Last monster standing
Next Friday on SmackDown, we will bear witness to perhaps the most brutal match in SmackDown history, as the ominous Undertaker will meet The Great Khali in a Last Man Standing Match.
The highly-anticipated match could put the final exclamation point on what has become one of the most colossal rivalries in recent SmackDown history. Since his debut on April 7, The Great Khali has taken SmackDown by storm, unleashing devastating displays of raw strength week after week. However, despite mowing down some of WWE's biggest Superstars -- everyone from Roddy Piper to Rey Mysterio has felt Khali's massive wrath -- the Punjab warrior has had his sights set on only one goal: burying the Deadman once and for all.
At Judgement Day, Khali scored an impressive victory against the Phenom in a one-on-one match, sending Undertaker into a prolonged absence which led many to wonder whether Undertaker's spirit had truly been broken. Khali then challenged the Deadman to a Punjabi Prison Match -- a match which at the time had never been seen in the Western world -- at The Great American Bash. Undertaker accepted and went on the offensive, only to have his efforts thwarted twice in the weeks leading up to The Bash, receiving vicious double chokeslams from Big Show and Khali on Saturday Night's Main Event and ECW on Sci Fi.
After suffering these two vicious attacks, Undertaker was sent to do battle in the terrifying death chamber known as the Punjabi Prison at The Great American Bash. However, moments before the match was scheduled to get underway, Big Show and Khali teamed up against the Phenom yet again in an ambush in the locker room area. SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long had finally seen enough, and the two seven-footers were punished for their actions. Khali would have to watch the match that he had brought to the Western world from the locker room -- Big Show would meet the Deadman in the towering bamboo structure.
Offering further proof that he is still in vintage, fearless form, Undertaker survived one of the most barbaric contests ever witnessed in WWE. By emerging first from Khali's Punjabi Prison and surviving everything thrown at him along the way, a bloody Undertaker sent a message to The Great Khali that he was back -- rather, he had never gone away.
One week later, Undertaker looked to cement that statement in a main event against World Heavyweight Champion King Booker, and for a while the match looked as though it would go down as a classic. The Phenom dominated early, using his size and strength to knock the King back on his heels. King Booker fought back, displaying the determination that enabled him to become the noble King that he is today. As the match wore on, Undertaker finally looked to score the crushing climactic blow as he put the King on his back with a ferocious chokeslam. However, the Deadman could not make the cover because The Great Khali made his way to ringside and interrupted the match, prompting the referee to call for the bell and cutting short what might have been a timeless clash.
The two massive men exchanged blows before Undertaker was able to toss Khali out of the ring. In rare form, the usually silent Deadman from Death Valley took to the mic, and offered The Great Khali a challenge: "You, me. Summerslam -- Last Man Standing." The crowd roared at the prospect of such an epic clash, but on Friday night, they learned that it was not going to happen.
Daivari appeared alongside The Great Khali to open the show, proclaiming to Undertaker that, "To The Great Khali, you are a dead man, because to him, you do not even exist." With that, he emphatically denied Undertaker's request for a Last Man Standing Match, but almost instantly the Deadman's familiar gong sounded, and the two went at it. Undertaker made short work of Daivari, and then in a display of raw strength thus far unseen in WWE, he emphatically chokeslammed the 7'3," 420-pound Great Khali. After complaining to Theodore Long, The Great Khali and Daivari received more bad news as the GM ordered a Last Man Standing Match for SmackDown next week in Washington, D.C.
This mammoth rivalry could finally come to a head, and only one of these two monsters will emerge from the contest on his feet. Will it be the Punjabi Warrior, whose brute strength and sheer size are unparalleled in WWE? Or will the Deadman, a true legend nearing the final chapter of a storied career, once again rise to the challenge and beat impossible odds? A clash of this magnitude may never be equaled again -- don't miss the action on SmackDown, Friday night at 8/7 CT on UPN.