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Batista looks to break free

Batista looks to break free
Since his WWE debut five years ago, SmackDown's Batista has become accustomed to stepping into the ring and using his Herculean strength to push past any obstacle placed in his path. He has impressed and amazed both our fans and fellow WWE Superstars with his astonishing ability to overpower any foe. Recently, however, he has seemed more man than mythological figure (or in his case, Animal) in his quest to win back the World Heavyweight Championship from The Great Khali -- a quest that will see them do battle at SummerSlam.

For Batista to overcome the odds, he must go face-to-face with an opponent that even he might not be able to match strength against. The Great Khali's imposing physique is matched only by the devastation of the Khali Vise Grip, a maneuver that has Batista searching for answers heading into the Biggest Party of the Summer this Sunday.

"I've never felt anything as devastating as the Vise Grip," he admitted. "Literally, it's like being knocked out, but very slowly."

In consecutive weeks on SmackDown, the 7-foot-3 monster demonstrated the ferocity of the Khali Vise Grip by manhandling Batista, mentor Ric Flair and Kane. Within moments of applying the hold, the World Heavyweight Champion has left the "Nature Boy," the Big Red Monster and The Animal absolutely motionless on the canvas. The skull-crushing hold, grouping Khali's inhuman strength with his freakishly large hands, is a combination that is unmatched and to this point unbreakable by anyone in WWE.

"I had a headache for a week," claimed Batista of the hold that has immobilized every skull that has felt its clamp. "I'll do all I can to avoid the Vise Grip this Sunday at SummerSlam, but it's not something that will be done easily."

If Batista doesn't sound like his usual assertive self, don't be fooled. He's still confident that he will make the giant champion fall, but he's also realistic. "Overpowering Khali is not an easy task," he explained. "He's big and incredibly strong. I don't know if I can simply outpower him."

While all that may be true, this past week on SmackDown may have represented a critical turning point for Batista. As The Animal took on Finlay in ring action, The Great Khali interfered, perhaps hoping to soften his SummerSlam opponent. But as the giant attempted to apply the vicious Khali Vise Grip, Batista avoided the hold and launched his own assault on the champion. In fact, it's fair to say that Batista outright dismantled The Great Khali, spearing and pummeling him outside the ring, leaving the World Heavyweight Champion bloodied and battered.

Less than 48 hours before he challenges The Great Khali for the World Heavyweight Title, The Animal has once again unleashed the fury that strikes another emotion in WWE Superstars: Fear. Still, when these two forces collide this Sunday at SummerSlam, live on pay-per-view, Batista must face not just The Great Khali, but also the threatening Khali Vise Grip -- a move he has yet to find a way to escape. If he can't find a way out of the menacing hold, his dreams of once again becoming World Heavyweight Champion may be as crushed as anyone's cranium in the Khali Vise Grip.

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