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Backstage News on Styles/Mahal, Neville, Drew McIntyre Injury

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As everyone saw on the most recent edition of Smackdown Live, they are setting up the rematch between AJ Styles and Jinder Mahal for the WWE Title; however, it is interesting to note that officials have not made the call yet if Jinder will win the title back from AJ or if they will continue to run with AJ as champion going into Wrestlemania season. With only one show in India on December 9th and Clash of Champions on December 17th it looks as though Jinder walking in or out of India as champion is unlikely. The orginal plan was for John Cena to be the one that beat Mahal at Wrestlemania for his record-breaking title victory.

In a potential spoiler for the Royal Rumble, ongoing discussions are insinuating that the winner of the Rumble may be a RAW star, who will then challenge Smackdown's WWE Champion at Wrestlemania to further the whole brand vs. brand idea.

WWE is still attempting to get Neville to come back to the company, which is why there has been no mention of a release yet. Both sides have had dialogue in the last week. WWE is waiting on the outcome of these talks prior to building a long-term program for Enzo Amore. If talks with Neville break down, it is likely that Hideo Itami will be his next big challenger.

Drew McIntyre has had his MRI but it is now being looked at by a second doctor at this time. While no information is available as of yet, the fact that we have not heard anything yet is not necessarily bad news. Drew was also set to be called up to the main roster after dropping the title so plans had to be changed there as well. Upon Drew's return, he will be on the main roster. If he has suffered a complete tear, Drew could be out of action for 5-6 months. A partial tear can range depending on the severity but is usually a much shorter recovery time of 1-2 months.

The NXT tapings and the company direction will be very interesting in whether they go with Aleister Black or Adam Cole as the next contender for the NXT Championship.

Officials have been thrilled with Shelton Benjamin upon his return and he has been nothing but positive energy backstage as well.

There was a thought and talk of Carmella cashing in on Charlotte Flair after the attack on Smackdown but ultimately, officials did not want to detract from the debut of Ruby Riot, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan.

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