WWE Survivor Series 2017: Are We Overlooking A Dream Match?

AJ Styles

Somehow, the Jinder Mahal title reign on Smackdown has made almost the entire online wrestling fandom cynical and unenthused over the WWE Championship situation and I’m somewhat in the same boat. I’m all for new faces getting a chance to shine and waiting for something questionable on the surface to unfold before getting into criticisms, but this current situation has remained baffling since it occurred just over five months ago. Yes, we’ve endured Jinder Mahal’s title reign for close to half the year. It’s sentences like this that were unthinkable six months ago.

Without going into the weak matches, uninspiring promos, heatless feuds, and “the Indian market” criticism, Jinder is now ostensibly gearing up to face Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series in what many are already writing off as a wasted appearance from The Beast. Either Brock destroys Jinder and only worsens the legitimacy of the WWE Championship or WWE thinks they’ve surprised us when they have Jinder sneak a thoroughly unconvincing and contrived ‘victory’. Even worse is the outcome if that victory propels him through the Rumble and perhaps even to Wrestlemania itself with a JBL type reign that shows no signs of maturing as that one did. There is, unfortunately, no excitement to be had there, barring Jinder suddenly and inexplicably becoming excellent in some fashion he’s yet to show.

And yet, I’m wondering if we’ve simply overlooked the obvious. After Jinder defeated Randy Orton and then thoroughly demoralised a large section of fans by consecutively fending off Shinsuke Nakamura, there was a collective resignation that this wasn’t about to end soon, particularly so if it didn’t end against The King Of Strong Style. Jinder’s last title defense against Nakamura was devoid of interest as fans simply lost hope that WWE was invested in revitalising the championship at the cost of Jinder’s reign. The lack of crowd noise in that match was palpable and when Jinder beat Shinsuke as close to clean as he’s beaten anybody it was resignation instead of anything positive that the result received.

Jumping ahead to the current landscape and Jinder has gone ahead and challenged Brock Lesnar, with Brock and Paul Heyman taking the appropriate step and summarily mocking Jinder for his hubris and overconfidence. It at least gives the situation some viability for fans in that someone in the WWE ecosystem sees what a section of the fans see. We’ll see Jinder’s response to being overlooked this week on Smackdown, but the other wrinkle that potentially leads us to the dream match in question is right there as well. Due to the apathy and resignation of the fanbase over Jinder’s title reign, people are somehow overlooking the fact the WWE could be positioning AJ Styles to take the title from Jinder before Survivor Series. Similarly to how his insertion onto the last Raw PPV had people salivating over the match, the implications of an AJ Styles versus Brock Lesnar match are appropriately massive.

Brock Lesnar

AJ Styles is fighting the second Singh brother Samir this week on Smackdown and with a shade under three weeks until the actual PPV, there is plenty of time for AJ to defeat the Singhs, take the title off of Jinder, and fend off his automatic rematch. Now, Brock and Paul would have to go from not caring about their opponent to perhaps combating the one guy who can match Brock for sheer physical attributes, albeit in almost precisely the opposite categories.

I don’t need to tell wrestling fans how potentially good an AJ Styles match against Brock Lesnar can be, nor help them imagine the boost such a title change would have to people’s flagging interest in Smackdown, but with the potential match seemingly going completely under the radar, it warranted emphasising. If people think the title change is unlikely to happen due to the WWE’s apparent rigidity in having Jinder hold the gold during the India tour in December, there would be near as much interest in Jinder challenging for the gold as there would be in him statically holding it. He could even win it back after Survivor Series and have AJ chase him all through the tour, just give us the Lesnar match.

Maybe wishful thinking or outright rose-coloured glasses half full of optimism, but as a fan, I can hold out hope that WWE sees this as an unmissable opportunity.

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