So what happened after everything was seemingly booked for the pay-per-view?
According to Dave Meltzer, speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Lesnar actually refused to work with Mahal.
Mahal’s loss to AJ Styles in Manchester was the first time the championship has changed hands outside North America, but the WWE history books could have been written very differently.
Shortly after he lost the belt, Mahal began a tour of India, but had to do so without carrying the title.
“At least you can go to India with the guy as champion. But no, a week before, it was like a giant rib,” Bryan Alvarez said during the conversation with Meltzer.
“Let’s beat him a week before we go to India!” he complained.
Mahal lost to Triple H during that tour, suggesting that if Lesnar had accepted the challenge, India could have been the first country outside North America to see the belt change hands.
That decision sparked some controversy at the time, but Triple H claimed he was more popular in India because he’s been on TV for so much longer.
“Just even being on this tour will help him […] Over time he’s going to grow and become a cultural icon for them,” explained the wrestler whose career has lasted over 20 years.
Lesnar later defeated both Mahal and the Singh Brothers in a 2018 Raw match.
Either way, Jinder Mahal’s record could have looked different from today if not for Lesnar’s refusal.