Details have revealed why AJ Styles won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Jinder Mahal. It was a pleasant surprise for many in the WWE Universe when AJ Styles won the WWE Championship in Machester and defeated Jinder Mahal clean in the ring for a three-count. Styles will be on his way to face Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series and almost everyone agrees that this match has a much better big-ticket/marquee feel to it.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that Styles vs. Mahal was originally scheduled for the December 17th Clash of Champions pay-per-view from Boston and not SmackDown Live as it instead took place. Originally, the plan was to have Styles vs. Rusev square off for the right to go to Survivor Series as part of the blue team led by Shane McMahon. Styles was supposed to win that match and become the final member of the SmackDown Live team.
Meanwhile, John Cena was supposed to be the guest referee for the Jinder Mahal vs Lesnar contest.
McMahon made a judgment call the Saturday before SmackDown Live that he was going to completely change the Survivor Series card, feeling that Mahal fighting Lesnar was not enough to attract viewers. This is despite the fact most believed WWE had intended to keep the title on Mahal until after the India live events on Dec. 18, 2017, and Dec. 9, 2017.
Because John Cena is not scheduled to wrestle against either Lesnar or Styles at future events, there was no reason to keep him as the special guest referee, and WWE needed a way to involve him in the pay-per-view. The only reason he was set to be an official in the first place was to set up a future feud with Mahal.
It is rumored that McMahon potentially thought about not giving Styles the title, but at the last minute changed his mind. That could explain why very few people in the company knew about the title change in advance and were not told until around Monday.
As of right now, there are many in the company still not sure if Mahal will win the title back right away or at the events in India.