It has been quite the year for Jinder Mahal in the WWE.
"The Maharaja" was initially released from WWE back in 2014 following his stint as a member of Three Man Band (3MB). After two years on the independent circuit, which he spent reinventing himself mentally and physically, he was resigned by WWE and returned on an episode of Monday Night RAW where he defeated former 3MB member Heath Slater for a storyline contract with the brand. He was moved to SmackDown Live via the Superstar Shake-Up where he won a No. 1-contenders Six-Pack Challenge for the WWE Championship.
Mahal would go on to upset then-WWE Champion Randy Orton to capture his first World Title at Backlash. He then had two successful back-to-back title defenses against "The Viper" at Money In The Bank and Battleground.
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He is now scheduled to defend his WWE Title against new No. 1-contender and former New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) mega-star Shinsuke Nakamura at tomorrow's (Sun. August 20, 2017) SummerSlam pay-per-view (PPV). Shortly after his release in 2014, however, Mahal went through a bit of a rough patch and even considered leaving the wrestling business at one point. This is according to fellow former 3MB member and former Intercontinental Champion Drew McIntyre.
McIntyre, who is now back with WWE in the NXT division, recently did an interview with ESPN to promote tonight's NXT TakeOver III: Brooklyn event, and talked about being released with Mahal back in 2014 (quotes via Wrestling Inc.):
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"Jinder and I took different paths. I jumped straight into it, had a very clear mission and very clear goals for what I was going to do. He was still wrestling but, you know, he kinda drifted away from it.
"He wasn't training so much, he wasn't wrestling so much and we met up. I remember one time, got some dinner. And the way he was talking, it was almost like he was ready to wind up. He was very smart with his money.
"Very smart business man when it comes to real estate. And like, he was gonna start a Subway franchise, so I assumed he'd be finished with the job, which was a big upsetting.
"Then he started training a bit harder. He was talking about it, he just kept busting his a-- and he started cutting out all of the negative parts of his life. The drinking was gone. He was very focused. He was going to give it everything he absolutely had.
"And then to watch his transformation, just body wise. Then improving in the ring, and again, he just grew into a man. I was there the night he won the title. I'm very, very proud of everything he has achieved."
What are your thoughts on Mahal almost leaving the professional wrestling business? Have YOUR say in the comments section below, and the fourth episode of GiveMeSport’s WWE podcast is here!
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