Jinder Mahal was WWE Champion when matches started to be announced for the big Raw vs. Smackdown Survivor Series. On the October 17 edition of Smackdown, Jinder Mahal was in the ring with the WWE title in his hands, challenging Brock Lesnar to a match at the pay-per-view. In fact, it was one of the first matches to be announced and confirmed for Survivor Series.
In the weeks leading up to the match, Mahal talked about how he was adding 20 pounds of muscle to get ready for Lesnar, and there was a report that John Cena would be the referee of Mahal vs. Lesnar, in part because WWE (it was said) wanted to set up Mahal vs. Cena for the Royal Rumble, or perhaps even for WrestleMania.
However, plans changed during the November 7 Smackdown in Manchester, England when AJ Styles won the WWE Championship. Styles would be the one to actually face Lesnar at Survivor Series in a great match, while Mahal wasn’t even a part of the show.