AJ Styles defeated Ricochet for the second consecutive pay-per-view Sunday at WWE SummerSlam to retain the United States Championship.
The match more than lived up to the hype as the two stars dazzled the crowd at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
Much like when Styles won the title at Extreme Rules last month, Ricochet was unable to overcome the numbers game. Eventually, the champion caught him coming off the top rope and countered it into a Styles Clash for the win.
The Phenomenal One then further underlined his heel credentials by instructing Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to attack The One and Only after his win.
Sunday's bout was a rematch, with Ricochet looking to regain the belt after dropping it to Styles due, in part, to interference from Gallows and Anderson.
Rather than being handed another title opportunity, Ricochet had to earn it. Two weeks ago on Raw, he outlasted Andrade, Rey Mysterio, Sami Zayn and Cesaro to become the No. 1 contender for the U.S. Championship.
The rivalry between Styles and Ricochet began in a somewhat friendly manner when the former challenged the latter to a match after The One and Only had beaten Samoa Joe for the title.
Ricochet accepted, and Styles went on to beat him in a non-title bout. That set the stage for a United States Championship match on Raw. The Phenomenal One seemed to win, but his opponent's foot was under the ropes, which allowed the match to be restarted and the champion to retain.
After the loss, Styles attacked Ricochet at the behest of Gallows and Anderson, which led to the formation of The OC stable.
With Gallows and Anderson backing him, Styles was brazen in his pursuit of the U.S. title. The trio attacked Ricochet on a couple of occasions before Extreme Rules, and Styles then beat him at the PPV to become a three-time U.S. champion.
On the heels of Ricochet winning the gauntlet match, the next chapter of the feud between Styles and Ricochet was set to be written at SummerSlam.
Although they already faced each other on multiple occasions before Sunday, there was still plenty of excitement surrounding their match since they are regarded as two of the best in-ring workers in the world.
Styles and Ricochet had an opportunity to steal the show at SummerSlam, and there is little doubt they again put on one of the best matches on the entire card.
A continuation of their rivalry is possible, but with Styles retaining, he may now be set to move into a feud with someone else for the remainder of the summer and into the fall.
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