A surprising WWE SmackDown star may be gaining the support of the WWE Universe in his quest to capture the WWE Championship. Next month, Randy Orton will put the WWE World title on the line in a match against first-time contender Jinder Mahal at the WWE Backlash pay-per-view. The man who previously worked as a jobber on his own or as a member of the 3-Man-Band stable has now been boosted into the title picture. Based on recent movement in betting markets, it’s looking like there are fans who believe he may actually pull off a title win too.
As the WWE Leaks website recently reported, Jinder Mahal’s odds to win the WWE World Championship have moved from 5-1 down to just 7-2 odds. The original bet would have meant that $100 would return $500, but now $100 returns $350. This shows that Mahal is gaining some backing by bettors who believe he has a chance of capturing the championship for the first time in his career. Mahal has never held gold in the WWE, so it would be an interesting turn of events, especially considering he had lost matches to Finn Balor and Mojo Rawley in the weeks before he became a surprising No. 1 contender.
Mahal captured the opportunity to challenge Orton at Backlash 2017 by winning the Sixpack Challenge match several weeks ago on SmackDown Live. The superstar got a winning pinfall over Sami Zayn after receiving some ringside assistance from The Singh Brothers. The duo grabbed Zayn’s legs from the corner area to prevent him from performing a Helluva Kick. That allowed Jinder to hit a finisher and collect the pinfall win over Zayn.
Since then, Mahal and Orton have had a few exchanges during episodes of SmackDown. The most recent came this past Tuesday when Orton was cutting a promo in the ring after a win over Erick Rowan. “The Viper” was putting Bray Wyatt on notice for his upcoming “House of Horrors” match at this Sunday’s Payback pay-per-view. However, Mahal took exception to Orton not being worried about him coming after his title.
The two got into a brief physical confrontation with Orton appearing to gain the upper hand, only for Mahal’s helpers to once again hit the ring, allowing Jinder to put Orton down on the mat. Following the exchange, Jinder added insult to injury when he picked up Orton’s WWE Championship belt and exited the ring with it, backing up the ramp with the title raised above his head. In a video clip uploaded later to WWE’s Twitter account, Mahal was shown getting into a limo with the title and riding away.
The betting market, which has seen the support for Mahal rise, is reportedly a offering a special via the Kambi odds makers for which superstar will hold the WWE Championship next after Randy Orton. Mahal is fourth on that list, trailing Kevin Owens at 2-1 odds, AJ Styles at 2-1 odds, and the overall favorite, Baron Corbin. As reported by Inquisitr in a previous WWE rumors article, Corbin is a favorite to win the Money in the Bank ladder match this year. That would give him the famous MITB briefcase with a contract inside for a title match at any place or any time of his choosing.
Money in the Bank 2017 will take place on Sunday, June 18, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. As of this report, it’s scheduled to be a WWE SmackDown exclusive pay-per-view. Since the betting markets have been backing “The Lone Wolf” to win the briefcase, it would make sense he also leads the odds to become next champion. However, Mahal, as an underdog, could still reward the bettors backing him now.
WWE’s Payback 2017 pay-per-view is scheduled for Sunday, May 21, from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. To say it would be a major surprise that Jinder Mahal will win the WWE World Championship from Randy Orton is an understatement. However, it was also a surprise that he won the Sixpack Challenge to become No. 1 contender out of nowhere, so WWE fans giving him their backing makes perfect sense.
[Featured Image by WWE]