WWE Champion John Cena's bold and erratic challenge to The Great Khali on Raw has everyone in the WWE locker room and around the globe asking one question: Is The Champ completely out of his mind?
On Sunday, Cena did what no other man could do when he made the giant submit to the STFU. Cena was declared the winner and still WWE Champion by forcing the colossal challenger to slam his oversized palm to the mat to signal a tap out. But controversy shrouded Cena's victory Monday night on Raw when The Great Khali showed the footage and addressed the world.
"I have never submitted in my life," uttered Khali in his native tongue. "I knew my foot was under the rope the entire time. The referee screwed The Great Khali, all you people screwed The Great Khali, and most of all, John Cena screwed The Great Khali."
In response, Cena came out to proclaim that he would defend his title again, and he will get what he asked for at One Night Stand, when he meets Khali in a Falls Count Anywhere Match for the WWE Championship. But right after he asked for it on Raw, The Champ was floored with a giant chop from his towering foe, adding yet another display of dominance over Cena to Khali's résumé of destruction.
After four weeks of being manhandled by The Great Khali, why in the world would Cena challenge him to another match — let alone a match as potentially dangerous as Falls Count Anywhere? Moments after the match was officially set on Raw, The Champ (still recovering from the hard chop to the head) shed some light on his logic.
"The Great Khali has a legitimate gripe," explained the WWE Champion. "In this situation, the referee missed a call, and although Judgment Day was a fantastic achievement, and even though I made the giant tap for the first time in his life, there is a blemish. I'd rather have fought and lost than have a match ever end like that."
Of course, Cena may step in the ring with Khali in less than two weeks at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view, but the winner could very well be determined in the aisle, in the crowd, beside a hot dog stand, in the Divas locker room, on top of Mr. McMahon's limo -- virtually anywhere in the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. To add to the vast jeopardy that Cena is faced with, while falls count anywhere, Khali has yet to be pinned in his career.
"The problem with this type of match," Cena said, "is that you have to score the pinfall, which doesn't work in my favor because [at Judgment Day], I couldn't knock Khali down, I didn't take him off his feet. I'm damn unsure as to whether or not I can even execute the FU. But, I don't want to ever look back on it and say that I didn't beat The Great Khali."
It was clear by the look in The Champ's eyes on Monday night that he was not about to permit Khali's size 18EEEE foot be means for defeat. As he clutched the championship gold he has proudly defended against all comers, Cena told WWE.com that he is determined to slay the giant.
"I want a clear-cut winner and a clear-cut loser," The Champ said. "I don't want anybody to whine or complain; that's not my gig. And at One Night Stand, if I fight and I lose, I will be man enough to say that I lost."
According to lore, David beat Goliath — but only once. Though the WWE Champion's motives are laudable, his tenacity may have driven him to bite off much more than he can chew. Other champions might consider mere survival against a lethal monster like Khali all the victory they need.
In a week from Sunday, Cena will attempt to do what no man has ever done: Pin the leviathan, Khali. Has The Champ's bravado lured him down a road that will only result in agony, pain and the loss of his coveted WWE Championship?