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Kennedy stakes his claim to contender status, defeating Lashley

Kennedy stakes his claim to contender status, defeating Lashley

TUCSON, Ariz. -- It was a case of apples and oranges. And grapefruits.

Challenged by the WWE Champion to prove his boasts of being the true No. 1 contender to John Cena's title, Mr. Kennedy proved to a capacity crowd that he could "produce," powering past Bobby Lashley, and apparently injuring the former ECW Champion.

For Kennedy, standing tall over the fallen Army sergeant, no moment since being drafted to Raw has been sweeter for the former Money in the Bank winner. He proved to the Raw fans and locker room alike his championship credentials. (WATCH)

Losing his guaranteed title opportunity to Edge earlier this year, Kennedy's victory over Lashley might have catapulted the cocky Superstar back into the thick of title contention.

At first, it seemed like the Dominator was going to roll past the Green Bay, Wis., Superstar with ease. But overcoming Lashley's early surge of offense, Kennedy took the battle outside the ring. Smelling an opportunity, Kennedy pushed Lashley back into the ring steps, then launched a powerful boot to the Dominator's left shoulder.

Lashley's grimacing reaction to his injured shoulder painted a virtual bullseye on the former ECW Champion. Kennedy went to work deconstructing the Dominator with attack after vicious attack, methodically wearing down Lashley's upper arm socket.

Even as Lashley fought his way back into the match with his good right arm, setting up Kennedy again for a spear, the crafty Kennedy raised his knee into the charging Dominator's injured shoulder. As Lashley writhed in pain on the mat, Kennedy covered him to earn the pinfall victory.

WWE physician Dr. Ferdinand Rios told WWE.com that Lashley suffered a possible rotator cuff tear from Kennedy's kick to his left shoulder. Further updates will be available Tuesday at WWE.com as soon as more information is made available.

Pinning the athletic phenom that took Cena to the limit at The Great American Bash was an accomplishment that left many in the Tucson Convention Center stunned.

Now that Kennedy showed he can beat the best competition on Raw, what's next for the former United States Champion and "Mr. Money in the Bank?" Will Acting General Manager Jonathan Coachman give Mr. Kennedy the title opportunity he believes he's due?

With Monday's victory over Bobby Lashley under his belt, it's tough to argue against the case of the Green Bay gladiator.

To read the full results of this Monday's Raw, click HERE.

Check out Kennedy's Talk Loud t-shirt...


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