From the WWE Rumor Mill: Original Survivor Series plans for John Cena
There were a number of last minute changes that led to AJ Styles picking up the WWE Championship from Jinder Mahal.
What's the story?
As we still come to terms with AJ Styles picking up the WWE Championship from Jinder Mahal on last week’s edition of SmackDown, the Wrestling Observer has shed some light on what led to the title change.
The report suggests the original plan would have seen a Jinder Mahal-Brock Lesnar bout at Survivor Series with John Cena playing the role of the special referee and costing ‘The Maharaja’ the match.
In case you didn't know...
Jinder Mahal called out Brock Lesnar for a champion vs champion fight at Survivor Series a few weeks ago on SmackDown. And it seemed all set for ‘The Maharaja’ taking on ‘The Beast’ but the title change saw Styles being named as the opponent for Lesnar at the pay-per-view.
Cena, for his part, is still touted as a ‘free-agent’ and was expected to feature at Survivor Series in some capacity.
The heart of the matter
The Wrestling Observer reports that Cena being named the special referee in the Mahal-Lesnar bout was only finalized late last week, post the announcement of the Mahal-Styles match on SmackDown Live.
Cena costing Mahal the match would have led to a feud between ‘The Champ’ and Mahal where Cena would then win the WWE Championship.
However, Vince McMahon changed his mind at the last minute and even the WWE staff were not told about the new change in direction and Styles picking up the title until Monday, just one day before the Mahal-Styles match.
Cena was then placed as the fifth member of the SmackDown Live Survivor Series match against Team RAW and is not expected to face either Styles or Lesnar in the future.
Cena didn’t make an appearance in the last episode of SmackDown but was named as the fifth member by Shane McMahon.
Styles, for his part, has been touring Europe and has been doing his bit by winning his title matches at Live events.
Last minute changes aren’t new in the WWE but this major twist in the Mahal-Cena-Styles storyline certainly has gotten a lot of us thinking. Most of us were sure that Mahal would remain the champion, at least until the India tour which is set to be held in the first week of December.
It would not be a surprise to see Mahal win the title in front of the Indian fans but, for now, he is the only SmackDown star touring while the rest of the roster will be from RAW.
Taking the title off Mahal has certainly worked for the fans as they can rally behind Styles as the champion but it does throw a major doubt on Cena coming back into the running for the WWE title at all.
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