AJ Styles Retains WWE Championship; End Of Jinder Mahal's Push?

The Phenomenal One defeated Mahal at Clash of Champions.

AJ Styles was able to retain his WWE Championship, defeating Jinder Mahal in the main event of Clash of Champions.

Styles won via submission, as one-time champion Mahal tapped out to the Calf Crusher.

This result seems bleak for Jinder, who lost the belt to AJ on a November episode of SmackDown in Manchester, England - the first time the WWE Championship had ever changed hands on UK soil.

Particularly damning is the fact that Styles kicked out of the Khallas, Mahal's finisher, and the move he used to win several matches during his own title reign. This could well spell the end of Jinder's period in the main event scene, the final chapter of a whirlwind push which elevated him from jobber to WWE Champion in a matter of weeks.

Evidence of Mahal's loss of momentum could be seen earlier this month, when he lost clean to Triple H at a live event in India. This, coupled with the fact that he had lost the belt to AJ prior to the India date, prompted many to predict that he would not be winning the title back any time soon.

It was initially believed by many that Mahal was given a championship reign to help woo the potentially massive Indian market, especially in terms of WWE Network subscribers. This was either never the case, or WWE simply changed their minds, as Jinder lost the belt before the live show in New Delhi even occurred.

His next storyline - should this one indeed be over - is unclear. Styles, for his part, looks to be heading into January's Royal Rumble pay per view as WWE Champion. His next opponent is unclear, although a future bout with Shinsuke Nakamura was teased during the men's Money in the Bank ladder match earlier this year.

The pair have previously clashed in New Japan Pro Wrestling, as Nakamura defeated Styles in a Match of the Year 2016 candidate at Wrestle Kingdom 10 - either man's final match for NJPW before defecting to WWE.

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Jack King

Written by Jack King

jack.king@cultaholic.com Twitter: @JackTheJobber