Roman Reigns’ injury at the hands of Braun Strowman at Sunday’s WWE Payback left him bloodied and sent to the hospital, although just how badly he was injured remains unclear.
As Fox Sports reports, the Braun Strowman-Roman Reigns grudge match was the highlight of WWE Payback, and the two heels have been nursing bad blood since an earlier nasty incident (more on that in a few paragraphs).
— Roman Reigns (@Wwe_RomanReign) May 1, 2017
Reigns entered the ring already nursing a terrible injury; Fox Sports Wrestling writer Nick Schwartz described him as “in terrible shape and had what was said to be a separated shoulder wrapped in bandages.” Once the opening bell rang, Reigns went for the kill early on, trying and failing to deliver a knockout blow. From there, Strowman took control of the bout.
Eventually, Strowman got Reigns out of the ring and threw him down onto the steel steps. Reigns fought back — one-armed — and at one time managed to get Strowman into a Samoan Drop. Reigns then landed a spear and a few Superman punches, but Strowman clocked Reigns in his injured shoulder, signaling the beginning of the end for Reigns. Strowman then delivered two running powerslams to end the match.
Except it wasn’t over. Outside the ring, Strowman grabbed those very same steel steps and dropped them onto Reigns from above Strowman’s head. Reigns then started coughing up blood.
— RomanReigns.Org (@RomanFansite) May 1, 2017
The bad blood between Reigns (real name Leati Joseph “Joe” Anoaʻi) and Strowman (Adam Scherr) goes back “a few months,” according to Bleacher Report Wrestling writer Mike Chiari. But things between the two got particularly nasty at WrestleMania 33 in April. As Reigns was giving an interview about his victory over The Undertaker, Strowman ambushed Reigns and pushed him off of a loading dock while he was strapped to a stretcher. Then, to add insult to injury, Strowman (who toured around the country doing feats of strength before joining WWE) then went to the ambulance and, with Reigns inside, tipped it over.
— Wrestling 101 (@WWrestling101) May 1, 2017
As WWE officially reported at the time, Reigns suffered cracked ribs, a separated shoulder, and other internal injuries.
At the time, Strowman, ever the heel, showed zero remorse for what, outside of the ring, would be considered felony assault and property damage.
Your yard???? Welcome to my nightmare!!!! #MonsterAmongMen
— Braun Strowman (@BraunStrowman) April 11, 2017
So how serious is Reigns’ most recent injury at the hands of Strowman? At this point, it’s hard to say, for a variety of reasons.
As you are undoubtedly aware (although wrestling fans prefer not to talk about it), just about everything that happens inside and outside the WWE ring is scripted. And while the wrestlers absolutely and unquestionably put their bodies through hell for their sport, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the wrestlers are given free reign to maim and injure each other without consequences (breaking someone’s ribs by dropping steel on them would be considered a crime in most jurisdictions). So it could very well be that the “blood” Reigns was coughing up was just stage blood, and the whole thing could have been an elaborate act.
Or it could very well be that the act got out of both wrestlers’ hands and Reigns truly did get injured. If so, he deserves to be commended for taking one for the team, so to speak.
This is a developing story. More information about Roman Reigns’ injury will be published as it becomes available.
[Featured Image by Manish Swarup/AP Images]