As seen on last night’s episode of SmackDown Live, AJ Styles became a two-time WWE Champion when he defeated Jinder Mahal in the main event to capture the title. The event was pre-taped several hours in advance in Manchester before airing in its usual time slot on USA Network.
Per a report from Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer Radio, someone from India contacted him several months before and indicated that WWE was advertising Jinder Mahal as a two-time WWE Champion. Dave Meltzer responded by saying the ad played no factor in what happened last night due to the fact that the decision to change the title-holder was made only a week ago.
Meltzer also revealed that those who needed to know about the title change only found out about it this week, and noted he himself only found out about it the morning of SmackDown. He also reported that the original plan was for “The Modern Day Maharaja” to “absolutely” head into India as WWE Champion, and there’s still a chance that can happen as Styles still isn’t advertised to be a part of the tour.
All signs point to this title change being a last-second decision from WWE, as Styles was initially advertised to face off against Rusev for a spot on SmackDown’s Survivor Series team.
Discussion: Do you think WWE will put the title back on Mahal in time for the India tour? And how long will “The Phenomenal One’s” title reign last?