Jinder Mahal has received a sudden WWE push that is received with a great deal of controversy. When he first debuted, he played sort of a Punjabi lord who had mastering abilities over the Great Khali. After that short-lived push, Mahal found himself bouncing around in the lower midcard, never having the opportunity to fully showcase his abilities. Before his return, Mahal was a member of 3MB, which was a faction that unfortunately floundered.
When he returned to the WWE on the Raw brand, he still was placed in the lower midcard, with seemingly no direction. He began to receive more television exposure after aligning himself with Rusev during his feud with Enzo and Cass. Eventually, the Rusev/Mahal team split after contention within the unit. Neither benefitted from the breakup until Mahal went to SmackDown Live.
During a No.1 match for the WWE Championship involving Mahal, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, and Mojo Rawley, Mahal surprisingly was able to win the match and cement himself to face Randy Orton and Backlash. Mahal further made his presence known by costing Orton his match against Bray Wyatt and Payback, as well as pick up huge wins against Orton and AJ Styles over the past few weeks.
Along with these big wins, Mahal now has his sights set on perhaps the biggest name of them all. In a recent interview with Hindustan Times to promote his WWE Championship match at Backlash against Randy Orton, Mahal explained his mission to face John Cena.
“I’m one win away from becoming WWE Champion. One win away from making all my dreams come true and changing my life. I’m going to be more aggressive and I’m training harder now. I’m not the champion yet but that’s the goal – to be WWE Champion.”
“I would like to face John Cena next. Hopefully, I will be WWE Champion when the time to face Cena comes.”
On paper, a Cena vs. Mahal feud does not seem very intriguing. However, if Mahal continues to mature in his character, he may develop into a strong heel that has so much heat from the crowd, which would further propel him as a legitimate main event star. Now, many believe his spot in the main event may be a bit premature, as he did not establish his character to be strong enough to fit that role as of yet.
The reason why Mahal is now the No. 1 contender is believed to be a result of WWE’s hard push to the Indian market, as explained by Daily DDT.
“It’s due to WWE focusing on better reaching out to the market in India, which they hope will make them more money. There’s nothing on if the WWE Championship will be put on Mahal at Backlash.”
“If WWE is prepared to go all-in on their pursuit of the India market, then maybe they’ll put the belt on Mahal. It would make waves throughout their Tuesday night programming, going in an unforeseen direction. That means having Mahal going over Orton, a creative idea that has potential in both directions.”
Interestingly, what once was thought of as a throw-away feud may actually be much different based on recent odds. While Randy Orton has always been heavily favored to win the match, WrestleZone reports that this has now shifted to Mahal.
This will be a huge sign that WWE is all-in on this India market project, even to the point of making a fledgling main event name as their WWE Champion. Moreover, this could be an even bigger sign that a feud between Mahal and Cena could be in the works.
[Featured Image by WWE]