Since winning the WWE Championship at Backlash, many feel that Jinder Mahal has not improved much in overall interest. One of the biggest criticisms is that even as the biggest name on the SmackDown Live roster, he still does not feel like a larger than life character. Before winning the title, there were people who were more open to him becoming champion due to Randy Orton being viewed as “boring.” Although he received mixed reactions, mostly negative, many conceded to it being a breath of fresh air that someone new was champion other than a familiar face.
However, for the past few weeks, his title reign has not been viewed as very important. On the SmackDown Live following his WWE Championship victory, he had a Punjabi celebration and spoke on his win in a very majestic fashion. While this was a good start, it was not the final part of the show, but instead in the middle of it. Ideally, Mahal being the final face that viewers see before the show is over leaves a cliffhanger to the following week. Unfortunately, for Mahal, this was not the case. The following week, Mahal simply interrupted Orton while he was speaking about his plans to do more beating and less talking. Mahal did not even make a physical appearance but instead popped up on the jumbo screen.
At the most recent episode of SmackDown Live, Mojo Rawley made his return. Going to social media for a number of weeks to show his dissatisfaction of being absent on Tuesday evenings, Rawley told Shane McMahon that he wanted to prove himself and hopefully gain an opportunity to be in the Money in the Bank match. McMahon gave him the tough task of facing Mahal, earning a spot in the ladder match if he was able to win. This angle had enough interest to end the show. However, it placed Mahal once again in the middle of the show, and the match did not help either competitor.
WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross mentioned another very important factor regarding Mahal as a main event star. While Harv and Gurv Sihra, now known as Samir and Sunil Singh, have been an essential part in building Mahal’s reputation as the “modern-day Maharaja,” the constant involvement in matches between the two has actually played as sort of a backlash, making it look as if Mahal is not able to wins matches by himself.
In contrast, Metro had high remarks for the brothers, stating that they would probably be enhancement talent if not with Mahal.
“If WWE hadn’t decided to push Jinder, this Cruiserweight tag team might still be putting over new talent on NXT. But suddenly, they have become the most prominently featured talent to come out of the Cruiserweight Classic. Once again, these two weren’t the most talented duo on the roster, but sometimes the Creative Gods work in mysterious ways. As long as they hitch their wagon to The Maharaja, these two will remain on television; unless Randy Orton accidentally breaks them.”
While he would most likely agree with that commentary, Ross expresses on a recent blog his feeling of the Singh Brothers’ involvement with Mahal being “overdone.”
“I’m a fan of the decision to make Jinder Mahal the WWE Chmp but I feel that his random utilization of his Singh sidekicks might be overdone. Nonetheless, the former Bollywood Boys take a helluva, a** whipping.”
Mahal will defend his WWE Championship at Money in the Bank on June 18. While these past few weeks could have been a way to further build his credibility, it has instead been a time where the Money in the Bank contestants have received the most attention, and Lana has immediately catapulted into a SmackDown Live Women’s Championship opportunity during her first night as a solo character.
[Featured Image by WWE]