The Champ versus the Uncrowned Champ: Something's Gotta Give
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- The massive army of security guards and WWE officials could barely keep WWE Champion John Cena and the No. 1 contender to his championship, Bobby Lashley, away from each other less than a week before their showdown at The Great American Bash.
Lashley's forehead glistened under the lights of the American Bank Center, and his eyes bulged as onlookers roared. As a wall of men formed between him and Cena, Lashley clenched his fists and pointed at the WWE Champion, telling him he would see him next Sunday. Cena -- whose "American Made Muscle" trucker cap went flying into the third row when he and Lashley started tussling -- smirked and remained composed, saying to Lashley, "You will get my best at The Bash." (WATCH)
The confrontation between Cena and Lashley on Raw Monday night was supposed to be only verbal. But the fisticuffs between them almost seemed inevitable. Despite appearances, there was nothing personal about this melee between two of WWE's most dominant and resilient forces. In many ways, Cena and Lashley are mirror images of one another: They are both fiercely competitive, proud and two of the most honorable champions WWE has ever known.
The brawl between Lashley and Cena revolved around one thing, the most cherished prize in all sports-entertainment -- the WWE Championship. Lashley's eyes followed the WWE Championship gold the minute Cena emerged from the locker room and marched to the ring. When the normally soft-spoken powerhouse was asked to explain why he nearly cut Cena in half with a blistering spear two weeks ago, he seemed barely able to contain his intensity. Read The Great American Bash preview …
"All my life, I have been fighting, and I've never talked about it. I've just done it," Lashley said. "If you want someone to hype the match, ask the hype man [Cena] over here. Talk to the hype man."
Lashley has a right to feel like he has a point to prove. He is a two-time former ECW World Champion who never lost his title in a match. He was stripped of the title when he was drafted to Raw last month after he had overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to get it back.
Since then, the former Army sergeant has felt that he is an uncrowned champion and has been on a mission to win the WWE Championship. No wonder Interim Raw GM Jonathan Coachman stayed outside the ring when he moderated the Cena-Lashley face-off; he was the one who had to take the ECW World Title away from Lashley in the first place.
Cena sympathized with Lashley's plight. But the WWE Champion -- who has faced and turned back all challengers and defied all the odds for 10 months -- isn't going to back down at The Great American Bash because he happens to respect his opponent.
"There are many who believe that you are better than me, that you are invincible, that you're an uncrowned champion" Cena said. "But at The Great American Bash, I will put you to the test. You will get the best out of me -- that I promise you!"
This Sunday at The Great American Bash, it will be The Champ versus the uncrowned champion. It will be fearless warrior versus fearless warrior, incredible heart pitted against incredible heart. Someone will have to back down; something has to give. The only way to find out who will emerge from this dream battle as WWE Champion is to catch The Great American Bash live on pay-per-view this Sunday on July 22.
For the full results from this week's Raw, click HERE.