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A champion and a king collide

For popular SmackDown Superstar Lashley, the last two weeks have been nothing short of a roller coaster. At Judgment Day, Lashley lost the King of the Ring tournament finals to Booker T in controversial fashion when Finlay got involved. Then, the following week on SmackDown, things took a dramatic turn in the opposite direction when Lashley captured the United States Championship by defeating the now former Smackdown Superstar JBL. Tonight, Lashley will get a Judgment Day rematch when he meets “King Booker” in non-title action on SmackDown. WWE.com managed to catch up with both Superstars backstage as they prepared for this evening’s huge match.

A normally soft-spoken Lashley was more animated than usual. The brash newcomer eagerly described his first seven days as U.S. Champion. “It was a lot of fun. I got to go home and show off the gold to all my family and friends. I think I spent more time on the phone this week than any other week in my entire life. Every other minute somebody was calling to congratulate me on my victory. It was really cool to hear from everyone.”

While the first-time champ realizes the significance of the gold he wears around his waist, he remains focused on a bigger prize. “Winning the United States Championship was like a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to be a Champion in WWE and now that it’s actually happened, it’s a real honor.” Lashley continued, revealing an agenda which will hopefully take him to the top of the SmackDown mountain. “This was a major accomplishment for me, or anyone for that matter. But, I have a bigger dream in mind. This United States Championship is going to be a stepping stone for me. A stepping stone on the way to the World Heavyweight Championship.”

Turning his focus towards tonight, the U.S. Champ has payback on his mind. “At King of the Ring, I made the mistake of underestimating Booker T. I should have known that he would be scared, and that he would stoop to any level to get the win. But, I’ve put all that behind me now. Tonight, I am going to be prepared for anything. In fact, I’m looking forward to it because tonight, I will get my revenge.”

Meanwhile, the newly crowned “King Booker” insists that nothing out of the ordinary happened at Judgment Day. “Let’s leave Finlay and Sharmell out of this. Lashley is just bitter because he couldn’t get it done in the King of the Ring. The truth of the matter is, Lashley is nothing more than a peasant, and he will be treated as such tonight. Tonight, he will reach his lowest point. He will be a beaten, torn and bruised man when the king gets done with him.”

When we told Booker that Lashley suggested he might be scared of him, the King erupted in a furious anger. “What! King Booker is not afraid of any man. Tonight, I will once again prove my greatness in the middle of that squared circle. When the match is over, everyone will see why Booker is the best SmackDown has to offer. When the ref counts to three, my hand will be raised, and we will all commence in a celebration fit only for a king.”

The King of the Ring and the United States Champion are on a collision course and they will meet again tonight on SmackDown.

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