CHICAGO — In the end, Chicago’s legendary Allstate Arena could not contain all of the animosity between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.

Owens escaped WWE Payback 2016 with a victory Sunday by defeating his longtime rival, but the bout’s final bell failed to prevent a post-match brawl which spilled into the evening’s Intercontinental Title fight. Their encounter came to a close after Owens finished off his opponent with an impactful Pop-up Powerbomb.

While WWE Payback offered them their first official opportunity to go one-on-one in a WWE ring, Zayn and Owens already share a long and contentious history with each other. Carrying over the bad blood from their NXT days, Zayn reintroduced himself to the WWE Universe at Owens’ expense, both by eliminating him from the 2016 Royal Rumble Match and by costing him the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania 32

The two Superstars later disrupted each other’s bids to become the No. 1 Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, which ultimately led to their highly-anticipated encounter in the Second City.

WWE Network: Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens: WWE Payback 2016

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens fight tooth-and-nail at WWE Payback: Courtesy of the award-winning WWE Network.

Their WWE Payback encounter opened with a slugfest, with each Superstar swinging his best hooks until one of them could establish the match’s momentum. Zayn struggled to turn up the tempo on his adversary, who slowed things down with a little help from the ringside environment. Whatever Zayn threw, Owens responded with a maneuver that was a merciless and effective.

Despite mid-match boasts and taunts along the way, Owens struggled mightily to finish off his fellow NXT alum. A well-timed suplex onto the ring ropes failed to conclude with a pinfall for the native of Marieville, Quebec, Canada, as did a running senton, a well-placed forearm or a crushing clothesline. The frustration became palpable, and a diving DDT through the ropes on the ringside floor nearly put the Québécois prizefighter down for good.

However, Owens held on long enough to counter a charging Zayn with a  superkick. He followed that up with a Pop-up Powerbomb which finally secured victory for the former Intercontinental Champion.

After the match, Owens intimidated WWE announcer Byron Saxton into the ring for an impromptu interview, where the match victor stated his next goal to the WWE Universe.

“I’m not done because I beat Sami Zayn and proved I’m the best,” Owens said. “Here’s what I can do: refocus and get back my Intercontinental Championship.”

Owens then invited himself as a guest commentator for the Intercontinental Title Match between reigning champion The Miz and challenger Cesaro. Unfortunately for K.O., his ringside seat situated him in the perfect position for a post-match attack by the now-recovered Zayn.

At WWE Payback 2016, Owens ultimately won the first one-on-one battle in a WWE ring between Zayn and himself. However, the post-match brawl at ringside proved their war is far from over — and may have inserted both Superstars into the Intercontinental Title picture once again.

CHICAGO — In the end, Chicago’s legendary Allstate Arena could not contain all of the animosity between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.

Owens escaped WWE Payback 2016 with a victory Sunday by defeating his longtime rival, but the bout’s final bell failed to prevent a post-match brawl which spilled into the evening’s Intercontinental Title fight. Their encounter came to a close after Owens finished off his opponent with an impactful Pop-up Powerbomb.

While WWE Payback offered them their first official opportunity to go one-on-one in a WWE ring, Zayn and Owens already share a long and contentious history with each other. Carrying over the bad blood from their NXT days, Zayn reintroduced himself to the WWE Universe at Owens’ expense, both by eliminating him from the 2016 Royal Rumble Match and by costing him the Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania 32

The two Superstars later disrupted each other’s bids to become the No. 1 Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, which ultimately led to their highly-anticipated encounter in the Second City.

WWE Network: Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens: WWE Payback 2016

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens fight tooth-and-nail at WWE Payback: Courtesy of the award-winning WWE Network.

Their WWE Payback encounter opened with a slugfest, with each Superstar swinging his best hooks until one of them could establish the match’s momentum. Zayn struggled to turn up the tempo on his adversary, who slowed things down with a little help from the ringside environment. Whatever Zayn threw, Owens responded with a maneuver that was a merciless and effective.

Despite mid-match boasts and taunts along the way, Owens struggled mightily to finish off his fellow NXT alum. A well-timed suplex onto the ring ropes failed to conclude with a pinfall for the native of Marieville, Quebec, Canada, as did a running senton, a well-placed forearm or a crushing clothesline. The frustration became palpable, and a diving DDT through the ropes on the ringside floor nearly put the Québécois prizefighter down for good.

However, Owens held on long enough to counter a charging Zayn with a  superkick. He followed that up with a Pop-up Powerbomb which finally secured victory for the former Intercontinental Champion.

After the match, Owens intimidated WWE announcer Byron Saxton into the ring for an impromptu interview, where the match victor stated his next goal to the WWE Universe.

“I’m not done because I beat Sami Zayn and proved I’m the best,” Owens said. “Here’s what I can do: refocus and get back my Intercontinental Championship.”

Owens then invited himself as a guest commentator for the Intercontinental Title Match between reigning champion The Miz and challenger Cesaro. Unfortunately for K.O., his ringside seat situated him in the perfect position for a post-match attack by the now-recovered Zayn.

At WWE Payback 2016, Owens ultimately won the first one-on-one battle in a WWE ring between Zayn and himself. However, the post-match brawl at ringside proved their war is far from over — and may have inserted both Superstars into the Intercontinental Title picture once again.