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WWE United States Champion AJ Styles has not been wrestling as much on Smackdown Live in recent weeks, which has left some fas scratching their heads following what appeared to be Styles resurrecting the “United States Open Challenge”.
According to Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline.com, Styles not wrestling as much on TV is not related to any type of injury. Instead, WWE is intentionally keeping Styles out of the ring and saving him for dark matches. This is being done so that the crowd will stick around for WWE 205 Live, which is an issue WWE has been having since the show’s inception. Often times, the crowd begins to leave the venue immediately following the Smackdown main event, leaving a small audience for 205 Live.
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WWE did the same thing with Shinsuke Nakamura when he debuted on the main roster, and kept him out of the ring on Smackdown until the dark match, so the fans would be more likely to remain in the venue for 205 Live.