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Championship addition by subtraction
Mr. Kennedy told you. He told all of us to wait and see what he would do to stake his claim among the upper echelon on Raw. And Bobby Lashley found out the hard way exactly what Kennedy had in mind.
Kennedy grinned as he chomped on his gum and read the headline on WWE.com. He then scratched his chin and his brow crumpled in mock concern as he read aloud, "Surgery for Lashley."
Kennedy clearly admired his handiwork. Last week, when asked how he was handling his up and down comeback on Raw after being sidelined for two months with an arm injury, he told WWE.com to "sit back and tune in every week and see me do what I do best." Just days later on Raw, he demanded a match with Lashley to prove that he, not Randy Orton, deserved to be No. 1 contender to John Cena's WWE Championship. And he not only won, but he did the unthinkable -- put the ultra-powerful Lashley out with a shoulder injury.
So, if you're a Mr. Kennedy fan, don't bother patting him on the back. He's already done that himself. And guess what? Despite suffering a couple of key losses in his first month and a half on Raw, he doesn't think he had a slow start.
"Rocky start? I don't think I had a rocky start. I just like to sit and wait and pick my spots," Kennedy said. "I waited until the right moment, and Bobby Lashley -- he got what was coming to him. He had that coming to him for a long time now. I just happened to be fortunate enough to be in the right spot at the right time, and I took advantage of it."
And what did Kennedy mean when he said Lashley got what had been coming to him? Before last Monday's encounter on Raw, the two were not strangers to each other. They battled over the ECW Title at No Way Out last February -- a match that ended with then-champion Lashley brutalizing Kennedy with a steel chair. In addition, Mr. McMahon enlisted Kennedy's services repeatedly when he was at odds with the former Army sergeant.
Or did Kennedy do his homework on Lashley? Back in April, Lashley injured his shoulder in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match at Backlash where he lost the ECW Title, but physicians at that time determined that he would not need surgery.
Now, after Kennedy's relentless, vicious attack, Lashley will undergo an arthroscopic evaluation of his shoulder on Tuesday. He could be out six to eight weeks. But if his shoulder is more severely damaged, he could be sidelined for months. And that makes Kennedy very happy.
"I'll tell you what: I'll do that all day," he said. "I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'll take advantage of any opportunity somebody gives me. That opportunity [with Lashley] was given to me, and I seized the moment. Bobby Lashley may be gone for quite awhile."
It sounds like Kennedy has learned some lessons from being the victim of a certain Ultimate Opportunist, Edge. He was on top of the world when he won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at WrestleMania 23. The Green Bay, Wis. native had a guaranteed main event slot at WrestleMania 24 because he had announced that he would cash in his opportunity at the Grandest Stage of Them All on Orlando, Fla. But Kennedy lost everything when he injured his arm, and Edge took advantage of him, taking away his Money in the Bank contract and ultimately, the World Championship.
Now, Kennedy has put Raw and all of WWE on notice. He defeated and injured Lashley, the man who was once believed indestructible and who pushed WWE Champion John Cena to the limit at The Great American Bash. Kennedy believes he is the true No. 1 contender to the WWE Championship and shown the world -- and especially Bobby Lashley -- that he is willing to do anything to prove his point.
"I think I never should have lost the Money in the Bank to begin with," Kennedy said. "So, rightfully I should have that No. 1 contender's spot. So, now that I beat the man who was the No. 1 contender before The Great American Bash, I don't know, you do the math."
So Cena, Orton and others vying for the WWE Championship better take note. Mr. Kennedy definitely fits into the championship equation.