SmackDown will take center stage tonight at Saturday Night’s Main Event. The huge Six-Man Tag match will pit the team of King Booker, United States Champion Finlay, and The World’s Strongest Man Mark Henry against World Champion Rey Mysterio, former U.S. Champ Bobby Lashley, and making his return to the ring after months away due to injury, SmackDown’s Animal, Batista. The competitors in the match will all be involved with one another in some form at July 23’s Great American Bash, and tonight will serve as the ultimate opportunity to get a leg up heading into the pay-per-view. WWE.com caught up with the participants at the American Airlines Center early this afternoon.
SmackDown’s reigning royalty, King Booker, sees Saturday Night’s Main Event as an opportunity to further the greatness that he believes he has already achieved.
“Saturday Night’s Main Event, some of the greatest wrestlers of all time have been apart of this event,” said the King. “Hulk Hogan took this event to a whole new level. And now, tonight, Saturday Night’s Main Event will be graced by the presence of a King, a King as great as King Booker.”
Former World Heavyweight Champion Batista will be making his first in-ring appearance since suffering a devastating injury at the hands of Mark Henry, one which left him out of action for months. When WWE.com caught up with Batista this afternoon, a focused Animal was a man of few words.
“I’m very excited,” Batista said in a serious tone. “I’m glad to be back, and the fact that I’ll be facing the very man who put me on the shelf in the first place, well that makes it even better.”
While he may have little to say this afternoon, Batista had plenty to say last evening on SmackDown. The Animal gave Mark Henry a warning heading into Saturday Night’s Main Event, and The Great American Bash which follows in just eight days.
“If Mark Henry thinks what I did to him two weeks ago was payback, that was nothing,” said the Animal. “It was a small taste, just a sample, of what I am going to be doing to him.”
The World’s Strongest Man was not intimidated when WWE.com spoke with him upon his arrival to the American Airlines Center. SmackDown’s current bully offered fighting words.
“Batista is in for a rude awakening,” yelled Henry. “He’s going to get everything he so rightfully deserves. And what he deserves is an ass whooping, and that’s just what he’s gonna get.”
Meanwhile, King Booker and Mark Henry’s partner, Finlay, who captured the United States Championship from Lashley last night on SmackDown, offered a few fighting words of his own.
“I’ve always said I don’t need to team up with anybody, but if I have to, who better than a King, and The World’s Strongest Man?” said the fighting Irishman. “Tonight, we are going to walk all over those idiots.”
Bobby Lashley, who had his United States Championship stolen from him by Finlay last night, has always let his actions speak louder than words. This afternoon, Lashley instead chose to reflect on the magnitude of tonight’s show.
“Being on Saturday Night’s Main Event has always meant you are one of the top guys in this business,” said the hard hitting newcomer. “I’ve trained my ass off in the time that I’ve been here, and it’s an honor to be rewarded with a match like this.”
World Champion Rey Mysterio, who will defend his gold against King Booker at The Great American Bash, plans to use tonight as an opportunity to showcase his skills, and show King Booker that he is not to be taken lightly.
“I’ve known Booker for a long time now,” said the Champ. “He thinks he can take advantage of me, and take me lightly, but I don’t have any doubt that after tonight, he will see who the real King is.”
The underdog Champion is also excited to be back on primetime.
“The last time we were on Saturday Night, we had a great show and it was an awesome opportunity for me to highlight what I do in the ring. Now, it’s come back and I’m just as excited. I can’t wait.”