Additional notes added by Dave Meltzer
Jinder Mahal’s title will be on the line when WWE comes to the Manchester Arena for next week’s episode of SmackDown.
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WWE announced today that AJ Styles would be challenging for Mahal’s WWE Championship on the show. In a storyline update, Shane McMahon revealed the news on his Twitter account: “Due to @JinderMahal vicious attack on @AJStylesOrg, he will defend the #WWEChampionship against AJ this Tues. in Manchester, UK on #SDLive.”
As part of his program with Mahal, Styles has defeated both Singh Brothers over the last two weeks. Mahal laid out Styles following Styles’ match with Samir Singh on Tuesday.
Mahal vs. Styles was always the planned direction, likely for the final pay-per-view of the year on December 17th in Boston. Their program has already started as the main event on the
SmackDown brand house shows.
Styles had been scheduled to face Rusev in a Survivor Series qualifying match to determine the final member of SmackDown’s men’s division team next week, but whether that will still happen at some point isn’t clear. The Usos defending their tag titles against Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable is also set for SmackDown in Manchester.
Mahal vs. Brock Lesnar and The Usos vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose in non-title champion vs. champion matches are currently scheduled for Survivor Series in Houston on November 19th.