The clash continues

The clash continues

Following a sudden, indecisive close to their match last Tuesday night on ECW on Sci Fi, ECW World Champion Lashley will defend his title against Rob Van Dam in a rematch this week. Once more, the match ECW fans voted to see on will take place to determine who the top Extremist is in the Land of the Extreme.

For Lashley, wielding the extreme brand's top prize was what drew him to ECW in late November. The former SmackDown Superstar came to ECW to answer Paul Heyman's open invitation for the final spot in the Extreme Elimination Chamber. Since outlasting four other men and pinning the dominant Big Show in the dreaded structure at December to Dismember, the powerful champion Lashley has proudly defended the ECW gold against all challengers. The champion has clashed with giants, battled in Handicap Matches and survived weapons-filled steel chambers, all for the sake of the ECW World Title.

Another man's life who has been dictated by a quest for the ECW championship is Rob Van Dam. It's been a strenuous road for RVD since the rebirth of ECW -- a new breed he ushered in when he captured the WWE Championship from John Cena at One Night Stand. Becoming the WWE and ECW World Champion, Van Dam was betrayed by the "Father of ECW" Heyman on July 4 on a night that went down in history as the South Philly Screwjob. From glorified to bastardized by Heyman, RVD was forced to claw his way past a slew of the "Messiah's" henchmen and countless other obstacles to receive a chance at reclaiming the gold.

With an unjust Heyman out of the picture, last week was RVD's first one-on-one opportunity for the ECW World Title since being robbed of it six months ago. ECW fans rallied behind the ECW Original by voting for him -- over Test and another fan-favorite Sabu -- to collide with Lashley, in anticipation of a clash of two extreme titans.

Ironically enough, Van Dam's high-risk spirit that ECW fans cheer so passionately is what caused last week's dream match to draw to an indefinite close. As his wounded opponent stood outside the ring, RVD fearlessly launched his body from the apron toward Lashley. The two combatants crashed hard to the arena floor and lay near motionless in the wreckage, compelling the referee to end the contest.

In a contest of size and strength vs. speed and agility, both Extremists countered their opponent's best moves, but no winner was determined. Though Lashley left the arena last week with the ECW World Title slung over his bruised shoulder, he did not defeat his challenger. Now, just seven days after a most exhaustive encounter, the champion grants RVD his well deserved title opportunity one more time on ECW on Sci Fi.

What will we see from these unbelievable competitors this week? How can their bodies possibly be at 100 percent after the physical torment they endured last week? To what lengths will Lashley go to protect his championship? Will those lengths compare to the great heights that Van Dam will go to in order to reclaim the ECW World Title?

Find out tomorrow night live on ECW on Sci Fi at 10/9 CT.

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