AJ Styles won the WWE United States Championship from Kevin Owens during a live event at Madison Square Garden in New York City on this (Friday) evening. The show featured mostly the Raw roster, but some Smackdown stars like Styles, Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura and Dolph Ziggler were in matches too.
Styles, who became the #1 contender to the US Title after winning a battle royal on Smackdown this week, beat Owens with a Phenomenal Forearm followed by a pin. Thanks to reader Anthony Bellucci for sharing this tweet with me showing the move in slow motion followed by the cover and the celebration.
— Anthony (@DMBellucci) July 8, 2017
WWE posted this Instagram photo of Styles and also shared a video from Styles on their Facebook page.
Title changes at live events are very rare. In a different era they were common of course, but not today when there’s so much television. The last time a title change happened on the main roster was in 2012 when Primo & Epico Colon beat Kofi Kingston & Evan Bourne to win the Tag Team Titles. In NXT, Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe each won the NXT Title at live events last year.
Styles was previously scheduled to challenge Owens for the US Title at Battleground on July 23. That match will likely take place as scheduled, but it will be Owens who is the challenger.
There’s no word on if WWE will release a full video of the match or just highlights. Keep an eye on their Youtube channel to find out.
TJR Thoughts: I like it. I’m sure there are some fans bitching about how they wish they could have seen the match or they should have done it on television. I don’t necessarily agree with that. Doing it at MSG is pretty cool and it feels special, so why not? It’s rare and it meant something. Plus, we’re going to get Styles vs. Owens again at Battleground in two weeks anyway, so it’s not like fans are going to be unable to see them work.
The only thing that makes me sad about it is that KO’s great “Face of America” routine may end now and that would be a shame.