The following contains major spoilers for the November 7 episode of Smackdown Live.
Fans in attendance at the Smackdown Live taping were able to witness history on Tuesday in Manchester, England. Not only was it historic, though, but it also changed what fans will see at the upcoming Survivor Series pay-per-view.
For the first time ever, the WWE Championship has changed hands outside of North America. AJ Styles defeated Jinder Mahal in the main event of the taping, becoming a two-time WWE Champion in the process. The win dramatically changes the match card at the upcoming Survivor Series pay-per-view, which was set to see Mahal face WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar in a champion vs. champion match to headline the show.
With Styles now reigning as WWE World Champion, he will fill Mahal’s spot as the representative of the blue brand. The title change comes one day after Cesaro and Sheamus defeated Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins on Raw to become WWE Raw Tag Team Champions. That team will now face the Usos in another champion vs. champion match at Survivor Series.
While this is the first time the WWE Championship has changed hands outside of North America, the company’s top title has been switched on another continent before, albeit under a different name. On November 30, 1979, Antonio Inoki won the WWF Heavyweight Championship–renamed that year from the WWWF Heavyweight Championship–after beating Bob Backlund at a live event in Tokyo, Japan.
Inoki vacated the championship a week later and Backlund regained it. In its official title history, WWE does not recognize Inoki’s win. Instead, they view Backlund’s two reigns as one interrupted run as champion.
Previously, Styles held the WWE Championship for 140 days until losing it to John Cena in January at the Royal Rumble. Survivor Series airs on the WWE Network on Sunday, November 19.Tags: games