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Braun Strowman Crushes Roman Reigns at WWE Payback 2017, Sends Him to Hospital

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2017

Photo credit: WWE.com.

Braun Strowman scored the biggest victory of his young career Sunday at WWE Payback, defeating Roman Reigns in a grudge match. 

Reigns hit a Spear and two Superman punches to Strowman, but they weren't enough to keep the behemoth down.

Strowman used a standing triangle choke to wear Reigns down and then hit a running powerslam. Although Reigns kicked out, a second running powerslam kept Reigns down for the three count.

WWE shared a photo of the winner:

WWE @WWE

THIS TIME...it's OVER! @BraunStrowman nails @WWERomanReigns with another #RunningPowerslam to get the victory at #WWEPayback! https://t.co/JXL4J7V36g

Strowman wasn't done, either. He dropped Reigns shoulder-first on the steel steps and then dropped the steps onto Reigns' ribs. WWE showed the aftermath:

WWE @WWE

Was it a big mistake for @WWERomanReigns to return to battle @BraunStrowman here at #WWEPayback? https://t.co/lKNfGn0JIc

Bleacher Report's Chris Mueller was happy to see Strowman victorious:

Chris Mueller @BR_Doctor

Thank god WWE did the right thing by having Strowman win clean in a brutal match. #WWEPayback

The Miami Herald's Scott Fishman and Bleacher Report's Kevin Berge thought Strowman benefited greatly from the result: 

Scott Fishman @smFISHMAN

Braun Strowman defeats Roman Reigns. The man who defeated The Undertaker at #WrestleMania. Big night for Braun Strowman. #WWE #WWEPayback

Kevin Berge @TheBerge_

Roman Reigns put over Braun Strowman like he was truly unstoppable there. Huge win and quality main event. #WWEPayback

Strowman sent out a tweet after the win:

Reigns and Strowman have been at odds for several months, but their rivalry reached a new level a few weeks ago when Reigns was sent away in an ambulance due to a savage attack at the hands of the Monster Among Men.

During an interview regarding his WrestleMania 33 victory over The Undertaker, Reigns was jumped by Strowman and pushed off a loading dock while strapped to a stretcher.

To make matters even worse for the Big Dog, Strowman tipped over an ambulance while Reigns was incapacitated inside.

Following the incident, WWE.com reported Reigns had suffered a separated shoulder, cracked ribs and other internal injuries.

Strowman showed no remorse for putting Reigns on the shelf:

With Reigns off television temporarily, Strowman vowed to run through the entire Raw roster until Big Show stood up to him.

That led to a main event match that ended in a no contest when Strowman superplexed the World's Largest Athlete, causing the ring to implode.

Strowman appeared unstoppable in the weeks leading up to Payback, but he faced a huge challenge in the form of Reigns.

In addition to Reigns handing The Deadman only his second career loss at WrestleMania, he owned a win over Strowman from March's Fastlane pay-per-view.

Strowman had become more dangerous and destructive since then, though, and was the beneficiary of added motivation as well.

On the Raw following WrestleMania, Strowman confronted new Universal champion Brock Lesnar and announced his intention to go after the title.

Lesnar and Paul Heyman also called out Reigns, which turned Sunday's bout into a de facto No. 1 contendership clash.

It seems likely that both Reigns and Strowman will get a shot at the Beast Incarnate eventually, but Strowman may now be the first in line, which elevates him to top heel status on the red brand for the time being.

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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