Three for all
ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- For months, one could liken Batista to the Energizer Bunny; no matter what was thrown in his path, he just kept going and going and going. On Friday night, however, our fans finally found out what it takes to drain The Animal's battery: Three men, a wheelchair-bound General Manager, two steel chairs … and a lot of stroke.
With Batista invoking his rematch clause for a return World Heavyweight Championship Match right away, our fans knew they were in for another heated battle between The Animal and new World Heavyweight Champion Edge on Friday night. But first, the Rated-R Superstar had some other business to attend to -- namely, the official presentation of his newly-won gold and a "Major" announcement.
SmackDown's General Manager, Vickie Guerrero -- still wheelchair-bound, but valiantly soldiering on in her duties -- and her boyfriend kicked off the broadcast with their official presentation before welcoming the newest members of their inner circle … Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder?
The former Brett & Brian Major, now going by their respective given names of Hawkins & Ryder, were officially thanked and welcomed into the fold by the new World Heavyweight Champion, who explained their alliance at Armageddon in one simple phrase: "They saw greatness and flocked to it!" Most importantly, however, he thanked the love of his life, Vickie Guerrero, for her support in bringing him back to being a champion.
While Edge had all the confidence in the world at the start of SmackDown, little did he know that it would take more of Vickie's benevolence and an assist from his two "Edge-heads" to keep the kingdom from crashing down by the end of the night.
Just before the World Heavyweight Championship Match, the General Manager threw the first curveball of the night at Batista -- instead of a one-on-one rematch, it would be The Animal against Edge, Hawkins & Ryder in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match.
Despite the disadvantage -- and the poor timing of its revelation -- The Animal seemingly would not be denied. While the power of numbers kept the Rated-R trio in control for a good portion of the match, Batista roared back with the fire of a thousand suns. After dispatching the Ultimate Opportunist and young Master Hawkins, our fans in Rochester erupted in jubilation as The Animal planted Ryder with a thunderous spinebuster and recorded the pinfall to once again become World Heavyweight Champion.
See, before Batista could celebrate his victory, Vickie Guerrero brought the proceedings -- and our fans' frenzied celebration -- to a screeching halt, announcing that The Animal could only become World Heavyweight Champion by defeating Edge himself. She did, however, give Batista that chance by ordering the match to begin again.
Obviously frustrated and flowing with adrenaline, The Animal manhandled the Rated-R trio, but just as he had Edge set up for the Batista Bomb, a little H&R block prevented him from fulfilling his destiny. Hawkins smashed a steel chair into Batista's knee, drawing a disqualification -- but more importantly, saving Edge's title.
That wasn't all, however, as The Animal felt the steel twice more. Moments after Hawkins & Ryder gave Batista a double implant DDT on the chair, the Rated-R Superstar further tranquilized The Animal with a skull-rattling Con-Chair-To to cap off the night. For the second time in a row, Edge and his army celebrated as the broadcast came to a close while Batista was left incapacitated in the squared circle and our fans were left shocked and disappointed at the scene they had just witnessed.
It's obvious that with the General Manager and a pair of devoted Edge-heads on his side, the World Heavyweight Champion is more powerful than ever. Armageddon has come for Batista twice in the span of six days … but will 2008 mean the end of days for SmackDown as we know it?