Sign on the dotted line

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July 13, 2006

Friday night on SmackDown, Batista and Mark Henry will the sign the contract to make their match at The Great American Bash official. In recent weeks, the World’s Strongest Man has said that Batista’s return would be the biggest mistake of his life. Based on the way Batista manhandled Henry last week, it would seem like the Animal disagrees. In fact, Batista told WWE.com that there may be a repeat performance this Friday night.

“I can’t guarantee that nothing physical will happen (Friday night),” Batista said. “You saw what I did to Mark Henry last week; I blame him for costing me six months of my career. So when I look at him face to face in the ring, I’m not sure what I’ll do.”

But even though he’s fortunate Batista didn’t take him out last week, Henry feels that the Animal is actually the lucky one.

“Batista is lucky to be alive after what he did to me last week. I’m almost at a loss for words,” he bellowed. “If it wasn’t for his little buddy Rey Mysterio, he would have never snuck up behind me. To be the Animal that he looks at himself to be, why would he have to come from behind rather than fight like a man? He resorted to doing the dirtiest of the dirty, but I guess if that’s the way he wants to do it, that’s the way he’ll get it back.”

And much like Batista, Henry can’t promise he will restrain himself from getting physical, simply telling WWE.com that “I think he’s going to get his ass handed to him.”

Of course, just about any contract signing within WWE has its share of physical fireworks. In fact, Batista was involved in one of the most infamous contract signing moments of all-time. Back in February 2005 on RAW, the Animal decided to stay on RAW and challenge Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 21; he then punctuated his decision by Batista Bombing Triple H through a table, signaling the official end of Evolution.

In the past, SmackDown has seen some crazy contract signings as well…but if General Manager Theodore Long has anything to do with it, this one won’t turn into chaos. However, he knows that won’t be an easy task.

“(It’s) going to be really tough; there is a lot of hatred between these two gentlemen,” the General Manager told WWE.com. “The way (Batista) feels about Mark Henry, he tried to take this man’s career, but he was able to overcome the odds to return to SmackDown. The people are certainly glad to have him back, and I’m glad to have him back. But right now, I’m going to have a meeting with the Board of Directors to discuss ways to deal with this problem; these men (might) get out of control and want to beat each other up before the Great American Bash, but it ain’t going to happen. That’s not the way it’s going to be run on SmackDown; I’m the general manager, and I’m going to make sure that it’s fair and that’s it’s done right. We are taking steps to get that worked on right now.”

It’s no surprise that Long is being proactive; as the GM told WWE.com, he knows that any confrontation between Batista and Henry is sure to be brutal.

“Batista is a former World Champion and he did a great job for SmackDown; as for Mark Henry, I have a lot of respect for him too. If you remember, I used to manage him at one time. I never thought that Henry would resort to such tactics and (do things) the way that he does now, but I guess that’s the name of the game, get the dollar-dollar bills. So it didn’t surprise me that Batista was as vicious as he was. I think it might have surprised a lot of the fans for him to come back like that, but Batista is hungry, he’s been mistreated, and I think he was taken out unfairly by Mark Henry. He has a lot of revenge to detonate.” 

Once both men sign on the dotted line, there is no turning back. Batista and Mark Henry will meet at The Great American Bash…but will they wait until then?

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