Jinder Mahal's rise to the top of the WWE mountain is something that nobody saw coming.
After re-signing with the company in 2016, following his initial release back in 2014, Mahal's rise began as he was the runner-up in the 2017 Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, losing out to Mojo Rawley.
He was then put into a Six-Pack Challenge to determine the next No. 1-contender for the WWE Championship on SmackDown Live.
Mahal defeated Rawley, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Luke Harper and Sami Zayn to earn his shot at the title.
At the Backlash pay-per-view (PPV) a few weeks later, Mahal defeated Randy Orton to win his first-ever WWE Championship in what was a huge shocker for WWE fans.
He went on to defend his title successfully several times against Orton in the following months.
Mahal's sudden thrust into the main event scene was very sudden, and a bit of a shock to WWE fans. The push certainly came as a surprise to Jinder, who tells former WWE ring announcer Lilian Garcia on her podcast, Chasing Glory, that he initially expected he would simply be getting a run at the United States Title (quotes via 411 Mania):
“WrestleMania week I saw Road Dogg at the hotel in the hallways. He said, ‘Hey Jinder, after WrestleMania, good things are going to happen to you.’ I think the plan was that they were going to elevate me a little bit.
"I thought, cool, I can actually be in a storyline, be in the U.S Championship, the I.C Championship. So, I got drafted to SmackDown, which was a good sign.
"All along, I wanted to be drafted to SmackDown. Right when I got signed I would see Road Dogg in the hallways and telling him to please draft me to SmackDown because I saw people on SmackDown getting opportunities.
"I love Raw. Raw has a stigma about it, but us on the blue team have a chip on their shoulder, but they say SmackDown is the land of opportunity, which it really is,” Mahal said.
“I was at a live event on a Monday Night, and they announced the Six-Pack Challenge match for the Number One Contender’s Match. I also see Tweets wondering how Jinder Mahal is in the Number One Contender’s Match, he hasn’t won a match in a long time.
"I think Baron Corbin, or Luke Harper was going to go in with Randy Orton. I remember getting my wrists taped and I asked who was going to face Randy Orton. I think Luke Harper was in there.
"He said to me, ‘it’s you.’ I was taken aback. What? I’m going to work with Randy Orton [for the WWE World Championship]?
"Five minutes later I saw Randy, and told him that we were going to work together. So, I had to grow a lot very quickly because to be a main event WWE Superstar is an entirely different ballgame.
"I always see people wishing they can be in the main event. If you were given that opportunity, would you sink or swim? I had no choice but to swim.
"I was fortunate enough to have a great relationship with Randy Orton. I believe Randy Orton is one of the greatest of all time. He is so smooth, so flawless.”
What are your thoughts on Mahal's sudden rise into the main event scene in WWE? Did you enjoy his title reign? And do you expect him to win the WWE Title ever again? Have YOUR say in the comments section below, and the fourth episode of GiveMeSport’s WWE podcast is here!
Check it out via this link: https://soundcloud.com/user-818579649/gms-wwe-podcast-money-in-the-bank-fallout
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