Who can stop Khali?
To steal a line from the late WWE Hall of Famer Gorilla Monsoon, a battle between Batista and Kane is like the irresistible force meeting the immovable object. Unfortunately for them, the Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship showed that there is something more powerful than either: the unstoppable monster wearing the World Heavyweight Title.
At The Bash, The Great Khali defeated The Animal and the Big Red Monster and looked frighteningly dominant in the process. In his first title defense, Khali took out two of the biggest, baddest men on SmackDown (both former World Champions, mind you), furthering the "Punjabi prophecy" that The Great Khali will be impossible to beat.
Maybe, just maybe, the reason Batista and Kane couldn't get the job done is that they were too busy fighting each other as well. Sure, two heads are usually better than one, but when the World Heavyweight Title is on the line, the proverb might be better stated that beating two heads is better than one. Given a one-on-one chance, how would either The Animal or the Big Red Monster fare?
Then again, what if that isn't the reason, and Khali truly is "impossible" to beat? Okay, so as any optimist will say, "Nothing is impossible!" But if two of SmackDown's mightiest Superstars couldn't dethrone the massive champion, who or what will it take to eventually do so?
Will it take size and power? Batista is no slouch in either department, and neither is Kane, yet they couldn't get it done at The Bash. Mark Henry, the World's Strongest Man, and powerhouse Chris Masters also reside on SmackDown, but how can even they handle a man who is 7-foot-3 and 420 pounds? Sure, it took almost a dozen Superstars to dump Henry out of the Battle Royal where Khali won the gold, but if you look closely, the Punjabi powerhouse wasn't one of them. As for Masters, the Master Lock has destroyed almost everyone who has felt it, but against an opponent who is a foot taller with an upper body that resembles a giant Redwood tree, could "The Masterpiece" even APPLY the hold?
What about a stick-and-move aerial assault? Former World Champion Rey Mysterio is on his way back to SmackDown, and he has made a career out of using his speed, agility and high-flying offense to take down men twice his size. Plus, Superstars like Jimmy Wang Yang, Chavo Guerrero and Shannon Moore have made a career of flying around the ring and being harder to catch than the proverbial Mexican jumping bean. There's only one problem: All it would take is for Khali to catch them once, and the massive champion could easily turn them into bean dip.
So, how about some good old-fashioned "ruthless aggression"? Ric Flair is a 16-time World Champion and the "Dirtiest Player in the Game," right? What about Finlay, who not only loves to fight, but would also likely have his trusty shillelagh and little buddy Hornswoggle (who now has a weapon of his own in the Cruiserweight Title) within close range? Both men know what it takes to survive a fight and will do anything to do so. However, either of Finlay's backup methods might get him disqualified, while Flair's patented Figure-Four Leg Lock would likely fall victim to the same circumstances as the Master Lock in this case. And while both men are veterans, outsmarting Khali might not be an option either; with translator Ranjin Singh in his corner, Khali has a second set of eyes that can also give him advice or warnings in a language only they understand.
Perhaps, then, the answer is a Superstar with a great all-around game, one who is able to adapt to his surroundings. United States Champion MVP can do just that, as he has on several occasions in his SmackDown career. From Kane to Ric Flair to Bash opponent Matt Hardy, MVP has survived and learned against opponents of all sorts. As for an all-around athlete, one needs to look no further than Hardy; while he has never held major singles gold in WWE, he can do it all. Matt is a capable high-flyer and an excellent mat technician who can mix it up with fisticuffs when needed, and while he's still young and in his prime, his experience level is much higher than Khali's. If anything, though, MVP's inexperience and perceived overconfidence could work against him, while Hardy's size and inability to as of yet "win the big one" on his own could cost him, as well.
Until an answer is found to this question - assuming there even is an answer - our fans will witness a reign of terror perhaps like no other. After all, very few men have even taken Khali off his feet, let alone defeated him. That leaves a bit of good news-bad news, as well; the good news (for the rest of the SmackDown locker room, anyway) is that it has happened before, but no Superstar that has done the seemingly impossible is active on Friday nights right now.
The CW Network and its predecessors, The WB and former SmackDown host network UPN, have seen many monsters projected over their broadcast airwaves. This summer, however, it might take the super-strong kid from Smallville or bringing Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the gang from Roswell out of retirement to even think about ending the tale of the 7-foot-3, 420-pound Punjabi powerhouse that our fans call the World Heavyweight Champion.