World Heavyweight Champion Edge def. Batista (Steel Cage Match)

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June 03, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In the final instants of One Night Stand's hellacious Steel Cage Match, Batista crawled head-first through the doorway and touched the outside floor with his hands. For a moment, The Animal believed he had reclaimed the elusive World Heavyweight Championship, as did an elated sold-out crowd inside the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

However, across the opposite end of the cage, Edge capitalized on Batista's seeming moment of victory to finish climbing down and plant both feet outside the steel structure—a mandatory stipulation from which the ultimate opportunist capitalized to retain his World Heavyweight Title.

A visibly distraught Batista smoldered around the steel edifice afterward, perhaps as angry at himself as with the referee's clearly unpopular decision. If the two feet that determined Sunday night's outcome had been based on a measurement of distance rather than semantics, the Rated-R Superstar's victory would go unquestioned. That said, despite exiting the cage first, not even Batista's vaunted power can change the Extreme Rules that ring announcer Tony Chimel stated prior to the match: winning via pinfall, submission, climbing over the cage or exiting through the doorway—and placing both feet on the outside.

Edge had warned on SmackDown Friday night that Batista didn't intimidate him, though you wouldn't know it by the way his challenger had pushed him around at the end of their "Cutting Edge" conversation. The Rated-R Superstar had believed he was entering the Steel Cage Match with a wounded Animal—an injured right hamstring that resulted from Batista's trilogy of violent encounters with Undertaker. But the injured leg showed absolutely no signs of weakness at Saturday Night's Main Event, prompting a seemingly nervous World Heavyweight Champion to leave his tag partner — United States Champion Montel Vontavious Porter — alone to fend against The Animal's rage.

That same fury, apparent on Batista's face as he entered the cage at One Night Stand, motivated the ultimate opportunist to make several immediate attempts to climb the 15-foot-high steel structure. The Animal quickly foiled them all, then focused on a brutal attack that would leave the Rated-R Superstar bloodied at the mouth. The "fear of choking" that Edge claimed would hang over his opponent's head was nowhere to be found by our fans, nor was the injured hamstring that had previously curtailed Batista's ring mobility over the past few months. Still, none of that would stop Edge from mounting his own unique offense, even after his spear attempt collided with Batista's attempted shoulder block, leaving both Superstars down on the canvas for several long moments.

It looked like The Animal would reign supreme as he set up the World Heavyweight Champion for a thunderous Batista Bomb, but Edge's quick instincts grabbed hold of the cage and almost allowed him to climb over the top. Batista forced him back inside, only to catch a low blow that crotched him onto the ropes. Unable to prevent Edge from climbing over again, the agonized Animal crawled on all fours toward the doorway, using his hands to touch the outside floor and support himself as he exited the cage first. But as the sold-out crowd rose to hail a new champion, the extreme opportunist literally snatched victory away with his own two feet.

After the match, Edge was a very sore winner who didn't want to be bothered, especially when WWE.com questioned his opening strategy to climb out of the steel cage before even locking up with Batista.

"Why would I try and stay in the cage?" he snapped. "Can you answer me that? Would you try and stay in a cage? No! Thank you very much!"

The Rated-R Superstar also didn't want to hear that by not exiting the cage first, he almost lost his World Heavyweight Title. "Almost-almost-almost. I don't care about ‘almost,' OK? I am the World Heavyweight Champion. Who has the gold right now? I do. I'm holding it, not Batista.

"There's no ‘almost' in World Wrestling Entertainment," Edge concluded. "There's no ‘almost' when it comes to the World Heavyweight Championship. One man walks as the champion. One man owns the game of mental chess. And that is me, the Rated-R Superstar!"

Check out Edge's Lewd t-shirt...

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