WWE News: What happened when SmackDown Live went off the air?
AJ Styles put his title on the line against a former WWE Champion after SmackDown Live
What's the story?
This week's episode of SmackDown Live saw the Triple Threat Match that was for Fastlane, between Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens and AJ Styles, become a Fatal Fiveway Match.
After SmackDown Live and 205 Live went off the air, however, the live audience saw AJ Styles defend the WWE Championship in a bout against a former WWE Champion, Jinder Mahal.
In case you didn't know...
This week's SmackDown Live saw Jinder Mahal interrupt the United States Open Challenge Match that was to take place between Bobby Roode and Randy Orton before it had started, and stand tall at the end of the segment after laying them out. Jinder had been the WWE Champion for most of 2017 and lost the title to AJ Styles late in the year. Since then he has been unsuccessful in his attempts to regain the Championship and has slightly faded from the title picture.
The WWE Championship bout at Fastlane also became a Fatal Fiveway Match, after both Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were consecutively unsuccessful in their matches against Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler.
The heart of the matter
Styles did not feature on this week's broadcast of SmackDown Live, despite being in attendance. The show established the stipulations of the match that he would have to be a part of at Fastlane, with qualifying matches for the WWE Championship Match at that pay-per-view taking place.
Though he did not feature on the show, after 205 Live went off the air, Styles took part in the Dark Main Event Match for the Live audience. He took on former WWE Champion, Jinder Mahal, and was able to emerge as the victor from the bout. His title was on the line, but this win means that he continues to retain it, having foiled another attempt by Mahal to regain his title.
Styles is set to defend his WWE title at Fastlane in a Fatal Fiveway Match against Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler. If he should retain his title, then he will go on to face Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestlemania.
Mahal is unlikely to retain the WWE Championship anytime soon. WWE's experiment with him was not a success, and he will possibly be feuding for the United States Championship in the future.
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