There are conflicting reports coming from WWE sources regarding the finish to the AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens match at WWE Battleground. In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer said that the general belief within WWE is that the ending was botched and Styles was supposed to win the match. The referee counted to three because Styles didn’t get his shoulder up. Referees are told to count as a shoot so it’s up to the wrestler to make sure that he is not legitimately counted down.
Backstage, Styles was said to be really unhappy with how things went down. If you go back and watch the match, there was a slight hesitation from the referee just before he counted to three. At first, the belief was that the finish of the match was changed while they were in the ring but it would not make sense if Styles was upset over a botched finish. If there was a change made during the match then the referee, who was wearing an earpiece, would have relayed that information to Styles and Owens before the finish.
There are people in the company that have given conflicting stories on what really happened but the fact that they put the title back on Styles just two days later on Smackdown Live would give credibility to the people saying that the finish was botched. The only reason why I could see Vince McMahon wanting to change the finish at the last minute would be because they confirmed that they could get Jericho for Smackdown and they would want to tell the story of Jericho costing Owens the title. Either way, the word backstage was that Styles was upset.
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