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Why AJ Styles kept the WWE Championship in feud with Shinsuke Nakamura

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Fans wouldn't have been blamed for feeling slightly depleted heading into Money in the Bank, as it was supposedly the final time AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura would meet for the WWE Championship.

Sadly, their feud leading up to this exciting event failed to live up to the lofty expectations. While fans might want to argue that their Wrestle Kingdom match in New Japan Pro Wrestling set the bar too high, the fact is, WWE didn't really go the extra mile to even match their encounter in Asia.

WWE CHAMPIONSHIP

We've had inconclusive finishes alongside watered-down matches where both men didn't show their actual abilities.

This was the fourth time The King of Strong Style would be taking on The Phenomenal One. Usually, by this time, the face champion has moved on to a newer, more significant threat when the current one tries and fails on multiple occasions to snatch the championship, but this long-winded storyline has continued for months.

With Styles being the last man standing in Chicago, though, it's thought that both men will finally move on to new targets with Styles still holding his WWE Championship and remaining the face of SmackDown LIVE.

Fans haven't been too happy with how Nakamura has been treated in this feud, while some even thought that Styles would finally drop the championship to his rival. 

However, Bryan Alvarez of the Wrestling Observer that the company never had plans for Nakamura - or anyone else for that matter - to dethrone AJ Styles as the WWE Champion, and it's all to do with the blockbuster announcement made on Monday.

ANNOUNCEMENT

Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio after Money in the Bank, Alvarez claimed that a source in WWE confirmed with him that Styles' appearance on the upcoming WWE 2K19 video game is the reason the company didn't want Styles to drop the title.

According to Ringside News, he said: "You already turned him heel, he’s awesome as a heel [Nakamura]. Like do it [put the title on him], but they didn’t do it.

"It turns out that AJ Styles has been confirmed for the cover of WWE 2K19. That explains why he’s the champion. I was told last night.”

This just shows the real power of video games in 2018.

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All in all, though, it makes complete sense. While it's not great news for Nakamura, even though his booking up to this point suggests he'd benefit from the win, it's not exactly the best of moves to have the cover star drop WWE's biggest prize one day before the official announcement.

Considering the video game itself releases in around October, it's going to be interesting how the WWE books Styles and the championship towards its release.

What do you make of AJ Styles keeping the WWE Championship because of WWE 2K19? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.

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