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Khali doubles down
UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- When Friday Night SmackDown invaded the Mohegan Sun Arena, the gamblers inside Mohegan Sun's casinos weren't the only ones feeling a squeeze at the end of the night. For the second week in a row, two of SmackDown's finest Superstars found their skulls nearly caved in, thanks to The Great Khali's devastating Vise Grip. This time, it was Batista and Kane who were busted like a bad blackjack hand.
The main event of SmackDown had pitted the World Heavyweight Champion against Kane in a rematch from WrestleMania 23. It was a bout that Khali and translator Ranjin Singh were quite unhappy about, one that angered them enough to complain to General Manager Theodore Long; amazingly, Long stood up to Singh and his monstrous client, telling them the match was on whether they liked it or not.
Well before the clash between Kane and Khali, however, Batista strode to the ring to address our fans and quite possibly warn the Big Red Monster of what he may encounter later in the night.
"I've had all week to stew about what happened last week," the Animal began, "when my best friend and mentor, Ric Flair, had his head crushed. And when I tried to help, that freak, The Great Khali, took those things he calls hands and wrapped them around my head like a vise grip. I've been in a lot of fights, but I have never been rag dolled like that. I've never felt pain like that, and I've never been humiliated like that. But I promise, at SummerSlam…"
At that point, Khali and Singh popped up on the TitanTron and interrupted The Animal with a message of their own.
"Batista, your words are hollow; the reality is that at SummerSlam, you will suffer the same fate," Singh smugly exclaimed. "Your eyes will pop out of your head…your skull will crumble!"
With that, the champion demonstrated his frightening hand strength by squeezing a basketball until it popped. The Animal took offense, screaming that he would be tougher to pop than a basketball and promising that he would take Khali down at SummerSlam.
Once again, however, the World Heavyweight Champion didn't want to wait until the Biggest Party of the Summer to show Batista what his massive hands can do.
When the main event rolled around, the World Heavyweight Champion looked dominant, focusing his attack on Kane's heavily taped ribs, injured last week thanks to a brutal attack by Finlay. The Big Red Monster fought back, but when he went for his signature chokeslam, Khali extended his massive paw and palmed Kane's head.
As Khali's Vise Grip tightened, the Big Red Monster's eyes rolled into the back of his head like spinners on a slot machine. With one last gasp, Kane tried to chokeslam Khali once more, but the sheer force of the World Heavyweight Champion's grip weakened Kane to the point where he was easy prey for the three-count.
That's when all hell broke loose. As the Big Red Monster lay beaten, Finlay -- with his trusty shillelagh in hand -- snuck into the ring to continue his assault from the previous week and repay Kane for a similar attack earlier the night. That drew Batista out, and after a spinebuster on the fighting Irishman, The Animal turned his attention to his 7-foot-3 SummerSlam opponent.
While he managed to get the best of Khali for a moment, Batista made the mistake of turning back to Finlay. Kane was still out, so when The Animal tried to Batista Bomb Finlay, the recovered World Heavyweight Champion came up from behind and grabbed Batista by the back of the head.
This time, Khali used both of his massive, powerful hands, trying to crush Batista's skull just like the basketball he had destroyed earlier. Batista's head didn't quite bust like that poor rubberized rock, but when all was said and done, The Animal was left convulsing on the mat for the second week in a row.
Over the last three weeks, The Great Khali has turned Ric Flair, Kane and Batista -- twice in Flair and The Animal's cases -- into casualties of his devastating new hand-weapon. There are just days left before Batista goes one-on-one with Khali at SummerSlam…but will The Animal even survive long enough to make it to the Biggest Party of the Summer?