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What to expect from Jinder Mahal vs AJ Styles

Jul 23, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; WWE wrestler A.J. Styles throws out the first pitch before action between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Milwaukee Brewers at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

On this week’s episode of SmackDown Live, “The Modern Day Maharaja” Jinder Mahal will be defending his WWE Championship against “The Phenomenal” A.J. Styles…Wait, what?

With November 19’s Survivor Series now on the immediate horizon, could the WWE brass be planning for a title swap ahead of the looming pay-per-view? Probably not, but the WWE has certainly caught our attention here at FRS SLAM.

If you remember, over the course of the last few weeks, Styles has been forced to battle it out with Mahal’s cronies, The Singh Brothers. After initially defeating Sunil Singh, Styles was then matched up against Samir Singh on last week’s installment of SmackDown Live. Despite downing both Singh Brothers via pin fall, Styles was ultimately the victim of a brutal attack at the hands of Mahal, setting up what should be the final of three go-rounds against such a trio.

However, what makes this upcoming bout against Mahal interesting is its proximity to Survivor Series.

Because Survivor Series is right around the corner, a changing of the guard in terms of the WWE Championship could alter the upcoming pay-per-view drastically. With Mahal currently slated to battle it out with Monday Night Raw’s Universal Champion in “The Beast Incarnate” Brock Lesnar, he is not in the lineup for the SmackDown Live versus Raw 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match. On the other hand, because of Mahal’s placement atop the SmackDown Live singles division, Styles should be participating in the ever popular elimination match in two weeks.

While Styles could ultimately become the fifth member of the blue team, SmackDown Live’s team currently consists of SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon, “The Viper” Randy Orton, Bobby Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura. Obviously, if Styles were to capture the coveted title ahead of Survivor Series, it would more than likely be him squaring off against Lesnar. However, where would such a turn of events leave Mahal? It is safe to say things could get very, very interesting this week.

Adding to the intrigue, such a match will be taking place across the pond in Manchester, England while the SmackDown Live commissioner could be gearing up to give the fans quite the show come Tuesday evening.

Joe Nocco is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, born and raised in the New York area. Previously a contributor to SB Nation, Football.com and his own website titled Joe Nocco Sports, among others, Nocco has experience covering a variety of sports having specialized in content surrounding the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB. You can follow Nocco at @JoeNoccoFRS on Twitter.

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