The most hyped edition of WWE SmackDown Live in quite some time kicked off with a bang on Tuesday night.
This was the fourth high-profile match involving Styles and Owens in less than two weeks. Styles defeated Owens at a Madison Square Garden live event to capture the U.S. title on July. That was followed by Owens (perhaps by botched-finish) defeating Styles to win the belt back at WWE Battleground. The pair followed that up two nights later on last week's SmackDown in a triple threat match with Chris Jericho that saw Styles recapture the championship.
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Did the pair continue playing hot potato with the U.S. title on Tuesday night?
Styles retained the belt in controversial fashion after a tremendous bout that went over 15 minutes and had the Cleveland crowd going crazy. Highlights included a Flying Forearm by Styles to the outside and Kevin Owens escaping the Calf Crusher on two occasions (a headbutt the first time and a rope break the second).
After the referee was inadvertently taken out with a shot to the eye, a distracted Kevin Owens went for the Pop-Up Powerbomb. Styles reversed it into a roll-up for the pinfall. Owens clearly had his shoulder up, but WWE played the finish up as the referee being unable to see that Owens obviously escaped the pin.
After the match, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan were shown examining the referee's eyes backstage and acknowledging the messed up finish. A furious Owens came in and argued with McMahon. McMahon said he would be giving Owens a rematch at SummerSlam. Owens pleaded that he wanted a referee that wouldn't get taken out next time. Bryan suggested McMahon referee the bout and McMahon confirmed it.