Aerial David vs. Punjabi Goliath
The Berlin Wall and Günter Schabowski. The Imperial Fleet and the Rebel Alliance. The New York Mets and September 2007. All great collapses, yet none that resonate quite so vividly as that of a slingshot-wielding tween facing off against a sword-swinging Philistine giant. Until this Friday night on SmackDown. That's when the greatest underdog story of all time -- David & Goliath -- gets a modern-day facelift with Rey Mysterio and The Great Khali. We hope.
Perhaps we are overstating things a touch, though you might not think so if you were the contemporized David, giving away nearly two feet and 250 pounds to your gargantuan opponent. True, Rey Mysterio won't be fighting the Philistine army's mightiest warrior for the survival of his people. But he could well be fighting for his own survival when he steps into the ring against a 7-foot-3 Punjabi colossus whose breakfasts are bigger than the masked Superstar.
At least Goliath had the perverse decency to laugh at David opposing him. The Great Khali is already looking past Rey Mysterio. To him, the Master of the 619 is an annoying piece of gum under his size 18EEEE boot, and he plans to scrape him off on SmackDown. This Goliath would rather focus on caging an Animal in a Punjabi Prison at No Mercy this Sunday, and reclaim the gold Batista took from him at Unforgiven last month. The gold that he believes elevates his already lofty status -- the World Heavyweight Championship.
Khali, however, would do well to remember that he and WWE's version of David are eye level, at least in terms of being former World Champions. Having made a career out of figuratively slaying "unbeatable" behemoths, Rey, like David, knows how to find that single hole in Goliath's armor, then strike at it with a 619 through the ropes faster than any stone could ever leave a crude slingshot. Truly, he demonstrates that the bigger they are… well, just ask JBL. He'll tell you all about last year's experience in which Rey forever cast him to the SmackDown announce table. (A story that JBL has somehow twisted into a match between Mysterio and Finlay at No Mercy this Sunday.)
But The Great Khali ain't some beanstalk, Jack. He's a monster, pure and simple, who intends to give Mysterio a super-sized smiting this Friday. Unlike the Goliath of biblical yore, Khali requires no sword, spear and/or javelin; all he needs are his 16-centimeter paws, and an insatiable desire to crush the skulls he places between them. Mysterio learned that the hard way several times last month, including a vile, bloody incident on SmackDown that had our fans worrying if he'd be in any shape to challenge the giant at Unforgiven's Triple Threat Match. And David made damn sure he never had to worry about rematches with Goliath.
Surprisingly, there is one theme in Mysterio vs. Khali that goes hand in Khali-Vise-Grip-hand with David vs. Goliath. Their battle this Friday night cannot truly be measured by a lopsided tale of the tape or ring strategies. Like David and Goliath, theirs is a conflict in faith -- the giant's superficial belief that size and might alone will hold him supreme above everyone else, versus David's conviction in himself and those who support him.
For Rey Mysterio's sake, let's hope Friday's match-up takes the best pages from the Old Testament.