How did AJ Styles end up fighting Brock Lesnar at WWE Survivor Series?

By Dan Gartland
November 16, 2017

The most-anticipated match of this year’s Survivor Series is absolutely Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. WWE Champion AJ Styles. Fans have been clamoring for the Beast Incarnate and The Face That Runs The Place to get in the ring together for a while and now they’ll finally get their wish. But how did we get here?

Last year’s Survivor Series is notable for being the last time Lesnar lost a WWE match, when Goldberg beat him in a fight that lasted less than a minute-and-a-half and left many fans disappointed.

Lesnar got his revenge on Goldberg, though, at WrestleMania 33, winning the Universal Championship belt that Goldberg took off Kevin Owens. He retained the belt in feuds with Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman, including in a Fatal 4-Way against those two and Roman Reigns at SummerSlam. As usual, Lesnar proved nearly impossible to topple. 

The road to Survivor Series was rockier for AJ Styles, though. For a while, it looked like Jinder Mahal would be SmackDown’s representative taking on Lesnar at the brand vs. brand show, and Styles was left without holding any sort of championship after dropping the U.S. title to Baron Corbin on SmackDown in October. But it was still clear that WWE valued Styles as one of its top talents, as evidenced by the decision to have him replace Bray Wyatt at Tables, Ladders and Chairs when Wyatt fell ill. Styles turned in a good match against Finn Bálor at TLC and then set his sights on Jinder Mahal and his WWE Championship. Styles ended up winning the championship during an episode of SmackDown filmed in Manchester, England. 

So that’s where we stand now. The match between the brutish, physical Lesnar and more acrobatic Styles promises to be a good one. What remains to be seen is if this will be a one-off or if they’ll keep the feud going, perhaps through WrestleMania. 

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