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Jinder Mahal picked up momentum ahead of his Backlash WWE Championship match against Randy Orton by gaining a victory over AJ Styles on Tuesday’s edition of SmackDown Live.

Mahal received some help from United States champion Kevin Owens. As Styles was setting up for the Phenomenal Forearm, Owens hit him in the right knee with the title belt.

That allowed Mahal to hit his cobra clutch slam for the victory. WWE shared a replay of the finish:

ESPN 980’s Aaron Oster noted how far Mahal has come in a short amount of time:

The bout pitted the No. 1 contenders for each of SmackDown’s top two men’s singles titles against each other and provided both Superstars with an opportunity to enter Sunday’s pay-per-view on a high note.

Styles enjoyed a lengthy WWE Championship reign and labeled SmackDown “The House That AJ Styles Built” due to his belief that he is the face of the blue brand.

While the Phenomenal One isn’t currently in the world title scene, he is a big reason why the United States Championship is picking up steam in terms of its importance.

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