Jinder Mahal is the new WWE Champion, and it has sparked a great deal of controversy within the WWE Universe. While many feel that it is too soon for him to win the title, especially since his win-loss record has been very lackluster since returning to the WWE, others are more welcoming to the title change, mostly due to the negative reaction that Randy Orton is receiving as champion. As seen by the Chicago crowd, Mahal’s reaction was seemingly due primarily to the fact that Orton is no longer WWE Champion.
There have been many former WWE and Impact Wrestling talent who have sung his praises, feeling that he has paid his dues and deserves the honor of being champion. While this may be true from the standpoint of fellow wrestlers, the sport of professional wrestling is based on what is intriguing enough to not only hype the fans in the arena and watching on television, but also encourage current viewers to bring in others.
Although Mahal’s push is viewed as premature by many, he happens to be in the right place at the right time. Being a Canadian-born WWE Superstar of Indian descent, Mahal is exactly the person the company needs to play to the international market, especially India with one of the biggest populations in the world. As explained on a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Live, India is one of the focal points of WWE for market expansion, due to the large population. As a result, the decision to put the title on Mahal would be the same if WWE wanted to focus on China or Australia, which would give names such as Tian Bing or Buddy Murphy an opportunity to become champion for the exact same reason.
After winning the WWE Championship, Mahal cut contrasting promos to portray a villain in the States and a hero in India. For his villainous promo, Mahal has this to say to the WWE Universe.
“I just want to say, I told you so! I told the Maharaja will become WWE Champion! You know what? I feels pretty good. And I just want to tell the WWE Universe, plan on [seeing me] as WWE Champion for a long time. So they better get used to it. The Maharaja’s reign has just begun.”
During his India promo, he explained how he is excited to perform as WWE Champion during the India tour. Mahal was thankful for the support of the Indian fans, and stated that he is looking forward to defending the title in the country. Based on this statement, Wrestling News is reporting a spoiler on how long he will have the championship.
Due to their successful visit in 2016, WWE is scheduled to return to India in September of 2017. Last year, there were two shows that took place inside the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi. With an over-14,000 seat capacity, it is the largest stadium in India and one of the largest in Asia.
With all the hype of going back to India, WWE is potentially looking to keep this momentum going and bring Mahal to the arena as the WWE Champion. Similar to Bret Hart when the WWE had events in Canada, Mahal has the potential to elicit some major heat in the United States, but be loved and cherished when he arrives in India. Interestingly, with the timeline, this means that Mahal will be champion at least for the next four months, and specifically past the second biggest pay-per-view of the year, SummerSlam. For the WWE, the mission is to keep the interest from fans in the self-proclaimed “Maharaja,” especially if he will be champion throughout the summer and heading into the fall.
[Featured Image by WWE]