They also released a market where clients can back the date the title switch occurs.
John Cena remains a favourite to be the next WWE Champion. In fact, his price had been snipped from 4/5 to 21/50 in the time between its removal at the start of the month and republication on Wednesday.
Cena is scheduled to return to WWE on the upcoming edition of Smackdown. However, there are reports that his first feud back will be against Rusev. This should keep him away from Mahal for the time being. Plus - with him now a 'Free Agent' in storyline - I wouldn't be surprised to see Cena out of the title hunt and going back-and-forth between shows.
It's also important to note the news about the Roman Reigns .vs. Brock Lesnar main event, that had been scheduled for WrestleMania 34, now potentially being on the SummerSlam 2017 card. If Lesnar/Reigns is no longer the main event of Mania, the company could go with Reigns versus Cena for the Universal Championship for April 8th and - with Cena chasing what WWE has set as a record seventeenth major title - I don't think Cena will be winning either of the two major championships for the time being as it'll ruin a WrestleMania story.
Randy Orton - who is still in the title picture, and will challenge Mahal in a Punjabi Prison match at WWE Battleground 2017 on July 23rd - is 2/1. He remains a second-favourite despite his odds moving up slightly from 7/4.
I personally cannot see Orton regaining the strap. With that said, babyfaces have won in every Punjabi Prison match. Not that this means much as there have only been two in history.
Baron Corbin, with the Money in the Bank briefcase, is another wrinkle to consider if Orton becomes the Battleground winner. I really can't shake off the feeling that Mahal is going on a lengthy reign, though.
Segueing to Corbin - he is 9/4 to become the next champ. His price had been cut from 3/1. I cannot picture him cashing in on a heel unless there's a plan to have Corbin's cash-in result in a run as babyface.
I was surprised to see AJ Styles' price moved up from 3/1 to 7/1. It has since been backed to 6s and I cannot fault whoever backed that price.
Styles could very well be the next babyface in line if Mahal successfully leaves the Orton program. With John Cena floating from show-to-show, Smackdown's Styles challenging Mahal makes a lot of sense to me.
As I mentioned above, a market where clients can bet on the time when the championship is lost has also been priced up.
|Click on image to expand|
'During SummerSlam' is a 3/5 favourite. Next up is 'Before SummerSlam' at EVS and then it's 'Between First Day After SummerSlam But Before Survivor Series' at 2s.
Of the selections with the longer odds, the traders have 'During WrestleMania 34' at 5/1, 'Between Survivor Series But Before Royal Rumble' is 5/1 as is 'Between Royal Rumble But Before WrestleMania 34' and then 'On First Day After WrestleMania 34 Or After' is 10/1.
I haven't backed anything and don't think I will. As I wrote above, I have a feeling the company will run with Mahal as champion for a while. The question is how long is this while?
I expect the markets to be taken down ahead of Tuesday night's episode of Smackdown. I'll post another update when they're republished.