We knew heading into Smackdown Live this week Jinder Mahal was going to defend his WWE Championship against AJ Styles. The winner of this match would move on to face Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series. Carmella also happens to be carrying her Money in the Bank Briefcase around. A Championship did indeed change hands on Smackdown Live tonight, read on to find out more.
AJ Styles successfully defeated Jinder Mahal on tonight’s edition of WWE Smackdown Live, which was pre-recorded in the UK. The match took place in the main event of the show, receiving a huge ovation from the live crowd.
Mahal captured the WWE Championship to the surprise of many earlier this year, defeating Randy Orton to achieve the feat. Given that Jinder Mahal had only been rehired by the company not a year earlier – his sudden rise to the top of WWE was a shock to many fans. It goes some way to explaining why many fans haven’t bought into him as WWE Champion
AJ Styles has spent 2017 working hard in the mid-card on Smackdown Live. He successfully captured the WWE United States Championship from Kevin Owens, feuding with the Canadian wrestler for several months. Styles previously held the WWE Championship heading into 2017, losing it to John Cena at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
Styles has spent the last two weeks fighting Jinder’s henchmen, victories that earned him the nod to become number one contender.
Our Take: Thank. You. You have no idea how good it feels to see a worthy Champion at the top of WWE. We’re not against WWE trying new things, but Jinder Mahal has been such a trainwreck of a Champion. Not one single great match to his reign, he’s reduced the WWE Championship to an afterthought on Smackdown Live.
It also gives s the hugely appealing Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles match. That’s quite the upgrade from the proposed Jinder Mahal match.