Apparently, Kevin Owens winning the United States Championship back from AJ Styles at Battleground was not the way the match was supposed to finish.
One of the biggest shocks coming out of Sunday night's Battleground pay-per-view was the re-crowning of Kevin Owens as United States Champion. AJ Styles had only won the title a week prior during a Madison Square Garden house show, so it seemed like an odd move to have The Phenomenal One drop it again so soon. On top of that, the finish of the match seemed very fishy, with a less than convincing roll up proving enough to seal the win for Owens. Well, it would seem the conspiracy theories that the finish wasn't supposed to go down that way had some truth to them.
Various reports are now suggesting that the flat ending to Styles and Owens' pay-per-view match on Sunday was not what was planned. Whether it was Vince McMahon changing his mind at the last second or Styles not kicking out in time for the match to carry on, it seems that it has all but been confirmed that something wasn't quite right about the finish to the match.
Dave Meltzer discussed the bout on Wrestling Observer Radio, saying with confidence "that wasn't supposed to be the finish" and that "Styles was supposed to win when the show started." Those reports conflict slightly with fellow pro wrestling journalist Wade Keller who claimed on The Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast that the finish wasn't changed, but the roll up pinfall was botched.
Regardless of whether it was a mistake or a late change, normal service has now been resumed following the triple threat main event on this week's SmackDown Live. Styles got his title rematch at the same time as a returning Chris Jericho, and it was The Phenomenal One leaving with the stars and stripes spangled championship. He did pin Y2J for the win, rather than the champ himself, so there will likely be some backlash from Kevin Owens.
WWE being a live show, things like this are bound to happen. In fact, they probably happen a lot more often than we realize. WWE is never going to come out and admit that either competitor made a mistake, so aside from Styles holding his hand up and admitting he didn't kick out in time, we will likely never know whether that's how the match was supposed to go down or not.