One Night Stand
Khali’s crowning glory in the ring was the match against Cena at One Night Stand in 2007. The match began with Khali dominating. Cena attempted to duck and move, using his quickness to beat the big man, but Khali blocked the kick, and knocked Cena down with ease. Khali took control of the match, using chops, elbows and clotheslines to keep the Champ down. He dominated for a few minutes before his first slip up, a missed leg drop, gave Cena the chance to get back into the match. The 450lbs of The Great Khali crashing to the mat causes the giant great pain, and Cena pounces on the opportunity with a jumping neck breaker which crashes Khali’s head into the floor. Cena looked in control, but a well placed chop to the face knocked Cena off the top rope and onto the floor. He followed up by smashing Cena’s face into the commentaters monitors, smashing them, and throwing him over the barricade into the crowd.
Cena was bumping like a madman in this, Khali throwing him into all numbers of television equipment. Cena worked his arse off to make this match great, and did really show why he was champion around this time. He attempted an FU onto the concrete floor, but like previous matches, he was unable to lift the Indian Giant. He threw a monitor at Khali’s head, which didn’t even know the giant down. Cena is wondering at this point, what can I do to win this brappledough?
The pair are in amongst the fans at this point, and due to the stipulation of the falls count anywhere match, the pinfall can occur anywhere within the arena. Khali is throwing Cena around the building, with punches, chops and well placed throws into camera equipment his main battle strategy. However, a mistimed lunge into a giant box gives Cena some respite, and uses this time to grab a Camera on a crane and throw it Khali, knocking the giant down for the first time in this match. He goes for the pinfall but Khali throws the Champ off of him on the 2 count. Another failed FU by the Champ, who gets Khali up on his shoulders but Khali fights off, and Cena collapses from the immense weight.
For some strange reason there is a giant crane on the stage, which may become extremely relevant in this match (See Chekhov’s Gun). Khali flings Cena onto the base of the crane, with a shattering thud, and put Khali back in control. However, Cena rakes Khali in the eyes, as the Hulkster would do in every match, and lifts him up on his shoulders one final time. This image on Cena, the giant thrust upon his shoulders, is one that I remember so vividly as a child, and one reason why Khali remains in the AllEliteWoodward Hall of Fame. Cena then finally performs the FU, throwing Khali off of the stage and out of site of the crowd. Cena crawls down onto the floor out of site, pins the Giant and gets the three count, retaining his WWE Championship and becoming the first man to pin the Great Khali.
In what was a great match with great selling by Cena, and an aura of terrifying menace by the Punjabi Nightmare, the duo combined incredibly to bring what many thought to be a boring Khali match into one of the best of both men’s careers. It showed great psychology, Cena trying all he can to defeat the undefeatable and finally overcoming the odds thanks to a big Crane.
*** for me, a great match to rewatch every now and then but not a classic.