CHICAGO — Both Roman Reigns and AJ Styles wanted a clean fight when they clashed at WWE Payback. At the first pay-per-view of WWE's New Era, Reigns looked to establish himself as "The Guy," while Styles wanted to show that it was “all about him,” and that he could hang with WWE’s top dog without the aid of his close friends Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson. Though Reigns eventually walked out champion after Spearing The Phenomenal One into the canvas, both Superstars got more than they were expecting in terms of meddling in the Windy City.

Full WWE Payback coverage | Watch the replay on WWE Network

Styles defeated Reigns twice – by count-out and disqualification – but the match was restarted after each of those decisions, as the power struggle between the newly crowned co-heads of Raw, Shane and Stephanie McMahon, played out in front of the WWE Universe.

The Chicago crowd was electrified from the moment The Phenomenal One’s music blared throughout the Allstate Arena. Styles appeared to be at a disadvantage early, as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion powered out of his first attempts to gain the upper hand. The No. 1 contender adjusted his game plan on the fly, targeting the champion’s legs with precise kicks and forcing Reigns to regroup at ringside.

The tenacious Styles goaded the proud champion into chasing him around the ringside area, stomping Reigns into the canvas. However, The Phenomenal One, perhaps a bit too eager, started trading blows with the larger champion and ended up eating a huge shoulder tackle from Reigns. The champion saw an opening and took it, using his strength to his advantage, then turning the challenger inside-out with a clothesline and planting Styles into the canvas with two devastating powerbombs. The WWE World Heavyweight Champion thought that would be enough to  put his challenger away , but Styles countered the Superman Punch, clocking Reigns mid-flight with a kick to the jaw.

That rejuvenated The Phenomenal One, who staggered the champion with a flurry of strikes before muscling Reigns onto his shoulders and slamming him neck-first across his knee. Styles saw an opening and locked on the Calf Crusher, sending Reigns scurrying to the ropes and out of the ring. But The Phenomenal One proved that Reigns had no retreat on the arena floor, springboarding off the ropes and connecting with a Phenomenal Forearm that sent Reigns crashing through the announcers’ table. As the referee counted, Styles tried to drag the weakened champion back into the ring, but the devastated champion slipped out of the challenger’s grasp. Styles beat the count, earning a victory by count-out, to his disappointment, and the WWE Universe’s.

However, Shane McMahon, one of the co-leaders of Monday Night Raw, quickly arrived on the scene. Shane-O-Mac declared that this would not be how championship matches ended in the New Era of WWE, and ordered the match to be restarted, with no count-outs.

Styles jumped at the opportunity and went for a 450 Splash onto Reigns, only to land on the champion’s knees. The Phenomenal One stayed on the attack, going for another top rope strike, but Reigns  accidentially landed a low blow, getting himself  disqualified but again retaining the title.

Stephanie McMahon, looking to  one-up  her brother, emerged to declare that the match would be restarted, this time with no disqualifications. The two combatants took advantage of the lax rules, brawling out into the WWE Universe. Styles looked to gain the upper hand, but when he went for the Phenomenal Forearm back in the ring, Reigns countered with the Superman Punch. After a second Superman Punch, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion looked to put Styles away, only for Gallows & Anderson to drag their friend out of the ring.

With Styles on the floor, Gallows & Anderson ganged up on Reigns and clobbered the champion with the Boot of Doom. It looked all but certain that Styles would capture the title after hitting another Phenomenal Forearm, until Reigns managed to get his foot on the rope and stop the referee’s count. The Usos rushed to ringside and attacked Gallows & Anderson   to even the odds for their cousin. Reigns took out the brawling tag teams with a daredevil dive over the ropes, but soon ate another Phenomenal Forearm for his troubles. Styles got Reigns back in the ring and nearly captured the championship after a springboard 450 Splash, but The Big Dog kicked out at the last possible second. Evading another aerial attack, Reigns finally put Styles away with a thunderous Spear to retain his coveted title.

Inside their office, the McMahon family watched the proceedings, with Mr. McMahon wondering whether Styles should receive a rematch. Brother and sister were united on their response, but when Stephanie suggested a rematch for  Extreme Rules on May 22, Shane interjected that the two should  square off in an Extreme Rules Match for WWE’s top prize.

Back in the ring, a battle-worn Reigns held close the title he worked so tirelessly to capture, as an anything-goes battle with the phenomenal challenger draws closer. Can Reigns prove that he is The Guy when WWE goes extreme in three weeks?

PREVIEW: Reigns and Styles get extreme

CHICAGO — Both Roman Reigns and AJ Styles wanted a clean fight when they clashed at WWE Payback. At the first pay-per-view of WWE's New Era, Reigns looked to establish himself as "The Guy," while Styles wanted to show that it was “all about him,” and that he could hang with WWE’s top dog without the aid of his close friends Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson. Though Reigns eventually walked out champion after Spearing The Phenomenal One into the canvas, both Superstars got more than they were expecting in terms of meddling in the Windy City.

Full WWE Payback coverage | Watch the replay on WWE Network

Styles defeated Reigns twice – by count-out and disqualification – but the match was restarted after each of those decisions, as the power struggle between the newly crowned co-heads of Raw, Shane and Stephanie McMahon, played out in front of the WWE Universe.

The Chicago crowd was electrified from the moment The Phenomenal One’s music blared throughout the Allstate Arena. Styles appeared to be at a disadvantage early, as the WWE World Heavyweight Champion powered out of his first attempts to gain the upper hand. The No. 1 contender adjusted his game plan on the fly, targeting the champion’s legs with precise kicks and forcing Reigns to regroup at ringside.

The tenacious Styles goaded the proud champion into chasing him around the ringside area, stomping Reigns into the canvas. However, The Phenomenal One, perhaps a bit too eager, started trading blows with the larger champion and ended up eating a huge shoulder tackle from Reigns. The champion saw an opening and took it, using his strength to his advantage, then turning the challenger inside-out with a clothesline and planting Styles into the canvas with two devastating powerbombs. The WWE World Heavyweight Champion thought that would be enough to  put his challenger away , but Styles countered the Superman Punch, clocking Reigns mid-flight with a kick to the jaw.

That rejuvenated The Phenomenal One, who staggered the champion with a flurry of strikes before muscling Reigns onto his shoulders and slamming him neck-first across his knee. Styles saw an opening and locked on the Calf Crusher, sending Reigns scurrying to the ropes and out of the ring. But The Phenomenal One proved that Reigns had no retreat on the arena floor, springboarding off the ropes and connecting with a Phenomenal Forearm that sent Reigns crashing through the announcers’ table. As the referee counted, Styles tried to drag the weakened champion back into the ring, but the devastated champion slipped out of the challenger’s grasp. Styles beat the count, earning a victory by count-out, to his disappointment, and the WWE Universe’s.

However, Shane McMahon, one of the co-leaders of Monday Night Raw, quickly arrived on the scene. Shane-O-Mac declared that this would not be how championship matches ended in the New Era of WWE, and ordered the match to be restarted, with no count-outs.

Styles jumped at the opportunity and went for a 450 Splash onto Reigns, only to land on the champion’s knees. The Phenomenal One stayed on the attack, going for another top rope strike, but Reigns  accidentially landed a low blow, getting himself  disqualified but again retaining the title.

Stephanie McMahon, looking to  one-up  her brother, emerged to declare that the match would be restarted, this time with no disqualifications. The two combatants took advantage of the lax rules, brawling out into the WWE Universe. Styles looked to gain the upper hand, but when he went for the Phenomenal Forearm back in the ring, Reigns countered with the Superman Punch. After a second Superman Punch, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion looked to put Styles away, only for Gallows & Anderson to drag their friend out of the ring.

With Styles on the floor, Gallows & Anderson ganged up on Reigns and clobbered the champion with the Boot of Doom. It looked all but certain that Styles would capture the title after hitting another Phenomenal Forearm, until Reigns managed to get his foot on the rope and stop the referee’s count. The Usos rushed to ringside and attacked Gallows & Anderson   to even the odds for their cousin. Reigns took out the brawling tag teams with a daredevil dive over the ropes, but soon ate another Phenomenal Forearm for his troubles. Styles got Reigns back in the ring and nearly captured the championship after a springboard 450 Splash, but The Big Dog kicked out at the last possible second. Evading another aerial attack, Reigns finally put Styles away with a thunderous Spear to retain his coveted title.

Inside their office, the McMahon family watched the proceedings, with Mr. McMahon wondering whether Styles should receive a rematch. Brother and sister were united on their response, but when Stephanie suggested a rematch for  Extreme Rules on May 22, Shane interjected that the two should  square off in an Extreme Rules Match for WWE’s top prize.

Back in the ring, a battle-worn Reigns held close the title he worked so tirelessly to capture, as an anything-goes battle with the phenomenal challenger draws closer. Can Reigns prove that he is The Guy when WWE goes extreme in three weeks?

PREVIEW: Reigns and Styles get extreme