Jinder Mahal’s WWE Championship victory against Randy Orton at the SmackDown-exclusive Backlash pay-per-view has to be one of the biggest long-shots in recent years. The odds weren’t astronomical, but most people expected Orton to retain the title.
WWE creative is hoping that Jinder can be the one to balance the scales a bit when it comes to their offerings on the SmackDown television side of things. Coming up with those extra eyes in the face of slipping ratings is going to be very hard for officials to figure out.
The company’s well-documented big expansion into India played a key role in Mahal receiving this push, considering the market is absolutely massive over there so he will get every opportunity to show his stuff before they make a final decision.
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Many were surprised at the fact that The Maharaja was crowned the number one contender in the first place. Not many would have ever assumed that the company would put the title on a relatively new face as opposed to The Legend Killer.
The hard work he put in to improve his look caught the company’s attention and Mahal was brought back to bolster the roster due to the brand split and it now a huge gamble seems to have paid off in a huge way.
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While speaking with ESPN, the newest WWE Champion spoke about his journey back to the company after his initial stint. Mahal also mentioned that, contrary to popular belief, his rise to the championship level he is at right now was his own doing.
The Maharaja said: “When I train hard, I look better. I see the way I look on TV or in the mirror, and it gives me confidence. It translates into the ring. I have more confidence in the ring and can be more aggressive. If you saw me from a few years ago, the confidence level is night and day, and that’s because of the way I look.
“I’ve been tested plenty, and never failed one. I know Vince [McMahon] appreciates wrestlers taking initiative, putting in the hard work. He had confidence in me. He knew I would embrace the opportunity, and not let WWE down. I think I have been proving that in my matches ever since.”
He is not trying to hear any accusations about his physique being due to some sort of performance enhancement. At this point, his dedication has done more than any supplement could for him anyway.
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