Shinsuke Nakamura’s feud with AJ Styles was called off early, thanks to a late booking decision by WWE creative. Which, in turn, has cost Cien Almas a feud and potential win over US Champion, Jeff Hardy.
The decision to cut AJ Styles’ feud with Nakamura was a last minute one, Wrestling Standard has learned. And, according to our sources, the original plan for the Jeff Hardy’s upcoming feud wasn’t one featuring Nakamura, but in fact Cien Almas.
After a short feud with Sin Cara, Almas would have moved on to a program with current US Champion Jeff Hardy, where he was likely going to pick up the title.
One source stated that Vince McMahon “loves a foreign heel as US Champion”, additionally saying, “it was going to be Cien but it’ll [now] probably be Nakamura”.
The belief backstage is that Nakamura winning the US title is compensation for him losing out on the WWE Championship, which also wasn’t the original plan.
Nakamura was indeed expected to win the WWE title off Styles for a short period, only to drop it shortly thereafter, but the plan was eventually canned to avoid the title being flip-flopped. The announcement of Styles being the new WWE 2K19 cover star is also said to have been a factor for him not dropping the title in any capacity.
Cien Almas is currently featuring in dark matches before SmackDown Live against Sin Cara, continuing his undefeated streak and dominance on the main roster, seemingly waiting to be put in a new storyline.