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SAN JOSE, Calif. — Samoa Joe nearly caused Seth Rollins to miss his second straight WrestleMania by tearing the MCL in his right knee weeks before The Show of Shows. At WWE Payback, though, Rollins battled to earn his redemption, defeating Joe with a quick roll-up.
It was just weeks ago when Rollins fought to recover before prevailing against Triple H at WrestleMania. After slaying The King of Kings, The Architect turned his attention to the man who nearly cost him everything: Samoa Joe.
The Kingslayer started the match with a fast-and-furious attack, taking every risk to knock down Joe. But his formidable opponent only needed one shot at Rollins’ knee to turn the showdown 180-degrees. From there, the bout became an exercise in punishment, as Joe twisted and smashed Rollins’ ailing knee just like a lion would toy with a gazelle.
The damage lingered with Rollins for the rest of the match, as every move of offense or defense resulted in him writhing in pain. The Kingslayer fought through the agony, though, flying halfway across the ring for a crushing Frog Splash.
The hard-hitting Samoan tried to suck the life out of Rollins with a sleeper hold and looked for one more maneuver to finish him off, but The Kingslayer suddenly countered with a roll-up for the three-count.
Rollins had to feel vindicated with the victory, but as he hobbled to the back, it was clear he’d be feeling the effects of this battle for a while.