PITTSBURGH – For the second time this year, Edge has transformed Pittsburgh into the “Steal City.” Actually, highway robbery might be the best way to describe his heinous actions at Armageddon Sunday night, when he – aided heavily by some shocking outside interference from “Edge” and “Edge” – defeated Batista and Undertaker, and all but stole the World Heavyweight Championship.

Perhaps the Ultimate Opportunist gave our fans in the sold-out Mellon Arena an indication of his plans shortly before his Triple Threat Match against the champion Animal and The Phenom. Inside Vickie Guerrero’s office, while sharing a tender moment with the still-convalescing SmackDown General Manager, he claimed, “Your love gives me the strength of three men.” Based on what transpired as Armageddon came to a close, truer words have never been spoken by the mast manipulator.

In retrospect, some may question if Vickie’s position of authority, rather than her love, helped put this grand plan into effect. Nevertheless, the result proved golden for the Ultimate Opportunist, who for the second time in seven months walked out of the Mellon Arena with the World Heavyweight Title.

Before the “three-meditated” attack, Edge did not look like a man who had firm control of the Triple Threat contest. The only thing going for him was history. Batista had never beaten him with the gold on the line – gold he had secured from Undertaker in this very arena last May, moments after The Phenom endured a grueling Steel Cage stalemate on SmackDown with The Animal, plus a horrific assault from Mark Henry.

Edge had one other factor in his favor: He had Batista and Undertaker constantly battling over which one got to clobber the Rated-R Superstar first. While the champion and The Deadman repeatedly beat the hell out of each other, the Ultimate Opportunist kept his distance outside the ring whenever he could. But when Undertaker’s triangle choke on The Animal threatened to thwart his ultimate plan, a desperate Edge sounded the ring bell, leaving everyone in the arena – Undertaker included – to believe the match had ended. With everyone momentarily distracted, the Rated-R Superstar speared both Phenom and Animal, only to come up short on both pinfalls.

Late in the match, it appeared as if Batista might retain the gold he has defended so valiantly over the months, especially after catching Undertaker in midair with a spinebuster, then spearing Edge out of the ring. Moments later, The Phenom seemed primed to capture his sixth World Title with a chokeslam on The Animal, until he was forced to send an attacking Edge back to the outside floor. Unfortunately, both Superstars were too busy fighting each other to see what our fans inside the Mellon Arena were shocked to notice: There were three Edges writhing on the outside floor.

Both Batista and Undertaker were moments away from ending this unbelievably hard-fought contest, but it was The Deadman who apparently grabbed the final say in the decision with a thunderous Tombstone piledriver. But then Edge – the real one this time – broke up certain victory with a steel chair to Undertaker’s spine, then another across his skull. Just like he had deprived The Phenom of almost-certain victory at Survivor Series, he did so again at Armageddon, pinning the still-prone Animal for the three-count.

The Mellon Arena’s capacity crowd appeared absolutely stunned as Edge, heading back up the ramp with a still-crawling “Edge” and “Edge,” held his fourth World Championship high above his head for everyone to see. Armageddon, the final WWE pay-per-view for 2007, ended with the dawning of a new Rated-R era – and many questions that will surely be asked in the weeks ahead. With SmackDown’s General Manager by his side, who knows how Edge’s title reign will affect the Friday night brand? And what do Batista and Undertaker plan to do about it?

Based on the cold, furious expression on The Deadman’s face after the match, perhaps our fans should ask if they really want to know what he intends to do about the Ultimate Opportunist.

 

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