WWE SmackDown results, recap: Massive shocking title change goes down on show
SmackDown normally airs live, but this week's taped show included a huge moment in the main event
In a shocker that will surely reverberate through WWE from now until WrestleMania 34, Jinder Mahal was knocked off his perch on Tuesday in Manchester, England, with AJ Styles becoming the new WWE champion in the show's main event.
The title change is the first for the WWE championship since Mahal beat Randy Orton for the strap on May 21.
Earlier in the night, Mahal referred to Styles as an appetizer ahead of his main course of Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series. Styles later said he would prove he is phenomenal.
The back-and-forth match was high-paced for a Mahal bout and featured solid action throughout with a couple big spots. Styles hit a Phenomenal Forearm outside the ring followed by a 450 splash but was unable to capitalize due to interference from the Singh Brothers, who Styles subsequently tracked down and beat up.
When Styles returned to the ring, Mahal hit him with The Khallas, but Styles was able to break the count with his foot on the bottom rope. Mahal then attempted a Khallas from the top rope, but Styles broke out of it, hit Mahal with a stunner on the top rope and then landed the Phenomenal Forearm to become the new WWE champion.
With the victory, Styles becomes WWE champion for the second time. He first defeated Dean Ambrose for the title on Sept. 11, 2016. Styles is now scheduled to head to Survivor Series to take on universal champion Brock Lesnar in a champion vs. champion non-title match that should be the main event of the show.
As for Mahal, his much-criticized championship reign was longer than many WWE legends and fan favorites including Edge (139 days, four reigns), Eddie Guerrero (133, one), Chris Jericho (98, one) and Daniel Bryan (65, one). A WWE tour of India is planned for December, and it would not be surprising if Mahal wins the title back while overseas.
The Styles victory marks the first time in the history of the WWE championship that it has changed hands outside of North America.
AJ Styles reconquista el WWE Championship: pic.twitter.com/pVOhnk6tnu— MUNDO WWE (@FansWWEUniverse) November 7, 2017
What else happened on SmackDown?
- Shane McMahon and New Day opened the show to brag about Monday night's exploits. McMahon first said he held the Raw authority figures personally responsible for injuring Daniel Bryan, promising to take down Raw general manager Kurt Angle at Survivor Series. When New Day hit the ring, they said they did not intend to have their distraction lead to a title change, but those are the consequences of being "under siege."
- Kofi Kingston def. Sami Zayn via pinfall: This led Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn out to tell McMahon he's not cool and complain about not representing SmackDown at Survivor Series. After Kofi Kingston absolutely tore apart Zayn, McMahon made a match between the two for Zayn to prove his worth. It was a tremendous effort from both, but Kingston kicked out of a Blue Thunder Bomb and hit a surprise cross-body splash for the 1-2-3. Owens attacked Kingston briefly after the match.
- There was another Bludgeon Brothers vignette: It was the same as the rest.
- Randy Orton def. Rusev via pinfall: Just as Rusev was getting the upper hand, Orton struck with an RKO out of nowhere to end Rusev's hopes of joining the Survivor Series team.
- Becky Lynch def. James Ellsworth via submission: Backstage, Ellsworth made a series of sexist comments to Lynch, who brushed him off and promised dominance later in the evening. As Lynch was whipping him in the ring, he first tried to escape and then hugged her to make amends. Lynch locked him in the Dis-Arm-Her. After the match, Carmella superkicked Ellsworth in the face.
- McMahon made a women's championship match for next week between champion Natalya and Charlotte Flair with the winner moving on to Survivor Series.
- Tag Team Championship -- Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin def. The Usos (c) via countout: The Usos stared down their challengers and attacked them before the bell rang. In what appeared to be the midway point in the match, Jey Uso was unable to return to the ring after Gable took out his left knee at ringside. The titles did not change hands.
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