Taken aback in Texas

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July 17, 2007

LAREDO, Texas - As our fans walked into the Laredo Entertainment Center Tuesday night, many were expecting the final SmackDown before The Great American Bash to be a wild night. But boy, were they ever surprised at just how wild it got.

In the span of two hours, our fans saw the entire SmackDown brand turned upside down; Edge was stripped of his World Heavyweight Title, a new World Heavyweight Champion was crowned and The Great American Bash was thrown into turmoil.

Less than an hour after SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long forced Edge to forfeit the gold due to a pectoral injury, our fans sat in shock as The Great Khali became the new World Heavyweight Champion. While The Great Khali has been a dominant force during his entire stay in WWE, no one in Laredo expected to see him hoist sports-entertainment's most cherished prize inside the Laredo Entertainment Center.

"I still can't believe what I just saw," said Laredo native Matthew Perez, who attended his first-ever WWE live event on Tuesday night. "The Great Khali is the new World Heavyweight Champion? Man, how is anyone going to stop that guy? I can honestly say that I'll never forget my first WWE show."

A lifelong Edge fan, Rob Donovan attended Raw Monday night in Corpus Christi with his buddies, and after driving nearly 150 miles to Laredo for SmackDown, they were floored by what occurred.

"After we heard about Edge's major announcement while watching Raw, we wondered what it would be," he admitted, "and we were coming up with ideas in the car. I was hoping for something awesome, like The Cutting Edge becoming a weekly segment. But man, giving up the gold he plotted so carefully to earn in the first place? Unbelievable."

"Is The Great Khali seriously the World Heavyweight Champion?" added friend Gordon Connell. "Like, please, someone tell me I'm going to wake up, that it's all just a dream, and that Edge is still World Champion."

Unfortunately for Mr. Connell, that isn't the case. But if it's any consolation, he was just another one of the thousands of WWE fans in Laredo who couldn't believe what transpired.

"Seeing Khali holding that title in the air…man, that's just scary!" exclaimed Miranda Sanchez. "He's a monster, and my 3-year-old son is afraid of him. Now that he's got the championship, he'll be even more dangerous." Her point was further punctuated simply by looking down, where young Andrew Sanchez clung to his mother's leg.

It was that kind of night in Laredo, as the SmackDown world was turned upside down. To see the turmoil and the crowning of a new World Heavyweight Champion for yourself, tune into SmackDown Friday night at 8/7 CT on The CW Network.

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