Night of chance?

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June 22, 2007

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- For World Heavyweight Champion Edge, Friday night ended with a great view of Batista, as The Animal stood over the incumbent title holder, raising two fingers to signal a two-day countdown to Vengeance: Night of Champions. After what had just transpired in the Charlotte Bobcats Arena when Batista and Ric Flair earned a tag team victory over Edge & Montel Vontavious Porter, The Animal had every reason to consider himself two days away from reclaiming the gold.

It was Edge's own show that led to Theodore Long and Vickie Guerrero scheduling the tag team main event. After The Cutting Edge's host suggested Torrie Wilson as a prime suspect for Mr. McMahon's limo explosion, Ric Flair quickly came to her aid. When Montel Vontavious Porter joined to help the Rated-R Superstar with Flair, Batista rushed into the ring and chased the two champions out.

Despite taking control early in the match, Edge & MVP found themselves disarrayed in the night's waning moments. Just as a four-way brawl ensued, the "Nature Boy" cast MVP out of the ring, leaving Batista to surprise a running Edge with a spinebuster, followed by a Batista Bomb and a cover. (WATCH)

Batista has been counting down the minutes to Vengeance: Night of Champions. The pay-per-view marks his last chance at the gold. If he doesn't regain the championship that he continues to insist belongs to him, Batista will have to wait until somebody other than Edge reigns as World Heavyweight Champion before he can get another opportunity.

In many sports, athletes often talk of a curse that comes with third meetings. A team will beat their rivals twice, only to lose to them in the playoffs. If that curse rings true for WWE, luck is on The Animal's side. Judging from the tag team victory on SmackDown, however, luck is not something Batista needs. The two-time World Heavyweight Champion looked ready to gain another term with the title, which in his mind is simply a matter of time.

Edge may not have had his best night on Friday, but he has been dubbed the Ultimate Opportunist for a reason. On Sunday, he has the opportunity to get Batista off of his back for good. Can he follow through?

For Flair, the SmackDown tag match was a little bit of retribution. The 16-time World Champion has left the presence of one disrespectful Superstar in Carlito only to run into another brazen, young Superstar in MVP. The true chance for vengeance, though, comes Sunday night when Flair looks to add taking MVP's United States Championship to his seemingly infinite list of accomplishments.

Batista & Flair were two-time World Tag Team Champions together. On SmackDown, they looked every bit the part, but the question remains, can that translate into a new World Heavyweight Champion and a new United States Champion? As Batista told Edge with his gesturing on SmackDown, we will find out Sunday on Vengeance: Night of Champions at 8/7 CT on pay-per-view.

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