If you were one of those fans that were questioning the weird ending to the United States Championship match between Kevin Owens and AJ Styles, then you are not alone. We got a ton of feedback after the show and the only thing that I could think of was that they wanted to do a double pin so that they could set up a rematch for SummerSlam.
On Tuesday morning's Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer had some details on what was planned for that match. About 35 minutes before the show, there was big money on AJ Styles to win the match. As we've noted several times on the site, the big money odds almost always reflect what is going to happen on the show because someone in the company leaks the match finishes to the odds makers.
So, here is what Meltzer said about Styles vs. Owens at Battleground:
"That wasn't supposed to be the finish, that's all I know. I don't know if it was changed during the match. I don't know if it was changed before the match. Styles was supposed to win when the show started. He didn't win. It wasn't like it was a ref screw up or anything like that because they could have gone out there and changed it. There was plenty of time to kick out [of the cradle finish] so it wasn't anything like that. I don't know what the screw up was or if it was a change at the last minute because Vince changed his mind but that was the deal. The finish was not the finish that there was when the show started. The only thing I heard was there was a discussion about the finish that people on the Smackdown crew knew about but they didn't know the details of exactly what happened in the match."
It certainly came off odd to me how there was no replay shown after the pin and the announcers seemed like they didn't know how to react to the finish. If you watch it back, you'll notice that Styles was talking to the referee while Owens was celebrating at ringside. It came off like a botched finish to me but Meltzer says that it likely wasn't a referee screw up.
We'll update this page if we hear more.
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