When Jinder Mahal won the WWE World Championship from Randy Orton at the Backlash pay-per-view event this month, many fans were in disbelief. How could a man who worked as a jobber from the time he made his WWE debut become a world champion after just one month of a build? On his podcast this week, Eric Bischoff talked about Jinder Mahal winning the world title and how he loved the move.
According to Bischoff, the Jinder Mahal win was great for the WWE and he loves seeing Mahal as the WWE World Champion. Bischoff understands the business angle of the title change but he sees more than just dollar signs from India fans. Eric said that there is a lot of positives to making Jinder Mahal the champion.
“As a new character and as something that is fresh. He’s not the same kind of recycled cookie coming out of the cookie press with a little different flavor. I think this is really unique and that’s what WWE needs right now.”
This is something that some fans are starting to come around to. Jinder Mahal is not the first wrestler to become a world champion quickly in a surprising move. Another former WWE world champion that fans seemed shocked and appalled by was JBL when he won the title.
For years, JBL worked as Bradshaw in the tag team of The Acolytes and the APA, and before that he was nothing more than a mid-card jobber as Justin Hawk Bradshaw. However, after the WWE chose to push him as the WWE World Champion, they recreated him as JBL, a wealthy businessman who spoke down to the fans.
With Jinder Mahal, Eric Bischoff sees a chance for the WWE to create another special character from someone no one expected. When Jinder Mahal appeared on Talk is Jericho, he revealed that he was just going to talk about being peaceful but no one giving him a chance so he decided violence was the answer.
However, Jinder Mahal said that Vince McMahon changed his character to that of someone who talked down to Americans. Instead of just being a generic heel, he became someone who said he was fighting back against discrimination in America based on how he looked and how he talked. It is something that has always worked in the WWE, a villain like Jinder Mahal who speaks the truth and gets booed for it.
What the WWE needs to do if they want fans to completely embrace Jinder Mahal as a main event talent is to flesh out that character and make him more than just one-dimensional. This is especially important if Rusev comes back since he also plays the foreign heel. The WWE just has to make sure they don’t cross the same line with Jinder Mahal that destroyed the character of Muhammad Hassan.
Muhammad Hassan had the perfect gimmick. He was an Arab-American and was speaking out about discrimination against him in a white America. However, the WWE pushed it too far and had him work as a terrorist character instead of a wronged Arab-American. As a result, the WWE had to kill the angle or else lose sponsors.
When it comes to the idea of a foreign heel like Jinder Mahal, Eric Bischoff said that he doesn’t believe that social justice warriors should be part of the WWE and its storylines.
“He should be a bad guy because right now he’s the hottest thing in the hottest company on the face of the Earth. I absolutely fricking guarantee you there is no one in India going, ‘Oh! WWE is coming to India and Jinder Mahal is the champion and I’m not going to go see them because he’s a bad guy!’ [Laughs] No. No. Stop, leave your social justice warrior stuff at home when you come into pro wrestling. It’s not applicable.”
Jinder Mahal is set to defend his WWE World Championship against Randy Orton at the upcoming SmackDown Live Money in the Bank pay-per-view.
[Featured Image by WWE]