AJ Styles Beats Kevin Owens to Retain US Championship at WWE SummerSlam 2017

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2017

Credit: WWE.com

AJ Styles successfully defended the United States Championship against Kevin Owens on Sunday at SummerSlam in a match that saw SmackDown Live commissioner Shane McMahon serve as the special guest referee.

At one point, it appeared Owens had a three-count on Styles, but McMahon was quick to confirm it was only a rather long two-count:

WWE Creative Humor poked fun at McMahon, who briefly got physical with Owens but for the most part just played the referee role:

Despite McMahon clearly siding with Styles, overall the match delivered the goods, and the reaction was mostly positive:

Styles and Owens have traded the title back and forth in recent weeks, but controversy struck a few weeks ago on SmackDown.

KO had a rematch for the United States Championship after losing it to The Phenomenal One the previous week in a Triple Threat match that also included Chris Jericho.

Owens and Styles put on a highly entertaining bout; however, things broke down in the latter stages when Styles ducked a punch and Owens ended up striking referee Mike Chioda in the eye.

Styles then rolled Owens up and Chioda made the three-count, but he couldn't see that KO's shoulder was clearly off the mat due to his impaired vision.

The decision stood, which resulted in Owens going on a tirade backstage and getting in McMahon's face, as seen in this tweet courtesy of WWE Universe:

While Shane and SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan agreed to give Owens a rematch, that wasn't enough for the New Face of America, as he demanded a competent referee as well.

In response to that, Bryan called for Shane to serve as the official at SummerSlam, and the commissioner accepted the challenge.

Styles and Owens have built up a great deal of history with one another in a short period of time.

It started with Owens retaining the U.S. title over Styles at Backlash via count-out. AJ eventually won the strap from KO at a Madison Square Garden live event in New York City; however, his reign was short-lived due to Owens winning it back at Battleground.

Owens dropped the title to Styles just two days later on SmackDown, which set the stage for their controversial rematch a few weeks ago.

Although Styles and Owens have constantly been at odds for weeks, Shane-O-Mac's involvement at SummerSlam added an interesting wrinkle to their latest battle.

As two of the best all-around Superstars in WWE, Styles and Owens have shown themselves to have great chemistry throughout their feud as well.

That was on full display Sunday, but with Styles coming out on top, their rivalry may have reached its conclusion. KO could conceivably have a match against McMahon on the horizon.

       

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