With the animosity between Jinder Mahal, United States Champion Bobby Roode and Randy Orton continuing to build, Mahal (flanked by Sunil Singh) arrived on SmackDown LIVE with a copy of what he claimed to be Roode’s SmackDown LIVE Top 10 Superstars List ballot. The Modern Day Maharaja declared that Roode voted for himself at number one and had neither Mahal nor Orton on it. Mahal used this piece of information to try and drive the wedge further between The Glorious One and The Viper, claiming that it’s clear that Roode has no respect for The Apex Predator.
Not thrilled with these assertions, the United States Champion interrupted, suggesting that he saw through Mahal’s plan to pit him and Orton against each other simply as a means for Jinder to carve out an easier path to the United States Title. This led to a heated exchange between Roode and Mahal that Orton soon broke up with his arrival.
Without saying a word, The Viper stepped to Roode, and a brawl soon erupted. Orton punched Mahal, which Roode followed up by clotheslining Mahal over the top rope. The Apex Predator then went to RKO The Glorious One, but Roode turned it around into a Glorious DDT. The United States Champion stood tall, but only for a moment, as The Modern Day Maharaja slid back into the ring and dropped Roode with the ring-shaking Khallas.
For the second straight week, Mahal left his foes down. If Roode and Orton weren’t taking notice before, they surely are now. However, Mahal may not exactly have SmackDown LIVE management taking notice, or at least Shane McMahon, as after this dominant display, Shane decreed that it would be Roode vs. Orton for the U.S. Title at WWE Fastlane, overruling Daniel Bryan’s idea to give The Modern Day Maharaja a championship opportunity.