A Breath of Fresh Air
“He isn’t a main eventer. He will go back to the undercard. He won’t be a believable world champion.” All arguments made when Jinder Mahal was moved from being a jobber on RAW to a main event level heel on SmackDown all within a month’s time. While all arguments that were rattled at the beginning of this article seemed logical, almost no one was ready for what happened as Backlash came to a close. Jinder Mahal is now the WWE World Champion.
As a member of the forgettable jobber trio “3MB” , Jinder Mahal was released and seemingly condemned to the independent circuit of professional wrestling. Once the reinstatement of the brand split was announced, World Wrestling Entertainment was in dire need of talent, both new and old. Mahal was brought back to the RAW brand, but with no real direction of sorts, paired with Rusev in a tag team that was completely stagnant.
In a losing effort in the “Andre Memorial Battle Royal” to Mojo Rawley at WrestleMania this year, it all seemed to familiar that Jinder Mahal would yet again be on the chopping block of roster cuts. One concept was Mahal’s saving grace, the “SuperStar Shake-Up” saw only a select few superstars from each roster switch brands. When Mahal was announced as an acquisition of SmackDown it seemed as just a throwaway, someone thrown over to SmackDown as a change of pace when it came to enhancement talent.
When a six pack challenge was announced on SmackDown to name the number one contender for the WWE Championship it seemed almost academic that someone of the caliber Dolph Ziggler or Sami Zayne. With the help of the former “Bollywood Boys”, Mahal was able to squeak by and earn a title shot at “Backlash.” Most people saw this as a way to promote SmackDown as the “land of opportunity” with no real substance behind the Jinder Mahal title shot.
As “Backlash” came to a close, Mahal hit Randy Orton with his signature move, the Khallas and capture the WWE Championship. The Chicago crowd was left in complete shock, not sure how to react to the reality they had just faced. Everyone is on either end of the spectrum when it comes to a Jinder Mahal championship reign; there is no real middle ground when it comes to the topic.
Whether you are hot or cold, one thing is for sure, SmackDown is living up to it’s “land of opportunity” moniker, much like it did when John “Bradshaw” Layfield was plucked from a fading tag team and put into the main event. Mahal posses the natural hate ability JBL was able harness and create such a hated heel that helped carry the SmackDown brand in the mid 2000’s. Jinder Mahal is reminiscent of pro wrestlers in the 80’s and early 90’s, and has a grasp on the “WWE style” that can make him feel like a main event player.
No matter how you feel about the outcome of Backlash, one thing is certain, on May 21st, 2017 the feeling that “anything can happen” was reinstated in the WWE, a concept that has been noticeably absent since the Attitude Era.