A battle for lost gold

It seems as though bad luck has a way of finding you just when you thought you needed it least. A funny thing happened to Batista -- a cruelly funny thing -- when he suffered a triceps injury that knocked him out of action for a long eight months and, more cruelly, forced him to relinquish the World Heavyweight Championship. The biggest prize in sports-entertainment, lost without even losing a match. Yes, fate can be cruel.

But then, fate also has a way of turning bad luck into good luck when all else seems bleak. Nine months removed from his devastating injury, Batista is back in the squared circle with a chance to regain his lost gold, and his luck may have finally turned around. First it was a tag team victory and a pinfall scored against King Booker. Then, a vicious slam through a table after signing a contract for what could be the rediscovery of a lost championship: a World Heavyweight Championship Match against the King this Friday night on SmackDown.

Batista had all but regained the Championship at SummerSlam, when a desperate interference by Queen Sharmell drew King Booker a disqualification and allowed him to retain his title. After coming so close to regaining what he believes is rightly his Championship, Batista told WWE.com that he was going to keep on high alert for Queen Sharmell's ringside hi-jinks.

"I am excited, but at the same time I'm going to be a little more cautious," said a focused Batista. "I'm more suspicious of what King Booker has got planned. He's not breaking any rules by having [Queen Sharmell] at ringside, but they're a dirty couple so I'll have to be on my tiptoes."

You'll have to watch SmackDown to find out just what the Queen had in store, but rest assured that The Animal was right to be suspicious.

Would King Booker be able to thwart The Animal's Championship dreams without help from his Queen? The benevolent King of SmackDown obviously had his own sentiments about the match for WWE.com, saying that he intended to take Batista down once and for all.

"I will come out and I will face Batista in the middle of the coliseum -- Gladiator versus King -- and I will douse his dreams of winning my World Heavyweight Championship once again," declared the King.

Both men delivered on their promises in this match, and you can expect to see one of the most heated World Heavyweight Championship clashes in recent memory. Apparently both of these men believe that the Championship is theirs. Funny how fate has a way of working out like that.

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