Officially on

Officially on

NEW ORLEANS -- Whether or not Batista truly knows what he is doing by accepting The Great Khali's open challenge, their match at The Great American Bash is now official. The Animal couldn't wait to put the ink on the paper when he sat across from the giant for a contract signing. When he wrote his name, he made a statement: he is certain and he is confident, despite Khali's impressive resume and massive size.

The Great Khali didn't come to the table with the same enthusiasm as his pay-per-view opponent. Translator Ranjin Singh called Batista an animal who belongs in a cage rather than in the ring with a competitor like Khali, seemingly stalling the inevitable signing. After some thunderous words from The Great Khali himself, he signed and formally closed his open challenge.

Batista offered a handshake when the two Superstars rose from their seats, but when The Great Khali refused it, The Animal slapped him across the face. Batista may not be quite as tall as his opponent, but he is big enough to strike fear in the giant, who fled the ring. Displaying his power, The Great Khali tore the stairs away from ringside and threw them into the squared circle, only to have them returned via airmail along with every chair and a table. (WATCH)

Edge did some redecorating of his own when he held a Mardi Gras celebration at New Orleans Arena. Dancing on a float in the middle of his parade, the World Heavyweight Champion made his way to the ring, surrounded by costumed party attendants. Unfortunately for the Rated-R Superstar, Kane was waiting behind one of those masks to give Edge a preview of things to come at The Great American Bash. The Big Red Machine sent Edge home from his party early, capping off a night of stalking the World Heavyweight Champion in the locker room area for two hours. (WATCH) Read more on this story…

SmackDown kicked off with a hard-fought match between Matt Hardy and Chris Masters that could have gone to either Superstar. Hardy found his way to a victory, however, with a Twist of Fate as his opponent at The Great American Bash, Montel Vontavious Porter looked on. When the bell sounded, MVP came to ringside and exchanged taunts, distracting Hardy and setting him up for Masters to apply the dreaded Master Lock from behind. MVP had his fun with the trapped Superstar, hitting him with elbows and the Playmaker and taking the mental advantage just nine days before they face. (WATCH)

Mark Henry had his way with a Superstar, as well. The World's Strongest Man was initially slated to take on Deuce, but the greaser pulled a fast one and convinced Eugene to take on his opponent in exchange for a ride in their hot rod. Eugene quickly regretted the deal when he saw Henry pound toward the ring. Deuce, Domino and Cherry laughed as they watched Eugene submit, ending a quick contest.

Jimmy Wang Yang also regretted stepping into the ring when he faced Finlay. The Irish brawler gave the redneck Superstar a taste of the Celtic Cross, leading to his victory, but that was only the beginning. Hornswoggle fired out from under the ring and donated his body to be used as a weapon as Finlay drove the leprechaun into Yang's stomach.

In other SmackDown action, the Major Brothers picked up an upset victory against Chavo Guerrero & Jamie Noble when Brett Major pinned Chavo after a dropkick off the turnbuckle. Chuck Palumbo also earned his second win on SmackDown in quick, convincing fashion.

The Divas were in battle, as well. Victoria and Torrie Wilson faced to settle their differences after last week's brawl during a photo shoot. The match took the beauties out of the ring as the two pounded each other, but Torrie took control and hit Victoria with two boots to the chest, leaving the former two-time Women's Champion to be counted out.

Watch Friday Night SmackDown at 8/7 CT on The CW Network to see what develops just two days before The Great American Bash.

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