Big game hunting
One memory -- the image of a blood-stained sledgehammer -- may stir both familiar and unfamiliar feelings in Umaga when he faces Triple H at No Mercy: rage and perhaps, fear.
They say that music soothes the savage beast. Several weeks ago, Triple H preferred to use a sledgehammer -- and Umaga found nothing soothing about it. And last Monday night on Raw, we may have seen a different side of the Samoan Bulldozer: a hint of trepidation. (WATCH)
Normally, Umaga knows only one speed -- full speed ahead. The powerful Samoan beast is fearless; our fans are accustomed to him being the hunter and preying on his hapless opponents.
But last Monday, when face-to-face with Triple H and his sledgehammer for the first time since The Cerebral Assassin put him out, he hesitated … and then slowly backpedaled at the behest of Mr. McMahon (who set up the No Mercy matchup out of vindictiveness for The Game). Umaga was in the process of giving Triple H a receipt for the bloody beating he gave him on Sept. 3, but The Game stopped him dead in his tracks when he grabbed his sledgehammer.
As Umaga cocked his head to the side, snorting and growling, what was he thinking? For a moment, it appeared that he was ready to stand his ground against The Cerebral Assassin, sledgehammer and all. Was Umaga having flashbacks? Was he reliving Triple H repeatedly walloping him over the head with a chair and then the sledgehammer? Was he remembering how his own blood flowed into his eyes as Triple H knelt over and ordered him to look at the face of the man who was going to end his career? Maybe the Samoan monster was merely showing signs of intelligence, opting to save his coupe de grace for The Game this Sunday at No Mercy. (WATCH: No Mercy match preview)
Triple H has shown that he can be most dangerous when he is backed into a corner. That's why he brutalized Umaga in the first place; the 10-time World Champion struck back when the Bulldozer and Carlito attempted to injure him during a Handicap Match on Raw.
But how will Umaga react this Sunday at No Mercy? The Game did what no one else had done before when he bloodied the 348 pound powerhouse. Umaga has had legendary rivalries with Superstars such as John Cena and Bobby Lashley, but no one has ever put him out.
When these two Superstars collide this Sunday, it will be a battle of two forces who know no backup. Both are accustomed to being the hunters and not the hunted. They're not afraid to tap into the sadistic corners of their mind to decimate their opponents. And both The Game and the Samoan Bulldozer know how to go in for the kill when they smell blood.
Still, Triple H and Umaga's battle at No Mercy may be determined by who draws blood first and who's able to handle the loss of their own plasma. At night's end, the look on Umaga's face may tell us whether The Game has permanently tamed the Samoan savage beast.