Sometimes wrestling matches don’t go as planned. Apparently, that was the case with the United States Championship match between AJ Styles and Kevin Owens at the Battleground pay-per-view earlier this summer, according to Chris Jericho.
Owens defeated Styles in strange fashion as referee Brian Nguyen counted a pinfall as Styles had his opponent locked in a submission. This led to speculation that Owens’ victory was not scripted and was what those in the wrestling industry refer to as a “botched finish.”
Jericho, who returned for a one-off appearance the following Tuesday on SmackDown, told Busted Open Radio that he took the pin to put the belt back on Styles as a correction for the accidental outcome at the pay-per-view.
“The idea was for me to work with AJ on Tuesday, and do nothing with Kevin. And then the match happened on the Sunday and they legitimately screwed it up, it happens sometimes – the finish didn’t work… whatever happened.
And then there’s all these stories… no, there was never [an emergency phone call from WWE] – I was just gonna be there to play Clint Bobski [during filming of the ‘second tape’ of Southpaw Regional Wrestling] and they’re like, well, put me on the show. That’s why they did the Triple Threat, because they had to get the belt back on AJ because of the screw-up on the weekend.”
So that clears up the confusion as to why WWE hot potatoed the title between Styles and Owens. Now if only we can figure out when to we’ll get another full-time Jericho return, then our questions will all be answered.