AJ Styles Beating Jinder Mahal for WWE Title Sets Up Dream Match vs Brock Lesnar

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2017

Photo credit: WWE.com.

AJ Styles beat Jinder Mahal to become the new WWE champion on Tuesday's episode of SmackDown Live, presumably setting up a Survivor Series match that has the wrestling world buzzing. 

Styles' victory was announced on WWE.com, as Tuesday's SmackDown was taped in the United Kingdom. WWE later made an official announcement on Twitter:

It was announced in recent weeks that Survivor Series would host a champion versus champion match with WWE champion Mahal taking on Universal champion Brock Lesnar.

While that type of bout would normally be a huge moneymaker for WWE, the apathy toward Mahal and his listless title reign meant the match was somewhat overshadowed by other bouts on the card, including the traditional five-on-five Survivor Series elimination matches.

There was far more intrigue at last year's Survivor Series when Lesnar faced Goldberg, and WWE had a chance to generate legitimate excitement Tuesday on SmackDown.

By having Styles defeat Mahal to set the stage for the Phenomenal One versus The Beast at Survivor Series, WWE did precisely that.

After weeks of Mahal and the Singh Brothers taunting and attacking Styles, SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon gave the Phenomenal One a shot at the WWE Championship less than two weeks before the pay-per-view.

While there wasn't a great deal of belief that Styles would win due to the fact that the build toward the Lesnar versus Mahal had already begun, the possibility of a Lesnar versus Styles match was enough to create genuine interest surrounding Tuesday's match.

There is a relatively short list of true dream matches remaining for the Beast Incarnate, but Styles is undoubtedly on it.

Among those in WWE who have never faced Lesnar before, Styles is one of the biggest names, and it is a virtual guarantee that he will put on a great match with the Universal champ due to his penchant for meshing well with essentially everyone he steps inside the squared circle with.

Mahal may be a better and more realistic opponent for Lesnar from a physique perspective, but the Modern Day Maharaja lacks the in-ring chops needed to hang with The Conquerer.

Even though it may be impossible to believe that Styles could beat Lesnar in a real fight, it is easy to tell a David versus Goliath story that will create an electric enough atmosphere to allow the WWE Universe to look past that.

One example of such a situation involving Lesnar is his SummerSlam 2013 match against CM Punk.

Despite giving up nearly 70 lbs. to Lesnar, Punk pushed him to the limit in a No Disqualification match that stands up as one of the greatest matches in SummerSlam history.

Styles could put on a similar performance, and it will go a long way toward making Survivor Series the spectacle it should be.

WWE's main goal with Mahal as champion was obviously to make headway in the Indian market and prepare for the upcoming tour in India, but it came at the expense of the rest of its worldwide audience.

Rather than continuing down a road that clearly wasn't working, WWE's decision-makers did the right thing by giving Styles the title and setting the stage for a Survivor Series match that could become the stuff of legends.

Lesnar versus Styles is a match that quite possibly could go down in WWE history as an all-time great, and the mere fact that it is now on the table means Survivor Series has a chance to be the best pay-per-view of 2017.

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).


HE'S DONE IT! @AJStylesOrg is your NEW #WWEChampion!!! #AndNew #WWETitle @JinderMahal https://t.co/iYaFNOVf0O