Batista def. King Booker (new World Heavyweight Champion)

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November 26, 2006

When SmackDown visited Philadelphia last January, Batista was forced to relinquish the World Heavyweight Championship due to injury. At Survivor Series, his 10-month odyssey to regain the gold ended in the same arena. In front of a sold-out crowd of 17,893 raucous WWE fans at the Wachovia Center, the Animal conquered King Booker to once again reign as World Heavyweight Champion.

Batista was focused on his goal all day, telling Michael Cole in an interview "I'm leaving tonight as World Heavyweight Champion." While the Animal signed a royal scroll on SmackDown that made this his final chance at King Booker and the gold, SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long helped out his cause; prior to the match, Long announced that if King Booker was counted out or disqualified, he would lose the championship.

That stipulation nearly cost King Booker early in the match, as he had to be urged by Queen Sharmell to return to the ring before referee Nick Patrick counted to 10. It was with good reason that the King took his time, however; a focused Animal seemed to have added several new pages to his offensive playbook, using maneuvers (like the Jackhammer and the flying shoulder tackle) that many had never seen him execute before.

It seemed as if Batista had the bout won following a Batista Bomb, but the ring-savvy King was able to get his hand on the bottom rope to break the count. At that point, the Queen handed the King his gold before entering the ring to distract Nick Patrick. The Animal thwarted her efforts and appeared as if he would Batista Bomb the Queen, but thought better of it.

With Patrick trying to get the fallen Queen out of the ring, King Booker swung the gold at Batista's head. He missed, and the challenger took advantage of the continued distraction by grabbing the gold and nailing the King with it. One three-count later, and Booker's Kingdom came crumbling down as the Animal was announced as the new World Heavyweight Champion.

"It feels right to be champion again," Batista told WWE.com moments after recapturing the gold. "I would have rather lost than hand over something I worked so hard for, and I've walked around with a chip on my shoulder since then. Now I feel like I'm back on track. To every WWE fan, I want to say thank you for being there."

The King wasn't quite as gracious, summing up his bad night in one word.

"Long. Teddy Long, that is," the King screamed. "The guy who has been trying to do everything he can to dethrone me for the last four months. Well now he has succeeded. But he can have the World Heavyweight Championship and stick it where the sun doesn't shine, because I am still the Champion of Champions and the King of the Ring."

Coming into Survivor Series, King Booker was the World Heavyweight Champion, arguably the No. 1 star on SmackDown and self-proclaimed "King of the World." But after a wild night in the City of Brotherly Love, it's now the Animal who can claim the first two titles. Hey, as Meat Loaf once said… two out of three ain't bad.

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