In Hell's Shadow

In Hell's Shadow

TOPEKA, Kan. -- When Undertaker and Batista look into each other's eyes, there is a mutual respect that only both of them can understand -- the kind shared by two warriors who have been to hell and back in several epic wars. Although these two proud warriors were united in a special tag team match tonight on Raw, The Deadman and The Animal remained wary because they knew they'd have to take each other beyond hell in less than six days at Survivor Series.

For World Heavyweight Champion Batista and his opponent on Sunday, Undertaker, "beyond hell" is a brutal match within a 20-foot high roofed steel structure called Hell in a Cell. GM William Regal invited the two Superstars from SmackDown to Raw to compete against World Tag Team Champions Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch just to see if they could co-exist before their battle at Survivor Series.

The Animal and The Deadman exchanged glares; they eyed each other warily. Sometimes, to the painful chagrin of Cade & Murdoch, it looked like they were trying to outdo each other. Their tags in the ring were cold and hard, and not the kind of exchanges you'd see between two friends. But they did co-exist enough to defeat the World Tag Team Champions. (WATCH)

Though Cade & Murdoch were in front of them, Batista and Undertaker's focus was on each other and Hell in a Cell. The trail of blood, broken bones and dreams left behind in 10 years of carnage makes every Superstar in WWE break out into a cold sweat. However, The Phenom knows no fear. He is the only Superstar who seems to request Hell in a Cell Matches. No wonder he's been in the most (along with Triple H); it's almost as if the Cell is his second home.

Perhaps that's why our fans sense that The Deadman respects Batista. The Animal not only defeated him in the middle of the ring at Cyber Sunday, but he gave him a rematch and accepted his invitation into Hell. And Batista respects Undertaker for everything he has accomplished in WWE and for setting the standard for WrestleMania performances with his 15-0 record.

The capacity crowd at the Kansas Expo Center in Topeka grew into a semi-hush as The Animal and The Deadman stared at each other following their victory. Despite the thousands of cheering fans around them, they were alone. They were locked into a moment that only they could appreciate. Undertaker and Batista knew that Hell in a Cell awaits them at Survivor Series -- and that they may never be the same after this Sunday.

For the full results of this week's Raw, click HERE.


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