Jinder Mahal is now the WWE Champion, but the road to the gold was certainly not an easy one.
At one point in his WWE career, Mahal was a member of the comedic stable 3 Man Band (3MB) alongside Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater. The stable didn't quite work out and both Mahal and McIntyre were released from their WWE contracts.
After two years on the independent circuit, Mahal re-invented himself physically and was signed back to the WWE as a result. He won a Six Pack Challenge on SmackDown Live that earned him the right to challenge Randy Orton at last night's (Sun. May 21, 2017) WWE Backlash pay-per-view (PPV).
With some assistance from the Singh Brothers, Mahal defeated Orton to win the WWE Title and his first ever title in his WWE career.
Mahal was recently a guest on fellow WWE Superstar Chris Jericho's podcast, Talk Is Jericho, prior to his bout with Orton, and stated that his initial release from the company was probably the best thing to ever happen to him in his career (quotes via Wrestling Inc.):
"Yeah, [being released was a relief], but, at the same time, it still sucks because this is my dream and all I ever wanted to do, but, at the same time, there was a little bit of, 'oh, I don't have to go to TV anymore.'"
Mahal professed, "looking back now, or in five years or 10 years, I'm going to look back and be like, 'do you know what?
"Getting released was the best thing that ever happened to me because: a) I got into real estate; b) I kicked myself out and got remotivated.
"Like, to think, if I was still in that slump from 3MB till now, like, I'd be dead! You can't maintain that! I would be shot. There's no way I could do that, be that miserable, be living like that for that long, so it's almost the best thing that happened to me."
He then revealed that WWE Senior Director Of Talent Relations Mark Carrano called Mahal regarding a return just shy of his scheduled meeting with Impact Wrestling:
"I actually got a call from the other [pro] wrestling promotion too. Yes, [Impact Wrestling called Mahal] and there was a pay-per-view in Orlando [Florida] on Sunday and I live in Tampa [Florida], so they were like, 'yeah, can you come talk to us on a Sunday?
"We want to talk to you. Talk to Big.' I said, 'okay.' Saturday, the day before, [Mark] Carrano called me, 'Jinder, we want to sign you back.' That's the weirdest thing, so I sat at home, literally, for two years.
"No one cared about me. Nobody [cared] because I didn't care! All of a sudden, when I started caring, other people started caring. And then, so I told Carrano, 'hey listen, I have a meeting tomorrow. Let me just see my options.
"I want to talk to them.' Obviously, I knew I wanted to come back to WWE, but i already told them that I would come talk to them, so I was going to keep my word and talk to them.
"And then, I called Carrano back and said, 'send the contract over.'"
What are your thoughts of Mahal barely dodging a stint in Impact Wrestling? Have YOUR say in the comments section below and the third episode of GiveMeSport’s WWE podcast is here!
Check it out via this link. https://soundcloud.com/user-818579649/gms-wwe-podcast-all-the-fallout-from-wwe-payback
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