A great Long night for SmackDown

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July 21, 2007

LAREDO, Texas -- An injured Edge, forced to surrender the World Heavyweight Championship. The Great Khali, winning the title in an unbelievable Battle Royal. Batista and Kane, doing battle in an astonishing No. 1 Contender's contest. And our fans, erupting into thunderous "Holla's" at the news that WWE's largest-ever World Champion must defend his new title against The Animal and the Big Red Monster at The Great American Bash this Sunday. Truly, Friday's SmackDown was an evening of epic proportions, made possible by the man who had his biggest night as General Manager, Theodore Long.

"I wouldn't call it the biggest night," a self-effacing Long told WWE.com. "I'd just call it a good night. The Great American Bash is comin' up, and it's a huge tradition that has been around for many, many years. The people are expecting a [World Heavyweight Title] Match at the pay-per-view this Sunday, and with Edge being hurt and having to relinquish the title, I had to figure out some way to make that happen. And that's exactly what I did."

You may not believe Long, but feel us out, playa: Within moments of divesting the emotional Rated-R Superstar of his title, SmackDown's GM called for a 20-Man Battle Royal to determine a new World Heavyweight Champion. Shortly after The Great Khali simultaneously launched Batista and Kane over the top rope, Long -- aided by some vocal support from Assistant GM Vickie Guerrero -- decided to have the co-finalists contend for an opportunity at the newly crowned champion this Sunday. And when Khali stuck his big nose (and big foot, and big hand…) where it didn't belong, Long stepped up large once more, announcing that all three Superstars would meet in a Triple Threat Match at The Great American Bash.

To hear announcers Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield, Long had a "stellar" night on all accounts. But know that he didn't do it to shine in some spotlight that's often focused solely on SmackDown's ring warriors. "I never worry about recognition," he said. "I only worry about doing my job for the people."

WWE.com confirmed Long's motivations with several locker-room sources, though a few playfully intimated that his latest SmackDown performance is a prime example of the "MacMilitant"-dancing GM demonstrating an extra spring in his step these days -- a step that will soon take himself and SmackDown Diva Kristal down the path of holy matrimony.

"Really?" Long asked, his tone expressing a little good-humored embarrassment over his upcoming nuptials. "To be honest, I didn't even have the wedding on my mind tonight. I was so busy thinking about how I could make this year's Great American Bash a great, big success, like it has always been in the past. I was only worried about our fans, all the people who are ordering this Sunday's pay-per-view, and making them happy."

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