What’s the story?
Back in July at Battleground, a rather fishy finish saw AJ Styles lose the US title to Kevin Owens, only to then regain the belt just two nights later on SmackDown. Something seemed a little off, and according to Chris Jericho, the match wasn’t meant to end that way.
In a recent interview with Ring Rust Radio, Jericho confirmed that “they legitimately screwed up” and that Styles was seemingly supposed to retain the title at Battleground. You can check out the segment from the interview here.
In case you didn’t know…
In their US title match at Battleground, Kevin Owens defeated AJ Styles in a totally flat finish that suggested something was awry. Styles had locked in a crossface, only for Owens to counter into a pin, which ended up bringing him a surprise 3-count after Styles seemingly forgot to get the shoulder up.
Going in depth
The strangest part about that finish at Battleground was the idea that Styles, a 19-year-veteran and the company’s best worker, would somehow forget about something as simple as getting his shoulder up for a near fall.
Even so, if Jericho is to be believed — and he’s usually a pretty reliable source — this one really was a botch, although there’s no word on whether it was Styles’ fault, Owens’ fault, the referee’s fault, or possibly a combination of all three.
Now that Styles has regained the US title, there aren’t really any more steps that need to be taken. The feud with Owens was well and truly ended on SmackDown a few weeks back, so it's onwards and upwards to a new challenger for Styles and the US title scene.
Like Jericho said, something these things happen. And apparently, they can happen to even the very best talent in the company. Still no word on who exactly slipped up, whether it was Styles or the referee or the both of them, but given the way they straightened things out, in the end, does it really matter at this point?
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