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Putting the "street" in Street Fight
For Bobby Lashley, the last few weeks have been filled with clichés.
At Judgment Day, the cliché of choice was "close but no cigar." The powerhouse quickly dispatched of the Mr. McMahon, Shane McMahon & Umaga triumvirate, but as the Chairman later deviously revealed, he didn't win ECW gold thanks to not pinning Mr. McMahon. No matter, as Lashley later plowed through four men, including Shane and Umaga, to earn another rematch, which will be his third battle with Mr. McMahon.
Heading into One Night Stand, there's one more cliché Lashley would love to see to fruition: the third time is the charm.
But does he even have a chance to make that prophecy come true? After all, this won't just be any old match, but a good old-fashioned Street Fight. The rules? Well, there really are none, and that's the problem. See, Lashley managed to conquer three men at once at Judgment Day, and sure, he got through four in one night on Raw…but with the limitless resources the Chairman at his disposal, it's almost certain that he'll utilize anything and everything (and anyone and everyone) to ensure the gold stays around his waist.
Just this past Monday, Lashley fell at the feet of the McMahons, as Shane, Umaga & The Great Khali defeated Lashley & John Cena on Raw. The former ECW Champion suffered the brunt of the loss, having been pinned by Shane after suffering a tremendous beating.
Lashley, however, is no normal man, and actually LIKES having the odds stacked against him.
"I completely benefit in this situation; Mr. McMahon lives the prima Donna life, while I grew up with nothing and have fought my whole life," Lashley revealed. "So let's see…it's a Street Fight, and I grew up in the streets and had to fight my whole life. Yeah, this match being a Street Fight is totally to my advantage."
Before Judgment Day, Lashley told WWE.com that "there's only so far you can push a man; I've gotten to the point where they have thrown everything they can at me, and I will persevere. The only way to survive is to get back up."
Persevere he has, and his win at Judgment Day was nothing less than an impressive display of desire and perhaps channeled rage. So once again, the former champion isn't going to let the thought of what the Chairman might have planned deter his quest.
"No, (that thought) doesn't bother me at all. I expect that out of him; why should I expect anything less?" Lashley asked with a slight smirk on his face. "Look at what's happened to me lately; Mr. McMahon has done everything he can to make my life a living hell. He's cheated, he's thrown various people at me…I expect him to do any dirty rotten thing he can think of in this match."
Napoleon Bonaparte once said that "from the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step." And in this case, Lashley may be the only one on the left side of that equation. WWE.com spoke to several Superstars regarded as the toughest and most experienced Street Fighters on the roster, and not one of them said the rules favor the challenger.
Known as one of the toughest men in the world and someone who's not afraid to back down from a fight, Finlay knows a thing or two about surviving a brawl. And while he has Hornswoggle and his trusty shillelagh by his side at all times, the fighting Irishman knows that there's always an ace up the Chairman's sleeve.
"Mr. McMahon has a lot of tricks up his sleeve; Lashley is talented, but Mr. McMahon is tricky," Finlay posited.
Even Tommy Dreamer, an ECW Original who would love nothing more than to see Mr. McMahon get destroyed on Sunday, had to place the favor on the side of the Chairman.
"We all know Lashley can be dominant with his strength and ability. But through the years, as much as I hate to admit this, Mr. McMahon has always found a way to win," Dreamer revealed. "He sucks as ECW World Champion, but I've seen him cheat, I've seen him hit Undertaker with a shovel…I've seen him do a lot of dirty things that sometimes I couldn't even think of. He will do whatever it takes to win, and Lashley needs to be prepared for anything and everything."
One needs only to look to Mr. McMahon's last Street Fight for an idea of what Lashley might be up against. When the Chairman met Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 22, he used Shane, all five members of the Spirit Squad, tons of plunder and even a blown up image of his Muscle & Fitness magazine cover to his advantage.
Regardless, Lashley is ready, and had one more promise for our fans and especially Mr. McMahon.
"No matter what, I am walking out with that ECW World Title once again."
Lashley backed up his promise two weeks ago in St. Louis, and while it may seem impossible that he will do it again, there's another famous line from Albert Einstein that may sum up Lashley's approach: the secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. The Chairman will be creative on Sunday; can Lashley top it?
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