World Heavyweight Champion…No, Really
Later, Khali moved back to Smackdown and the unthinkable happened. He became, and you are reading this correctly, the World Heavyweight Champion. Edge was the World Heavyweight Champion when Khali was drafted to Smackdown in June, as the Blue Brand’s first draft pick overall, and immediately started in a feud with the former World Heavyweight Champion, Batista. However, Edge unfortunately had to relinquish the title due to injury, and the Championship was held in abeyance (God, remember when they kept saying that?) until a new Champion could be crowned.
In stepped the size 14000 boot of the Humungous Khali. A Battle Royal was held on Smackdown following the vacancy, where 20 Smackdown superstars faced off in an over the top rope match to decide who would be crowned the new World Champion. There were some huge, former World Championship names vying for the Championship, such as the Animal Batista, The Big Red Machine Kane, The Big Show and even former ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero (My money is on Chavito). After a grueling bout, it came down to three men – Kane, Batista and The Great Khali. In the end, the former pair tussled on the ropes, leaving the always opportunistic and sneaky 7 foot tall Indian man to push them out, winning the World Title for the first time in his career.
The match itself is one of WWE’s most viewed matches on youtube, with a total of 137 million people watching the Punjabi Nightmare claim his rightful place at the top of WWE’s Smackdown division, and to rule over all that come across him.
Khali’s reign, if you could say anything, was at least dominant. And the Big Gold belt look fitting when held, albeit upside down, by such an awesome, imposing superstar. The Punjabi Nightmare dominated both Kane and Batista at the Great American Bash to retain the championship, before starting a feud in which the biggest mismatch between wrestlers occurred – The Great Khali vs Rey Mysterio.
Rey Mysterio became number one contender for the World Heavyweight Champion on Sept. 7, 2007. He defeated Chavo Guerrero to become first in line to face Khali, and Khali put him in his place as soon as he could. Mysterio’s diminutive stature, standing at around 5 foot 5 according to WWE, compared to Khali’s 7ft 3 was absolutely laughable. It looked like he was wrestling a child.
At this time, Khali had begun trying out a new finisher – The “Khali Vice Grip”. Khali’s hands were so huge, he could engulf a man’s head with them with ease. Using this special talent of his, he would do just that, and squeeze the life out of any opponents he faced. And none were more gruesome and memorable than the tiny, poppable head of the masked Lucha Legend, Rey Mysterio.
After Rey defeated Chavo in an I Quit match, the same match type that forced Rey out of action against Chavo a year prior, Khali hit the ring, attacking Rey. Then he applied the Vice Grip, enveloping Rey’s head with his hands, blocking out all lights and shrouding him in darkness. Rey flailed and battled but he could not escape out of the hold, and Khali’s squeeze became so intense that blood began to spirt out of Mysterio’s mouth. Blood poured down his body, but Khali did not release the hold until Mysterio’s friend Batista entered the fray and saved the superstar.
Batista would win the World Heavyweight Championship off Khali in a triple threat match featuring Mysterio at Unforgiven that month, ending his reign at 61 days, but the image of Khali crushing Mysterio’s skull like a baseball bat to a pumpkin at Halloween will live on forever.