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Hardest-hitting team ever?
Bobby Lashley said all along that there was nothing wrong with him, and last week on SmackDown he stormed into the ring and proved it by punishing William Regal with a running powerslam. The devious U.S. Champion Finlay managed to slink away from the damage (with some help from his Little Bastard and shillelagh), but tonight on SmackDown the Irishman's luck will truly be tested.
WWE.com has learned that tonight on SmackDown, Finlay will be teaming up with William Regal, the man he has rivaled since The Great American Bash, against a veritable powerhouse pairing of their shared nemesis, Lashley, and the recently announced No. 1 Contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, Batista. Needless to say, Lashley is very excited to be teaming with the Animal.
"Oh yeah, it's gonna be a good time," said Lashley. "You have two uncrowned champions in the ring at the same time, so it's gonna be a good match."
For the past three weeks, Finlay and Regal have butted heads. Heading into The Great American Bash, it appeared as though the long-time friends would team up to pummel the former United States Champion Lashley in their Triple Threat Match. However, Lashley's injury forced the two veterans to reluctantly battle one-on-one. The result has been a brutal rivalry that has seen them come to blows on SmackDown for the past two weeks. Finlay has gotten the better of Regal in both matches, using a mix of his pugnacious fighting Irish style and Little Bastard-assisted treachery. In last week's match, Finlay asserted that his battle with his former colleague is most certainly personal by crushing Regal with his shillelagh and seemingly shrugging off his ensuing disqualification.
Lashley has had his problems with both Superstars, and is anxiously awaiting getting some revenge.
"I can't figure out which one I want to get a hold of more," said Lashley. "I think probably Finlay because he does have the [U.S. Championship] and show him who the better man is."
How Finlay will react to being forced to rejoin his friend-turned-rival Regal is anyone's guess. Would anybody really be surprised to see the crafty fighter bring his personal vendetta to his tag team's corner and turn his barroom brawler style against his partner?
The possibly hostile situations between Regal and Finlay is also something that Lashley is looking forward to seeing.
"It'll be kind of comical to see them kind of self destruct because either on of them keeps stabbing each other in the back; that's just the nature of their style. We'll see what happens," said Lashley.
Lashley, on the other hand, will be joining forces with Batista, a man that most people would want to face about as much as a charging rhino with a nasty rash. Since his return to the squared circle on July 23, Batista has unleashed his fury all over Mr. Kennedy, defeating him for the first time last week despite absolutely battering him at The Bash. When SmackDown announcer Michael Cole attempted to congratulate Batista following that victory, The Animal snapped back that he didn't want to hear any congratulations until he had regained the Championship. As reported yesterday on WWE.com, Batista will get that chance at SummerSlam, where he will meet King Booker for the World Heavyweight Championship.
On Friday, he will team up with Bobby Lashley, one of the hardest hitters in the SmackDown locker room, creating a pairing of hungry powerhouses. Besides their imposing physical stature and freakish natural athletic ability, the powerful pair will be fueled by pent-up aggression resulting from missed action. Finlay and William Regal may be embroiled in a bitter personal rivalry, but their survival in this match could depend on them burying their differences, at least for one night.
Can Finlay and Regal put their differences aside, or will their tag team partnership self-destruct? Even if their temporary alliance does work out, is there any way they can overcome the size, strength, and raw power of Lashley and Batista? All will be answered on SmackDown, tonight at 8/7 CT on UPN.