Bittersweet victory for the Animal

By: Brett Hoffman
Written: August 20, 2006

Ever since the emotional January night when he was forced to relinquish the World Heavyweight Championship, Batista has looked forward to one thing: the opportunity to recapture the gold that he never really lost. At SummerSlam, an untimely disqualification of King Booker gave the Animal the victory he wanted, but left him without the championship he so deeply desires. After the match however, a frustrated Animal took out his anger on the WWE monarch with a devastating Batista Bomb.

The Animal came to Boston prepared to take back his gold. His opponent, reigning World Heavyweight Champion King Booker, was equally as prepared for the biggest defense of his young championship reign. Both men dug deep into their arsenals in an effort to pull out the victory at the Biggest Party of the Summer.

Coming into the contest, everyone, Batista included, knew that his majesty had the distinct advantage in experience and technique. In the early going, the champion relied on both to control his eager challenger. But, as Batista told WWE.com in an exclusive interview earlier in the week, the Animal held an overwhelming edge in power and heart, both of which the former World Champion displayed in his courageous attempt to reclaim the proverbial SmackDown throne.

At one point, King Booker appeared to be on the verge of victory as he had Batista positioned for the lethal Scissors Kick, but the challenger showed that he did his homework in the days before SummerSlam, countering the King’s signature move into a high-impact Jackhammer suplex. The maneuver gave Batista the opening he needed to put the champion away, but just as he prepared to lift King Booker for the Batista Bomb, Queen Sharmell interfered. Sharmell ran into the ring to disrupt the action, leaving referee Nick Patrick with no choice but to call for the bell and disqualify the champion.

After the match, a victorious but distraught Batista took out his frustration on the self-proclaimed SmackDown royalty. The Animal put his rival down with a vicious spinebuster and follow-up Batista Bomb to garner a temporary feeling of consolation on a disappointing night.

After the match, a relieved King Booker gave WWE.com a message for his loyal subjects. 

“The benevolent King Booker has prevailed,” said the champion. “Now, to all the peasants: King Booker and his lovely Queen will go back to the SmackDown kingdom with the richest prize in all of sports-entertainment, and we shall rule with an iron fist.”

Batista may have appeared to be the victor, but it was his majesty King Booker, who left the TD BankNorth Garden as the World Heavyweight Champion.

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