Survival instincts

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June 13, 2008

FRESNO, Calif. -- Batista came. He signed. He conquered The Great Khali.

Inside Fresno State University's Save Mart Center, Batista signed the contract for his World Heavyweight Championship Match against Edge at Night of Champions.

But just after inking his name to the contract, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero informed The Animal of an additional amendment. In order to solidify his status as the No. 1 contender to Edge's title, Batista needed to defeat The Great Khali that night on SmackDown.

Unphased by Guerrero's added stipulation, The Animal reminded everyone that he beat The Great Khali before and he would beat him again. Capping off his bold prediction, Batista gave the GM a verbal lashing. "The only thing uglier than the beating I'm going to give Edge at Night of Champions is the woman he's marrying," he said.

Infuriated, Guerrero tacked on another major stipulation for Batista's must-win match against Khali. If Batista lost to the Punjabi Giant, he would not only lose the opportunity to face Edge in a title match, but also be banished from WWE.

Batista's contract amendments were typical of Guerrero's recent tyrannical behavior in helping her fiancé, Edge, hold onto the gold.

Shortly after the signing, Guerrero was spotted in her office with wedding planner Alicia Fox. Montel Vontavious Porter interrupted the meeting to tell Guerrero that he wanted to re-negotiate his own SmackDown contract. Guerrero agreed as long as MVP "took care" of CM Punk later on SmackDown. Earlier in the night, Punk taunted the Rated-R Superstar by reminding him that he could cash in his Money in the Bank contract at any time -- even at Edge's own wedding on the July 11 episode of SmackDown.

After MVP kept up his part of the deal and defeated Punk, everything seemed to be going according to plan. All that remained was for The Great Khali to take care of business in regards to Batista. However, Edge and his fiancée watched their plan crumble as The Animal leveled Khali with a hard-hitting spear to pick up a career-saving win.

Unlike Undertaker, Batista survived Guerrero's win-or-be banished ultimatum. Can The Animal carry this momentum into Night of Champions and become the new World Heavyweight Champion? Or, will the Ultimate Opportunist and the GM find a way to keep the title in "The Family"?

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