AJ Styles made Samoa Joe tap out to the Calf Crusher in a match with no disqualifications or count-outs Saturday to retain the WWE Championship at Super Show-Down in Melbourne, Australia.
The latest match between the pair was the third in a series of championship matches that began at SummerSlam in August.
The Samoan Submission Machine prevailed in the first meeting, but he did not win the title since his victory came by way of disqualification.
The champion lost his cool at SummerSlam after Joe got on the mic multiple times to taunt Styles' wife and daughter, which is something he has done throughout their rivalry.
The DQ finish led to a rematch at Hell in a Cell, and while The Phenomenal One managed to retain, it didn't come without controversy.
When Joe locked Styles into the Coquina Clutch, the WWE champion managed to roll backward and get his opponent into a pinning combination.
The referee counted to three and awarded the win to Styles, but Joe was beside himself and claimed The Phenomenal One had submitted.
After reviewing the replay, Styles could clearly be seen tapping after the referee counted to two, which meant Joe should have been awarded the win and the title.
The decision was final, however, and Styles was still the WWE champion despite Joe's protests.
Because of the manner in which the match at Hell in a Cell finished, SmackDown Live general manager Paige agreed to give Joe another shot at the title Down Under.
After narrowly escaping Hell in a Cell with the title in tow, Styles entered Super Show-Down as the owner of a championship reign that was approaching one year in length.
Conversely, Joe had never held a title on the main roster, although he is a two-time NXT champion and one of the most dominant Superstars in the entire company.
He had come close to winning gold on the main roster on several occasions, but Super Show-Down arguably gave him his best opportunity yet given the set of rules—or lack thereof—he had to abide by.
Despite the stipulation seemingly acting in Joe's favor, Styles was victorious Saturday and continued one of the most impressive WWE Championship reigns in recent memory.
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