Long announces huge championship rematch

WWE.com has learned that next week on SmackDown in Columbus, Ga., King Booker will defend the World Heavyweight Championship against former champion Batista. But first, both men will make it official when they sign on the dotted line this week on SmackDown at the contract signing.

"I think this rematch is what the fans want," said SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long. "We all saw what happened at SummerSlam; Batista came mighty close to becoming champion again. And next week, it's going be too close to call."

Before the championship rematch takes place, the two heated rivals, Batista and King Booker will be in the same ring face-to-face this Friday night.

"The Animal wants a chance to win the World Heavyweight Championship back," Long explained. "And, I'm sure King Booker wants the opportunity to step in the ring with Batista once again to prove to [the challenger] and all the SmackDown fans that he is the No. 1 man, that he's the best."

At SummerSlam, Batista sought to reclaim the World Heavyweight Championship he relinquished more than eight months ago due to injury. The highly anticipated contest ended in controversy when the challenger went for the Batista Bomb and Queen Sharmell inserted herself in the match, futilely lunging at The Animal to protect her King. Due to the Queen's physical involvement, King Booker was disqualified and though Batista was victorious at SummerSlam, he did not leave with the championship gold.

"Batista hath proven right out there in the middle of the ring that he can't beat me. That peasant knows he can't beat me…the whole world knows it. So the way I see it, this is nothing more than propaganda. This is all a conspiracy. This is nothing more than Teddy Long trying to hype another SmackDown event."

Last week, King Booker held a royal knighthood ceremony where United States Champion Finlay and Sir William Regal were appointed the King's knights extraordinaire. Later, the night to remember was spoiled by Lashley and Batista who defeated King Booker and his protectors in a handicap tag team match.

Batista spinebustered and pinned the World Heavyweight Champion in the middle of the ring last Friday, earning the second victory over the King. One week later, his majesty will again enter the same SmackDown ring just feet from the gold-hungry Animal to sign a contract for one the fiercest rematches in recent WWE history.

"As far as the contract signing goes," offered King Booker, "I will sign on the dotted line and go out in my ring and prove yet again that I am the King of SmackDown and the champion of all champions. I will let all of my loyal subjects see their King. I will let them pay homage and bow down to their King. And if Batista knows what's good for him," he added, "he shall do the same."

Can these bitter foes restrain their animosity this week at the contract signing? To what extent will King Booker's newly anointed knights protect their liege? Will all hell break loose?

Tune in to SmackDown this Friday night at 8/7 CT to find out.

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