The feud between Randy Orton and WWE Champion Jinder Mahal has been an interesting one to say the least.
Orton won the WWE Championship back at WrestleMania 33 when he defeated Bray Wyatt in Orlando. Shortly after that, Jinder Mahal won a Six Pack Challenge match on SmackDown Live; defeating Mojo Rawley, Sami Zayn, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan and Dolph Ziggler to become the No. 1-contender for the WWE Title.
The pair met at the WWE's Backlash pay-per-view (PPV) in Chicago last month where Mahal, with some help from the Singh Brothers, defeated Orton to win his first ever WWE World Title. Not only was it "The Maharaja's" first World Title, but it was also his first ever title won during his time with the company.
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Mahal had previously been released back in 2014 but was re-signed to the WWE last year in 2016 before completely re-inventing himself physically. After having his hard work payoff in the form of a WWE Title run, Mahal is now set to make his first title defense at tonight's (Sun. June 18, 2017) Money In The Bank (MITB) PPV against Randy Orton in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.
Orton recently did an interview with Donny Fandango on 105.7 The Point to promote the match-up and reflected on his past comments a few years ago about Mahal, when he said that he'd like to see the WWE work and push him more. He also revealed some advice that he gave to "The Maharaja" (quotes via Wrestling Inc.):
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"Since then I think he got let go, his contract was terminated, he did some independents, kind of studied his craft a little bit more, then we were looking for more talent to sign back up and his name popped up. I definitely thought it'd be good to have him back.
"I didn't think he was going to come in and take my title. That's another thing altogether. But I haven't seen anyone as motivated as him in a long time.
"You can tell he has been hitting the gym, you can tell he has been working on his promos, when it comes to the in-ring stuff he's fine-tuning his stuff to be more of a main event guy and learn how to tell the story in the way that the main events tell the stories. He's doing a great job."
"When he first came back he was on RAW, and I think that has helped him out. A lot of the younger guys are so anxious to please and to get better and they try almost too hard, they need to take a step back and relax.
"I started kind of getting it, so to speak, the lightbulb kind of stopped giving as much of a crap, I guess you can say. I don't mean in the sense of being lazy or not caring, that's not true at all.
"But kind of letting it happen out there and letting it be more organic as opposed to coming up with all these ideas where it looks more choreographed or if you're banking on a reaction from the crowd in a particular point in a promo or a match and you don't get that reaction, being prepared to go another route with what you're doing.
"There's a lot of little aspects to the game that guys can get better at and that's just a few."
What are your thoughts on Orton's past comments about Mahal, wanting the WWE to push him more? 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