INDIANAPOLIS - Two of the most dominant WWE Superstars of this decade – Batista and John Cena – weaved very parallel career paths that ultimately intersected at SummerSlam, and the eagerly anticipated one-on-one confrontation ended with The Animal roaring in victory.

The blockbuster battle more than six years in the making was a match for the ages. When both men first debuted in 2002, perhaps only a few of sports-entertainment’s most erudite maestros could foresee the achievements that awaited Cena and Batista.

From their initial appearances on SmackDown to each man’s respective World Championship triumph at WrestleMania 21 (the first of several for both), The Animal and the Chain Gang Commander would permanently alter the WWE landscape.

Their first-ever singles bout at SummerSlam was no different, as the Biggest Blockbuster of the Summer bore one of the most memorable and iconic collisions for all time. But, like other much lauded SummerSlam showdowns including WWE Hall of Famer Bret “Hit Man” Hart vs. British Bulldog in 1992 and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Undertaker in ’98, only one man could emerge the victor.

Each Superstar familiar with having the distinct strength advantage, the very recent former co-holders of the World Tag Team Titles unleashed a torrent of power moves that would have easily finished many other contenders. They even ventured into the submission realm; Cena locking in the STFU and Batista clinching his mentor Ric Flair’s signature Figure-Four Leglock.

Toe-to-toe they stood until the clash of resilience and raw force came to a climactic close. The Animal earlier recovered from an earth-rattling FU and returned the favor by catching a high-flying Cena mid-air for a modified Batista Bomb. When the Chain Gang Commander mustered the gumption to kick out, The Animal went rabid, into an even fiercer mode.

With that, Batista hoisted his rival for yet another tumultuous powerbomb, covered him and proved himself to be three seconds better than John Cena on this historic night.

With this mammoth win over a fellow Raw Superstar and top contender, The Animal has unquestionably clawed his way back to the World Heavyweight Championship track. Don’t expect, however, to not see Cena pick himself up and climb his way back to the top alongside Batista … potentially for a rematch the entire WWE Universe would clamor to witness.