The Animal Batista three straight times, three pay-per-views in a row. No one -- not Undertaker, not Triple H -- no one can say that. The Rated-R Superstar can."
At Vengeance, the Ultimate Opportunist won the match and Batista will no longer be eligible for a championship opportunity as long as Edge bears the gold. But from 16-time World Champion Ric Flair to Kane to The Great Khali, the dangers are still ample for the Rated-R Superstar on Friday nights. Plus, the look of anguish, distress and frustration in Batista's eyes following the ring announcement at the conclusion of the Last Man Standing Match may mean something far more treacherous for Edge. The Rated-R champion would be remiss to believe that such a clause necessarily means that he has made it out of the woods so soon — or for that matter, seen the last of The Animal.
"I proved it yet again at Vengeance," he explained, "the Rated-R era…won't stop until I'm old and grey and in a wheelchair. Until then, tune your eyes to my show, to SmackDown, and if you don't like what you see, that's too damn bad."
After surviving a series of one-on-one confrontations with two-time former World Heavyweight Champion Batista (including a taxing steel cage bout), the Rated-R Superstar appears as overtly confident as ever that he will retain the gold for a long time to come.
"Anyone can be the biggest, be the strongest, the fastest; it doesn't matter. I may not be any of those things, but as the combination of what I bring to the table is undefeatable. WWE is my domain," he added with an arrogant leer, "and that is not going to change."