In the professional wrestling landscape, you typically will see a title change occur at either the weekly show or on a pay-per-view. It is very rare for a title to change hands at a house show, but the WWE pulled it off.
On Friday, AJ Styles was set to face Kevin Owens for the United States title at Madison Square Garden in New York City. For whatever reason, the WWE booked Kevin Owens to drop the belt to AJ Styles in a surprise way. Just to note, the last time a title changed hands in the WWE was when Nakamura beat Samoa Joe for the NXT title at a house show in Japan. The last time it was done on the main roster, you need to go back to 2012 when Primo and Epico beat Air Boom for the Tag titles at a WWE live event in California.
The win for AJ did send shock waves through the WWE universe and the reason behind it, could make it more interesting. According to Cageside Seats, the WWE is planning on doing an AJ Styles DVD that is set to release in 2018 and the company wanted to be able to use this moment in the upcoming project. Due to Styles winning the belt, the already announced match they were set to have at Battleground won’t be happening.
Personally, I am a fan of the WWE doing this from time to time. It adds the unpredictability factor into it and it will push for fans to attend more events. The reason for this is simple, you don’t know what will happen if you attend a house show. I also feel that in order to do this the right way, you need to be in the right venue. I don’t think many people remember when Primo and Epico won, but I am beyond certain that they will remember when AJ Styles won the belt.
In case you missed the historical title change, here is a clip of that match from YouTube: