When the WWE moved some of their superstars around, it was expected to change the pecking order a little bit. One of the WWE superstars to benefit the most from the changing brands is Jinder Mahal. For Mahal, a longtime dream may come true tonight as WWE Backlash takes center stage in Chicago.
Mahal will get his first legitimate shot at the WWE title when he challenges Randy Orton in the show’s main event. WWE Backlash is the first pay-per-view card that has Jinder Mahal inserted in a main event. If Mahal leaves Chicago with the WWE World title will he be taken seriously as the champion?
That has to be a fair question given how Mahal has been used in the past. His ascension to the top of the contender’s list has been remarkable, to say the least. Some people even feel that the WWE has rushed Jinder Mahal to No. 1 contender status. That alone can be enough to turn fans off. They have seen Jinder Mahal go from the typical WWE jobber to going after one of the most coveted belts in the company in a matter of weeks. That alone is enough to leave many fans peeved about what has taken place.
— WWE (@WWE) May 17, 2017
Never mind Jinder Mahal’s current shtick of the anti-American. That has some fans rolling their eyes and disinterested in watching him compete for the WWE World title. There have been a few people predicting a Jinder Mahal victory at WWE Backlash.
Wrestling Zone’s Justin LeBar is among those who believe the belt could change hands tonight. LeBar speaks of a scenario where Jinder Mahal could beat Randy Orton for the WWE title, only to lose it at WWE Money in the Bank next month.
“Jinder could win Sunday and get it off of him next month. It could be a one month test if things are going well and he’s still labeled with credibility as former Champion. He could not win this Sunday and he could win briefcase next month and they can continue letting him be higher on the card and he cashes in later.”
Jinder Mahal defeating Randy Orton would be a changing of the guard. It is something that a section of fans have clamored for over the past few months. The title going to someone else would allow the WWE to see who can join the diminishing list of main event level superstars. Having Jinder Mahal win tonight would be a necessary evil for the company going forward. Those who recall WrestleMania’s card from last April should recognize that a large chunk of the matches featured part-time performers.
— TOI Sports (@toisports) April 26, 2017
Having a main event consisting of Brock Lesnar versus Goldberg is great if both were in the ring regularly. They are not. Lesnar going more than six weeks without a WWE Universal title defense is on the back of many people’s minds. Establishing other superstars as main event contenders would change the dependence on having the title on a wrestler who seldom makes in-ring appearances.
That should be enough for the WWE to take a possible title run for Jinder Mahal seriously.
ESPN’s Michael Wilansky makes a compelling case for and against Jinder Mahal defeating Randy Orton for the WWE World title. Wilansky points to Mahal’s physical appearance and ability to pull off the personality of a heel as why it would work with him having the title. One of the reasons why he believes it would not work — too methodical, is enough to raise an eyebrow or two.
In the era where moves and maneuvers are not plentiful in the WWE, at least half of their superstars are methodical. Brock Lesnar serves as a good example because despite his cat-like quickness, he virtually does three moves, seldom speaks, and generally squashes his opposition in mere minutes.
The right formula the WWE can follow for a possible Jinder Mahal title run is to make him physically dominate while keeping vocal on the microphone. It is a similar strategy which was used for Triple H, another methodical superstar who appeared physically superior and was fantastic selling his role as a heel.
[Featured Image by WWE.com]