The Jinder Mahal experiment continues to have even more layers to it that what is being revealed. From what has occurred on weekly television over the past few weeks, it appears that Mahal’s push was certainly not something that has been planned for a while. Just a few months ago, Mahal was on Raw as somewhat of a lackey for Rusev, being thrown into an international tag team with the Bulgarian Brute. The two feuded against Enzo & Cass, primarily from Rusev being in an angle with Enzo over the heart of Lana. After this feud was over, the team ran out of steam, and WWE decided to break them up. Interestingly, on Raw, it did not help either of them, as both competitors took a loss at the Fastlane pay-per-view against Big Show (Rusev) and Cesaro (Mahal).
From a recent report from Wrestling News, there is still a relationship between Rusev and Mahal, but in a much different way. It was stated that Mahal’s push was responsible for putting Rusev further down the line, removing him as the next top heel of SmackDown Live. For the past few weeks, Rusev has been sending tweets threatening Shane McMahon that he will confront him if he does not book a WWE Championship match at Money in the Bank. Rusev even told Shane two weeks ago that he was going to return to SmackDown Live to get face-to-face with him to demand his title shot.
When Rusev moved to the SmackDown Live roster, the company spent weeks using his recovery from shoulder surgery as a way to expose him back to the fans by the tweets and videos demanding a title shot. Based off a video he posted on Twitter, many fans were expecting him back last week to jump right into the WWE Championship division. However, when Rusev explained where he was instead of SmackDown Live, he stated that he was watching the Nashville Predators.
Since it would not be a big draw to book a heel vs. heel feud on the blue brand, WWE had to chose between Rusev and Mahal to take the lead role as the villain of the brand. Based on the heavy market objective for India, Mahal took the lead spot. Not only did he become the top heel of the company, but he surprisingly won the WWE Championship at Backlash against Randy Orton. It would be interesting to think if Rusev would have experienced the same fate and became WWE Champion if he was not replaced by Mahal. Most likely, Orton would have got past him and kept the WWE Championship, unless the company decided to build a major market in Bulgaria.
Until he returns, Rusev will continue to post funny tweets and comments on the Nashville Predators, as they advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals. It will also be interesting to see whether Rusev and Lana are still aligned when he comes back, since Lana has been seen in vignettes with an entirely different character. This would not be very good for Rusev if he does not have a mouthpiece.
If I'd listened to every person that doubted my abilities I'd never had made it out of my pathetic village of 50k people in the former USSR???? pic.twitter.com/JPsDPtXD05— CJ (Lana) Perry (@LanaWWE) May 20, 2017
Thankfully for Mahal, he was able to be at the right place at the right time, along with undergoing a positive physical transformation, to be the chosen person to represent the India market as the WWE Champion. If Rusev and Mahal were compared a few months ago regarding who would be the SmackDown Live top heel, it would have been a landslide vote for Rusev. However, things change, and now Rusev has to wait on the sidelines until WWE has something for him, since the original plan of him being the top heel has now changed.
[Featured Image By WWE]