AJ Styles defeated Kevin Owens tonight at Madison Square Garden to win the United States Title. Styles won a battle royal Tuesday on Smackdown to become the new #1 contender for the belt. “The Phenomenal One” has held the WWE Title but he has never held the United States title until tonight.
— WWE (@WWE) July 8, 2017
The title change is surprising, but it’s not. Vince McMahon always likes to pull out all of the stops when he goes to MSG since it’s where he and his father ran shows for over 50 years. Owens had done a great job carrying the United States title and seemed to enjoy his time as “The New Face of America”. “KO” won the belt from Chris Jericho in May.
Owens and Styles will likely continue their feud until Summerslam. Summerslam is the second biggest show of the year and the WWE usually loads the card with big matches. Owens vs Styles definitely is worthy of being on the show in August.
We will have to tune in Tuesday to Smackdown to see if the WWE airs any of the footage of the match. It’s rare the WWE has title changes at Live Events but Madison Square Garden is the exception to the rule. In 1994 Diesel (Kevin Nash) defeated Bob Backland at a house show and went on to become the face of the company for several years. I don’t think Styles will have the belt for a long time. He’s a guy who is a top tier player on the Blue Brand. Styles doesn’t need to have a belt to be taken seriously by the fans. I would imagine by the end of the year we will see back in the title picture against Jinder Mahal, Randy Orton, John Cena, or whoever has the belt.