AJ Styles is your new United States Champion.
At a house show in Madison Square Garden, Styles surprised everyone by pinning Kevin Owens to become the new champion. Typically in non-televised WWE shows, titles don't change hands. However, tonight is clearly an exception.
Even though the MSG show was technically a RAW Live Event, WWE managed to sneak this SmackDown match on the card. Needless to say, everyone in an attendance was in shock.
As with anything else in 2017, social media was the first on the story.
On SmackDown this Tuesday, Styles won an Independence Day Battle Royal to become the number one contender for the US Championship. After eliminating Sami Zayn to win, Styles was jumped by then champion Kevin Owens. Styles got the better of the tussle and SmackDown closed with the Phenomenal One holding Owens' title. That image turned out to be quite the omen.
For Styles, tonight marks his first ever United States Championship. The 40-year-old continues to rack up accomplishments in WWE, adding tonight to a long reign with the WWE Championship and multiple clean wins over John Cena. Since debuting a the 2016 Royal Rumble AJ Styles has not only been consistent but one of the best performers in WWE, if not the world.
Kevin Owens and AJ Styles were set for a match at Battleground later this month. While that is likely still the plan, the roles of the combatants have officially reversed. However, it's possible that WWE has pivoted entirely from Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles. SmackDown has a talented and engaging roster that allows for plenty of creative flexibility for WWE decision makers
We'll all know more next Tuesday on SmackDown.
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