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Saturday, March 01, 2008

WWE Wrestlemania - SmackDown! vs. RAW Match: SmackDown!'s Batista vs. Raw's Umaga

SmackDown vs. Raw - Which is Better?









SmackDown!'s Batista (left) vs. RAW's Umaga (right) in "SmackDown! vs. RAW Match" @ Wrestlemania 24
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SmackDown or Raw: Which is the superior brand in WWE?

Ever since WWE was separated by brands during the first Draft in 2002, there has been a brewing rivalry between SmackDown and Raw. As the flagship show in WWE, Raw has been considered the superior brand among some observers – a perception that has always irked the SmackDown faithful.

Now, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero officially has laid down the gauntlet to Raw GM William Regal and she wants the question of brand superiority answered once and for all on The Grandest Stage of Them All, WrestleMania XXIV. One representative from Raw and a competitor from SmackDown will battle one-on-one for bragging rights and brand supremacy.

Bulldozer on the Warpath
Regal’s handpicked representative for Raw is Umaga
. Arguably, the Brit couldn’t have chosen a better soldier for this war.

The Samoan Bulldozer has an appetite for destruction and is just salivating at the opportunity to make his mark. This was apparent at No Way Out during Raw’s Elimination Chamber Match, which seemed to re-ignite the primal rage in the monster from Samoa. At times, the other five competitors in the match – who are among WWE’s elite – appeared helpless against the 348-pounder. It took four Superstars and their devastating moves – HBK’s Sweet Chin Music, Y2J’s Codebreaker, Triple H’s Pedigree and Jeff Hardy’s Swanton Bomb from nearly the top of the Chamber – to eliminate Umaga.

Though he came up short in his quest to earn an opportunity at the WWE Title at WrestleMania XXIV, he re-established himself as a dominant force in WWE.

Some observers have perceived Umaga as a simple, primitive monster, but he is nobody’s fool. This monster has held the Intercontinental Championship before and has shown he appreciates gold. Umaga’s dominance in the Elimination Chamber proved how much he wants the WWE Championship. At WrestleMania, on top of establishing Raw as the superior brand, he may want to make an example of the SmackDown Superstar before him and put all World Champions on notice.

The Animal's Roar
It only took Batista a handful of days to come forward to represent the SmackDown brand at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Following Regal's response to Vickie's initial challenge, The Animal made it his personal mission to march into the GM's office and request to be the SmackDown Superstar to engage Umaga - one of Raw's most feared forces. Though hesitant at first due to her own previous issues with Batista, Guerrero agreed to elect the former World Heavyweight Champion - undoubtedly a good business decision.

Loyal to the Friday night brand since the summer of 2005, The Animal has not backed down from a single beast in sports-entertainment - from The Great Khali to Mark Henry. At WrestleMania, Batista adds Umaga to his list of savage opponents and The Animal may just be the Superstar to tame the Samoan Bulldozer.

These two beasts collide at the Biggest Spectacle of Them All with the weight of their respective brands on their meaty shoulders. Locker room pride, bragging rights and - for Batista and Umaga, individually - a chance to instantly propel toward a future World Championship opportunity are all at stake.

Come WrestleMania XXIV, will The Animal thwart the Samoan savage? Or will Batista be one bulldozed brand representative?

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