A lot of WWE fans seemed surprised when Jinder Mahal moved to SmackDown Live in the WWE Superstar Shakeup and then ended up immediately in the main event title world scene. Mahal had worked as a jobber, losing all his matches, until the move and it seemed strange to see him suddenly getting a world title shot at the upcoming WWE pay-per-view Backlash.
In an interview with Sportskeeda over the weekend, Jinder Mahal talked about the immediate title push. Jinder also talked about what it was like to become a main event star out of nowhere.
“They say SmackDown Live is the land of opportunity and I think I’ve proved that it really is. The move has been great… RAW is also a great show but I feel, for me, SmackDown is a better opportunity and I’ve run with the opportunity so far on the blue brand.”
The WWE was smart about the Jinder Mahal push. Instead of just inserting Mahal into the world title scene, he had to win a match to earn the number one contender spot. It came off as a huge upset win for Jinder and it made sense to give him the shot based on the storyline.
However, there are still WWE fans who look at the WWE as simple scripted television and don’t understand why the WWE chose Jinder Mahal over someone like Baron Corbin, whom the WWE has built up over the last year as a credible contender.
Most fans have not bought into Jinder Mahal beating Randy Orton for the WWE world title. In a brand new poll onWWE.com, the WWE asked if fans thought that Jinder Mahal could beat Randy Orton at Backlash. As of the publication time of this article, 72-percent of the fans said he had “no chance of defeating The Viper.”
The move seems like something SmackDown Live would do. They gave Bray Wyatt his first world title opportunity. Now, at Backlash, not only is Jinder Mahal getting a chance to win the WWE world title but the tag team of Tyler Breeze and Fandango are getting a chance for the tag team titles, currently held by The Usos.
Somehow, SmackDown Live even made Heath Slater and main event star when they teamed him with Rhyno, and they became the first SmackDown Live tag team champions.
There is likely another reason – a business reason – that the WWE is pushing Jinder Mahal. While Mahal was born in Canada, he represents India well and WrestleZone reported that he has received his push just as WWEShop.com has expanded into India. The WWE also aligned The Bollywood Boyz with Jinder Mahal and changed their name to The Singh Brothers.
Many fans, especially those who don’t appreciate the Jinder Mahal push, have made accusations about his new ripped and muscular body. Many online have accused him of taking steroids, which the WWE would have caught in their drug tests.
According to Jinder Mahal in the interview, he has worked hard to build his new body. He said that he doesn’t eat anything he isn’t supposed to and hasn’t even had a “cheat meal” in the last three or four months.
On top of the diet, which includes five meals eaten every two hours, he has a specific exercise regimen that he sticks to. He does cardio six days a week and weight trains six days a week as well. Jinder Mahal also said that he is now “straight edge” – a title that CM Punk made famous where he doesn’t drink or do any drugs at all.
“I’m going to keep getting in better shape because not only do I look better but I feel better. I feel better inside the ring in terms of stamina and endurance, which is important if I want to become WWE Champion and have long matches every night.”
Jinder Mahal fights Randy Orton for the WWE world title at Backlash on Sunday, May 21. This Tuesday, he will also appear on SmackDown Live with his final chance to sell his main event match with Randy Orton.
[Featured Image by WWE]