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Is Kane able?
As Kane prepares for his opportunity to become World Heavyweight Champion at The Great American Bash tonight, the focus of the Big Red Machine has shifted considerably from where it was only a short nine days ago. His already-warped mindset must now simultaneously contend with a colossal champion who dwarfs even him, and an Animal whose hunger for gold is stronger than ever.
Tonight, in a Triple Threat Match against The Great Khali and Batista, Kane must answer a question that even he must ask himself: Is he ready?
Nine days ago, the Big Red Machine certainly seemed prepared to face Edge for the gold at the pay-per-view, subjecting the Rated-R Superstar to his unique brand of sadistic mind games. Unfortunately, those same mind games backfired when he wreaked havoc at Edge's Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans. His assault resulted in a torn left pectoral muscle for the Ultimate Opportunist, which ultimately forced him to relinquish his World Heavyweight Title this past week on SmackDown.
However, no sooner was Edge stripped of the title than The Great Khali won it, in an epic 20-Man Battle Royal that saw the warrior hurl both Kane and Batista over the top rope. SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long declared that as the Battle Royal's co-finalists, the Big Red Monster and The Animal would do battle in a No. 1 Contender's Match, with the winner facing Khali at the Bash.
Kane may not have had time to prepare for Batista like he did for Edge, but it didn't stop him from unleashing a relentless offense against his Animal adversary. Unfortunately, their battle was cut short by the champion giant, and a No. 1 contender for The Bash seemed in doubt…until Long came out and proclaimed that the three Superstars would go head-to-head-to-head in tonight's Triple Threat Match.
"I was ready to go into The Great American Bash, ready to overpower Edge and ready to walk away with the World Heavyweight Championship," an irritated Kane told WWE.com minutes after The Great Khali had broken up SmackDown's No. 1 Contender's Match. "All of that has obviously changed."
Now all of Kane's attention must go into a new plan: How to overpower the imposing figure of the 7-foot-3, 420-pound World Heavyweight Champion, and curb the hunger and drive of another former World Champion hoping to reclaim gold. Although The Great Khali and Batista have each bested the Big Red Monster in previous singles battle, Kane insists that he will not allow either man to deter him this evening, or his mission to win.
"Batista and Khali are both powerhouses, so I have to use a more calculated approach," he admitted. "But now I also have two people to torture in the ring."
If Kane is entering tonight's Triple Threat Match with such a grim outlook, then both Batista and Khali are in for a long night at The Great American Bash…and the World Heavyweight Championship may well be bathing in the fires of hell once more.