What do changes in The Match Card of WWE Survivor Series 2017 mean?
AJ Styles defeats Jinder Mahal to become New WWE Champion and what do the changes in the Survivor Series match card mean?
The build-up to this year's Survivor Series has been quite a ride. Survivor Series is considered to be one of the Big 4 Pay-Per-Views of the WWE. This year's Survivor Series will take place on November 19, 2017, at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, and will be the 31st event in the Survivor Series chronology.
Right at the Smackdown LIVE show before the TLC Pay-Per-View, the then WWE Champion Jinder Mahal issued a challenge to the WWE Universal Champion, "the Beast Incarnate", Brock Lesnar, to a match at Survivor Series. The RAW that followed TLC, took the hype of the Survivor Series Pay-Per-View a huge step further. Not only did Brock Lesnar accept the challenge, but on the same night, RAW GM Kurt Angle announced a list of matches that would take place at Survivor Series this year, with Superstars of RAW competing against Superstars of Smackdown LIVE. Things got heated on the same night when Smackdown LIVE took RAW "Under Siege"
Ever since then, a lot of speculation has been circling around Survivor Series, especially around the match between Brock Lesnar and Jinder Mahal. Even Paul Heyman launched a scathing promo on "The Modern Day Maharaja", to which Jinder Mahal responded on the following night on Smackdown LIVE. On the next week of RAW, there was even a promotional video of the clash between "The Beast Incarnate" and "The Modern Day Maharaja".
However, after that week's Smackdown LIVE, GM Shane McMahon announced on Twitter that Jinder Mahal would defend his title against AJ Styles on the next episode of Smackdown LIVE. And when he did defend this time, it was the end of the reign of "The Modern Day Maharaja", just two weeks before his scheduled match versus Brock Lesnar.
For the second night in a row, WWE aired a flagship broadcast from the Manchester Arena. And for the second night in a row, a new champion was crowned, causing another significant change to the Survivor Series 2017 card. With just over one week left until the big-four pay-per-view, two of those inter-promotional matches have already been changed, and more change could come as another championship match between Natalya and Charlotte is on deck.
So what does this mean about the whole situation regarding the changes?
One rumour has it that Jinder Mahal has an injured shoulder and the company wanted him fit for the WWE tour of India. Hence, a match against "The Beast Incarnate" would only add further damage to the shoulder and increase the risk of him getting injured for the WWE tour of India.
Another rumour buzzing around was that some fans didn't get a big match hype between Brock Lesnar and Jinder Mahal, and as a result, WWE decided to have to big names in the wrestling business (Brock and AJ Styles) square off in the middle of the ring. While that could make sense, one can look it at the other way too. Fans have been known to boo Roman Reigns every now and then, yet he is considered by the company to be the top dog. So, looking at WWE trying to stop Jinder Mahal's push in such a fashion, may seem a bit strange.
Thirdly, the only other alternative to look at the change in WWE title just two weeks before Survivor Series could be the very same reason Roman Reigns lost the title at WWE Money In The Bank 2016 to Seth Rollins. We, as fans, only hope that is not the reason.
As much as there is a change in the WWE Title, a change in the RAW Tag Team Titles doesn't have that much impact on the card as that of the change in the WWE title, as there was not much of a rivalry promo between the RAW Tag Team Champions and the Smackdown LIVE Tag Team Champions.
However, having Jinder Mahal and Brock Lesnar (via Paul Heyman) launch scathing promos weeks before the Pay-Per-View, and also having a promotional video between the two, makes me wonder why there was a sudden change in the WWE Title now. It is always great to have a match between Brock Lesnar and AJ Styles, but having a promo of another match and then changing a competitor among them, just doesn't feel so right. If the plan was to have Brock Lesnar face AJ Styles, they should've had Jinder lose the title to AJ Styles right before promoting the Main Event of the big four Pay-Per-View.
Anyhow, WWE has been operating for years and have beaten many competitors in its way. As much as we can speculate, the company will always figure out what's best for business and we just have to wait and enjoy what the company has in store for the fans.