Animal cage-bound

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May 25, 2007

DES MOINES, Iowa — In a contest involving four of SmackDown's premiere athletes, Batista literally speared his way through Finlay, Kane and Mark Henry to secure a rematch with World Heavyweight Champion Edge. This time, however, their meeting grounds will be within a 15-foot steel cage on an evening purely consisting of Extreme Rules confrontations at One Night Stand. If it's one thing that was clear from Edge's expression at ringside Friday night, it's that the Rated-R Superstar is not pleased that The Animal emerged from the Fatal Four Way Match as the No. 1 contender to his gold. (WATCH)

Heading into SmackDown, anxiety was undeniably forming a well within the World Heavyweight Champion's Rated-R stomach. Edge knew that at One Night Stand, he would be defending his newly snared championship against either the Silverback, the Irishman who loves to fight, the Big Red Monster or The Animal. What he did not know, however, was that in the interest of our fans, SmackDown General Manager decided to make the fast approaching World Heavyweight Championship Match take place within the lethal walls of a steel cage.

The Rated-R Superstar contended that he is a resilient champion and continued his rant about being the supposed greatest of all time. Later, the ultimate opportunist began the execution of his next master plan by sitting at the commentator's booth for the Fatal Four Way Match itself where he scouted his potential opponents.

The ring centered in the Wells Fargo Arena could barely contain the quartet of gold-envisioning SmackDown Superstars. Ultimately, The Animal landed a succession of high-impact spears on each of his opponents -- including one that literally lifted the massive, 400-pound Silverback off the mat -- only for Batista to score the pin. Then, as the newly established No. 1 contender stood triumphant in the ring, the scheming World Heavyweight Champion looked on from just 10 feet away — forging a moment where the Rated-R prey connected eyes with the predator, The Animal.

With his right leg still heavily taped, The Animal was arguably dominant in a physically taxing encounter with three heavy-hitting Superstars. Though hurt, Batista is certainly aware that this may be his last opportunity to reclaim the title that he lost to the (un)living legend, Undertaker, at WrestleMania 23.

Batista is undoubtedly focused and intent on not only becoming a three-time champion, but also permanently adjusting the overconfident Edge's attitude. Based on The Animal's performance on Friday night, it seems that One Night Stand could be one night the Rated-R Superstar may not be able to withstand as World Heavyweight Champion.

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