WWE Champion AJ Styles did not appear as scheduled at last night's SmackDown live event in Odessa, TX. It was announced that Styles was injured at Friday's RAW live event at Madison Square Garden.
At Friday's live event, Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura were scheduled to face Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn. An injury angle was done at the beginning of the show where Owens and Zayn injured Styles. Styles had to be assisted to the back after referees threw up the "X" sign, which typically indicates that immediate attention is needed for a legitimate injury. A fan posted the picture below of Styles limping backstage, being helped by officials.
The scheduled tag match was changed to a singles bout between Nakamura & Owens, which Nakamura won by disqualification after Zayn interfered. Styles' injury appeared to have been an angle, as he came back and made the save for Nakamura. However, he was still limping when he came back to the ring. Styles not appearing at last night's live event in Odessa would suggest that he suffered some sort of legitimate injury sometime during the past week. We have reached out to WWE and will provide an update if we receive it.
Styles is scheduled to defend the WWE Championship against Nakamura at WrestleMania 34 on April 8. This will be the second major show that the two have competed against each other, as Nakamura defended his IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Styles two years ago at Wrestle Kingdom 10. Nakamura was able to best Styles, and Styles has mentioned on several occasions that he wants to avenge the loss.