As we noted earlier on the site, the smart money betting odds came in for the WWE Battleground pay-per-view event shortly before the show went on the air. AJ Styles was heavily favored to defeat Kevin Owens to retain the United States Championship. Styles was a -4950 favorite when the pay-per-view started while Owens was a +1650 underdog. As seen at the event, Owens ended up defeating Styles to win the US Championship for the third time.
The finish of the match saw Owens roll Styles over while in the crossface submission hold as the referee, who was groggy after taking a bump, counted the pinfall. Fans in attendance noted on social media that Styles was in the ring when the Jinder Mahal – Singh Brothers segment took place backstage and he also knocked over a ring step.
As a result of the odd finish, there was some speculation that Styles might not have gotten his shoulder up in time and that he may have only heard the referee count twice. Referees are instructed to call the match like a shoot, which would have resulted in the three count and ultimately the championship change.
Bryan Alvarez noted on Wrestling Observer Live that the correct Superstar ended up winning the match, but the finish was changed after the match had started. Alvarez would go onto say that the finish was changed in the middle of the match and not at the end.
We have hearc that things were in chaos backstage and that Owens and Styles had to come up with a new finish on the fly and that is likely the reason why things got awkward towards the end of the match.