Jinder Mahal's rise in the WWE seems unprecedented, his first championship victory landing him the top title on SmackDown.
Mahal's gargantuan size and heel status could make him one of SmackDown Live's top villains, which seems to be the direction WWE's creative team has decided to push him. A win over Orton all but confirms Jinder's place in SmackDown's hierarchy.
Jinder's riding higher than ever and has a huge responsibility holding the title now. Being suddenly thrust into the spotlight, he'll have to raise his profile in order to become a star heel for the blue brand. Mahal already has his eyes on some very big targets now.
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Mahal was interviewed by Sportskeeda following his stunning victory and was gracious for the opportunity to represent India. He also dropped that he has his target set on other top WWE stars as he cements himself as a top heel.
"I want to make everybody proud, just like everybody is proud of The Great Khali for being the champion, I want to be a great champion. I want to represent you guys (fans) in a good way and put on good matches. I just defeated Randy Orton, who is legendary in the business," Mahal said.
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"So I want to beat guys like John Cena, more and more legends, and establish my name as one of the top names of all time in wrestling," Mahal said.
Mahal also reflected on how he's spent the past 15 years trying to climb to the top of the wrestling world. Being WWE Champion was his childhood dream - like many other WWE superstars - and he still hadn't quite absorbed the strap was officially his after Backlash.
"Honestly, the moment hasn’t happened, it has quite set in yet, fully. This is already the best day of my life. This is right after the match, and the adrenaline is still pumping, but tonight when I have my alone time when I can reflect on my full journey of how I started in wrestling and all the steps and road bumps that I took to get to this part.
"This is a very emotional moment. This is 15 years of my hard work and dedication – half of my life. My childhood dream has finally come true," Mahal told Sportskeeda.
It's still a bit shocking, but the WWE clearly wants to make Mahal one of their main villains for SmackDown. Eventually he'll have to get his hands on more legends, like Cena, as he stakes his claim as part of the main event crowd every Tuesday night.
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