CHARLOTTE, N.C. — That old adage of the will beating the skill comes to mind for Seth Rollins, who successfully defended his Universal Title against Braun Strowman through a series of events that could be described as something close to miraculous. If not for an injury to The Monster Among Men and a superhuman array of finishing maneuvers, Rollins might have lost both his titles in one night. But that would do a disservice to the effort shown by champion and challenger — Strowman was right there with Rollins the whole night and lost by the skin of his teeth — as well as downplay the magnitude of what was shaping up to be the defining test of Rollins’ reign … at least until The Fiend showed up to give the champ a terrifying preview of the next chapter.

Seth Rollins drills Braun Strowman with three straight Stomps: Clash of Champions 2019 (WWE Network Exclusive)

The Monster Among Men managed to kick out three straight times after a series of Stomps from The Beastslayer in a matchup for the Universal Championship.

Before that, however, what the WWE Universe got was a furious battle of wills between two men who had been Raw Tag Team Champions together just three hours earlier. Frustration over the title loss led Strowman to show no mercy against The Beastslayer, and the big man’s merciless press forced Rollins to dig deep into the wells of his conditioning, pain tolerance and heart. Strowman’s big maneuver of the match — a supersized Frog Splash — was both a display of how far he was willing to go and also the big swing that doomed him, as the impact tweaked his knee and set him up for what would be the match’s most impressive stretch by both men.

With Strowman hobbled, Rollins seized his moment and executed a Stomp in an attempt to win the match. Strowman kicked out at one. So Rollins tried again, this time netting two. Surely a third Stomp would do the trick, and it did, to a degree — this one got two and a half. And when Rollins lined his foe up for Number Four, Strowman sprang to his feet, hoisting Rollins onto his shoulder for a Running Powerslam. Unfortunately for him, his injured knee buckled, and The Beastslayer was able to wrestle his gigantic foe into a Pedigree, which he followed up instantly with Stomp Number Four.

That was enough to win the match, but thanks to the arrival of Bray Wyatt, the champ still went out of Clash of Champions on his back. The Fiend made his appearance at the top of the ramp as Rollins was striking his victory pose, and dropped The Beastslayer with Sister Abigail before mangling him with the Mandible Claw. As Clash of Champions went off the air to the sounds of Wyatt’s laugh, Rollins’ predicament became crystal clear. To win his title, he slayed a Beast. He took down a Monster to keep it. Now, it looks like he’ll have to deny a Fiend.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — That old adage of the will beating the skill comes to mind for Seth Rollins, who successfully defended his Universal Title against Braun Strowman through a series of events that could be described as something close to miraculous. If not for an injury to The Monster Among Men and a superhuman array of finishing maneuvers, Rollins might have lost both his titles in one night. But that would do a disservice to the effort shown by champion and challenger — Strowman was right there with Rollins the whole night and lost by the skin of his teeth — as well as downplay the magnitude of what was shaping up to be the defining test of Rollins’ reign … at least until The Fiend showed up to give the champ a terrifying preview of the next chapter.

Seth Rollins drills Braun Strowman with three straight Stomps: Clash of Champions 2019 (WWE Network Exclusive)

The Monster Among Men managed to kick out three straight times after a series of Stomps from The Beastslayer in a matchup for the Universal Championship.

Before that, however, what the WWE Universe got was a furious battle of wills between two men who had been Raw Tag Team Champions together just three hours earlier. Frustration over the title loss led Strowman to show no mercy against The Beastslayer, and the big man’s merciless press forced Rollins to dig deep into the wells of his conditioning, pain tolerance and heart. Strowman’s big maneuver of the match — a supersized Frog Splash — was both a display of how far he was willing to go and also the big swing that doomed him, as the impact tweaked his knee and set him up for what would be the match’s most impressive stretch by both men.

With Strowman hobbled, Rollins seized his moment and executed a Stomp in an attempt to win the match. Strowman kicked out at one. So Rollins tried again, this time netting two. Surely a third Stomp would do the trick, and it did, to a degree — this one got two and a half. And when Rollins lined his foe up for Number Four, Strowman sprang to his feet, hoisting Rollins onto his shoulder for a Running Powerslam. Unfortunately for him, his injured knee buckled, and The Beastslayer was able to wrestle his gigantic foe into a Pedigree, which he followed up instantly with Stomp Number Four.

That was enough to win the match, but thanks to the arrival of Bray Wyatt, the champ still went out of Clash of Champions on his back. The Fiend made his appearance at the top of the ramp as Rollins was striking his victory pose, and dropped The Beastslayer with Sister Abigail before mangling him with the Mandible Claw. As Clash of Champions went off the air to the sounds of Wyatt’s laugh, Rollins’ predicament became crystal clear. To win his title, he slayed a Beast. He took down a Monster to keep it. Now, it looks like he’ll have to deny a Fiend.