Tha Sports Junkies 101

Opinion: Jinder Mahal’s Career is so Epic, He Deserves a Title Run


Jinder Mahal Earns Title Shot on Smackdown Live

Alright, the title of the article is pure sarcasm.

This past week, we saw Jinder Mahal earn a title shot. He was victorious during a number-one contender challenge. Fans were left scratching their heads. Mahal was the least likely victor for this match. Mahal beat out Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, Dolph Ziggler, Mojo Rawley, and fan-favorite Sami Zayn. The win was a shock, and many fans were downright angry. What had Jinder Mahal done to deserve such a large push?

Mahal’s entire career has been lackluster thus far. He has had very little character development or properly executed storylines. Sadly, Mahal is running into the same problems since his return last December.

Most fans admit they don’t really like Mahal, but he does have some assets. He plays a despicable character quite well. He can cut a decent enough promo (although anything is better than Roman’s succotash-packed lines). The WWE is giving a big push to somebody different. For that, we should applaud.

Mahal’s largest problem gaining fan appreciation is that there are so many guys waiting for their own spotlights. There are plenty of stars with massive potential who have paid their dues. Men who have been around awhile, but haven’t yet gotten the opportunities they deserve. Each participant of the challenge would have made sense as a contender for the title….except for Mahal. Shinsuke Nakamura recently made his long-awaited appearance on the main roster. None of Smackdown’s greatest talents would be in the title picture.

Let’s look into this shocking turn of events. Why has the WWE shown such sudden interest in pushing this muscled bonehead? Why should the WWE Universe even care about Jinder Mahal?

A Quick Blast to the Past

Admittedly, Jinder Mahal’s Wikipedia page came in handy here. His past with the company has not been memorable. So, it was necessary to get a refresher.

Mahal is best remembered during his run with the 3 Man Band (3MB). He teamed with Heath Slater and Drew Galloway. The 3MB had some great moments, but Mahal was not a break-out star. The goofy trio aside, other details of his career are pretty fuzzy.

That’s championship material.

Mahal has been around for a long time. He debuted all the way back in 2011 as a kayfabe brother-in-law to The Great Khali. Once again, the storyline was messy and had no real intrigue. Mahal was unhappy with their continued losses, resulting in him turning on his partner. Mahal would begin a feud with his former partner, but fighting against Khali didn’t get much attention. That angle ended abruptly with no real closure.

Later on, Jinder Mahal would compete in the largest ever Battle Royal along with 40 other superstars. He did well, but Randy Orton was the one to take him out.

After that, Mahal’s career was the career of a jobber. So, the question remains. Where is the marketability in Jinder Mahal?

Randy Orton Gives Mahal The Nod of Approval

A fellow WWE fan recently posted a very telling video on Twitter. Current WWE Champion, Randy Orton, shared his opinion on Mahal. The video re-surfaced recently, but was originally from Mahal’s early years. Randy Orton praises Jinder Mahal, and with this most recent win, Orton probably still does. The entire video can be found here.

Many of us have a basic understanding of how backstage politics work. The veteran gives the nod of approval, and plans to push carry on. Since Randy Orton is the current title holder, it could be argued that some politicking was used to help out a colleague.

Jinder Mahal Equals Money

Dave Meltzer reported that the WWE product lacks the (completely overdone) anti-American character since Rusev went down with an injury. Meltzer also says that Smackdown Live needs more good, solid heel characters. Although Baron Corbin is the best-established heel, he isn’t expected to be in the main event picture until later this year. Mahal was given the green light.

Mahal has been aligned with the Bollywood Boyz to bring more interest to his character. The WWE is using these three men to establish a powerful, dominant force to the blue brand. This spells doom based solely off from failed past heel factions. The stable is quite similar to the development of the League of Nations. If you can’t remember how well that group turned out, here’s a hint: It didn’t.

Mahal is from Canada, but the WWE bills him from Punjab, India. As WWE’s market is growing quickly in the middle East, so is the management’s interest in Mahal. Putting the villainous Mahal into the heavyweight category is literally “Best for Business.” The WWE is using Mahal’s character as a way to bring in more fans from that demographic. Basically, Mahal is to India as Cena is to America.

So, What Do You Think?

Many fans don’t agree with the move. From a business standpoint, Mahal’s win makes sense. As a regular fan, Mahal versus Orton isn’t appealing. Orton’s current championship run has been pretty boring. Looks like the blue brand has lost their way following the Superstar Shake-Up. The more cutting-edge show was boring and sloppy this week, and people took notice. The WWE appears to using a cheap ploy to beef up their viewership.

Bray Wyatt’s feud with Orton had genuine interest. The heated rivalry was great. We saw Orton turn into the snake he is. We saw Bray give creepy, sadistic promos. The chemistry between the two was undeniable, and each segment was worth watching. That’s why the sudden move to put Bray on Monday Night RAW made little sense.  Then, who should step up to face the Viper but…Jinder Mahal? The writers sure created a confusing mess this time. Mahal is the guy everybody loves to hate, and people will tune in just to boo him.

Seriously, did anybody actually want Randy Orton as champion? Were there people who really hoped that we’d see Jinder Mahal return? Billion-dollar industries don’t make huge changes without profit. Now, it is clear why Orton’s match against Bray Wyatt won’t be for the title.

Jinder Mahal probably won’t capture the gold at Backlash. However, the WWE will capitalize on putting the star into a main-event bracket. Mahal’s success equals success for the entire company overseas. The WWE loves to push talent in our faces, so Mahal will pop up everywhere. Next up, Jinder Mahal merchandise.

So, what do you think? Do you see Mahal as a star? Or, do you think it’s a shameless publicity stunt? Let us know in the comments below!

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