WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Only three days before Halloween, perhaps there was no better time than Cyber Sunday for Batista to exorcise his most formidable personal demons. At WWE's interactive pay-per-view Sunday night, The Animal persevered over Undertaker for the first time ever, and retained his World Heavyweight Championship in arguably the biggest match of his storied career.

Certainly, with Batista equalizing this already-classic rivalry at one victory apiece, he has silenced those who questioned whether he could legitimately best the man who can't be destroyed. After Undertaker defeated him to claim his sixth World Title at WrestleMania 23 last April, the best Batista could achieve against The Deadman were dual deadlocks, first in a physically grueling Last Man Standing Match at Backlash, then in May's remarkable Steel Cage Match on SmackDown.

Perhaps the champion owes a small debt of gratitude to JBL. While campaigning for your Cyber Sunday votes to nominate him as the match's guest referee two weeks ago, the SmackDown commentator accused The Animal of fearing Undertaker because he had never beaten him. Batista practically speared JBL out of his boots, and it was evident that the words had lit a fire under him. That same fire continued burning the following week, when Batista speared Undertaker himself, directly informing The Phenom that he did not dread him.

Someone else whom Batista, Undertaker and the arena's capacity crowd in Washington, D.C. should consider thanking is you, for electing "Stone Cold" Steve Austin as the special guest referee. Earning a whopping 79 percent of your votes in the home of democracy itself, Stone Cold stunned -- and Stunnered -- fellow officiating candidates Mick Foley and JBL, clearing them from the ring so that the feverishly awaited "Batista-Undertaker IV"could get underway.

Not since King Kong battled Godzilla on the summit of Mt. Fuji had one epic confrontation accounted for so many thunderous blows. Batista may have been the hometown hero, though the allegiance of the sold-out crowd in attendance was vocally divided as both Superstars hammered at each other to the point of physical and mental exhaustion.

At every possible juncture throughout this fierce contest, Undertaker utilized his veteran ring experience in his attempts to recapture the gold he lost last May. Had it been anyone but the current World Heavyweight Champion he faced this night, he surely would have claimed it. After all, when was the last time you remember a WWE opponent withstand both a bone-shattering chokeslam and a Last Ride from The Phenom?

The Animal would not be denied, however. And he sure as hell would not relinquish the World Heavyweight Title he reclaimed from The Great Khali last month at Unforgiven. Even The Deadman's features betrayed a hint of surprise as Batista inexplicably withstood his foe's onslaughts, kicking out of each pin only milliseconds before Austin's hand officially slapped down on the canvas a third time.

Undertaker would not fall easily, either. He took just about everything The Animal could unleash -- multiple spinebusters, a spear across the midsection…if there had been a kitchen sink in the ring, then surely Batista would have hurled it at him. Yet each time Undertaker rose from seemingly certain defeat and countered with an unearthly offensive. And after delivering what truly appeared to be the Last Ride for the champion, The Phenom motioned that it was time for Batista to rest in peace, courtesy a Tombstone piledriver.

Miraculously, The Animal would escape Undertaker's finisher with another spine-shattering counter, then deliver a Batista Bomb that must have embedded the entire ring several inches into the ground beneath it. Undertaker, with a spirit worthy of championship status in its own right, barely powered himself out of the pin, but even The Deadman would rise no more as Batista summoned the strength to plant him to the mat with a second, and final, Batista Bomb.

As Stone Cold counted to three, our fans applauded both Superstars, who lay exhausted in the ring. Batista would rise first, reclaiming his World Heavyweight Title from Austin and walking off. But as he headed up the ramp, he looked back at the ring one last time, and saw Undertaker's deathlike stare almost piercing toward him. The champion acknowledged it, then wearily raised his hard-earned title once more. Both men had given their bodies, their hearts, their very souls for the right to be called champion at Cyber Sunday. And for the first time in his life, Batista could make that claim over The Phenom.

 

Pick up Batista's Unleashed book package exclusively at WWE Shop!

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Only three days before Halloween, perhaps there was no better time than Cyber Sunday for Batista to exorcise his most formidable personal demons. At WWE's interactive pay-per-view Sunday night, The Animal persevered over Undertaker for the first time ever, and retained his World Heavyweight Championship in arguably the biggest match of his storied career.

Certainly, with Batista equalizing this already-classic rivalry at one victory apiece, he has silenced those who questioned whether he could legitimately best the man who can't be destroyed. After Undertaker defeated him to claim his sixth World Title at WrestleMania 23 last April, the best Batista could achieve against The Deadman were dual deadlocks, first in a physically grueling Last Man Standing Match at Backlash, then in May's remarkable Steel Cage Match on SmackDown.

Perhaps the champion owes a small debt of gratitude to JBL. While campaigning for your Cyber Sunday votes to nominate him as the match's guest referee two weeks ago, the SmackDown commentator accused The Animal of fearing Undertaker because he had never beaten him. Batista practically speared JBL out of his boots, and it was evident that the words had lit a fire under him. That same fire continued burning the following week, when Batista speared Undertaker himself, directly informing The Phenom that he did not dread him.

Someone else whom Batista, Undertaker and the arena's capacity crowd in Washington, D.C. should consider thanking is you, for electing "Stone Cold" Steve Austin as the special guest referee. Earning a whopping 79 percent of your votes in the home of democracy itself, Stone Cold stunned -- and Stunnered -- fellow officiating candidates Mick Foley and JBL, clearing them from the ring so that the feverishly awaited "Batista-Undertaker IV"could get underway.

Not since King Kong battled Godzilla on the summit of Mt. Fuji had one epic confrontation accounted for so many thunderous blows. Batista may have been the hometown hero, though the allegiance of the sold-out crowd in attendance was vocally divided as both Superstars hammered at each other to the point of physical and mental exhaustion.

At every possible juncture throughout this fierce contest, Undertaker utilized his veteran ring experience in his attempts to recapture the gold he lost last May. Had it been anyone but the current World Heavyweight Champion he faced this night, he surely would have claimed it. After all, when was the last time you remember a WWE opponent withstand both a bone-shattering chokeslam and a Last Ride from The Phenom?

The Animal would not be denied, however. And he sure as hell would not relinquish the World Heavyweight Title he reclaimed from The Great Khali last month at Unforgiven. Even The Deadman's features betrayed a hint of surprise as Batista inexplicably withstood his foe's onslaughts, kicking out of each pin only milliseconds before Austin's hand officially slapped down on the canvas a third time.

Undertaker would not fall easily, either. He took just about everything The Animal could unleash -- multiple spinebusters, a spear across the midsection…if there had been a kitchen sink in the ring, then surely Batista would have hurled it at him. Yet each time Undertaker rose from seemingly certain defeat and countered with an unearthly offensive. And after delivering what truly appeared to be the Last Ride for the champion, The Phenom motioned that it was time for Batista to rest in peace, courtesy a Tombstone piledriver.

Miraculously, The Animal would escape Undertaker's finisher with another spine-shattering counter, then deliver a Batista Bomb that must have embedded the entire ring several inches into the ground beneath it. Undertaker, with a spirit worthy of championship status in its own right, barely powered himself out of the pin, but even The Deadman would rise no more as Batista summoned the strength to plant him to the mat with a second, and final, Batista Bomb.

As Stone Cold counted to three, our fans applauded both Superstars, who lay exhausted in the ring. Batista would rise first, reclaiming his World Heavyweight Title from Austin and walking off. But as he headed up the ramp, he looked back at the ring one last time, and saw Undertaker's deathlike stare almost piercing toward him. The champion acknowledged it, then wearily raised his hard-earned title once more. Both men had given their bodies, their hearts, their very souls for the right to be called champion at Cyber Sunday. And for the first time in his life, Batista could make that claim over The Phenom.

 

Pick up Batista's Unleashed book package exclusively at WWE Shop!