It continues to be a good run for Jinder Mahal in the current spotlight of the WWE. He came into 2017's Money in the Bank pay-per-view as a champion after winning it from Randy Orton at Backlash in May. Randy Orton was Mahal's opponent yet again for Money in the Bank, invoking his rematch clause to try to regain the title. However, Orton came up short against Mahal and "the Modern Day Maharaja" pinned the Viper at 2017's Money in the Bank pay-per-view to retain and remain the WWE Champion.
It was set to be an impressive match, put on in front of a group of impressive people. Wrestling legends Sgt. Slaughter, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair, and Randy Orton's father, "Cowboy" Bob Orton were in the front row to see the cavalcade of carnage put on between the two contenders. Meanwhile, the Singh Brothers joined Mahal, lending support from ringside.In a back and forth match, Mahal took liberty at applying all sorts of offense to Randy Orton's previously tweaked knee. Several submissions, strikes, and a slam on the announcer's table saw the reigning champion gain a heavy advantage over Orton. The champion even went as far as to poke fun at the legends when he had Orton on the mat, putting the figure-four leg lock made famous by Ric Flair on Orton to try to submit him. However, the Viper gained his own momentum when he reversed a grapple from the top turnbuckle and suplexed Mahal off of it in homage to Bob Orton.
Putting on his own offense, Randy was able to catch Mahal with the RKO and went for the pin, but the Singh brothers managed to keep Mahal in the match, sneaking his foot onto the rope and sabotaging the three-count. The ref saw the devious tactic and ejected the brothers, but when they put eyes on Bob Orton and started to move to attack him, Randy exited the ring, laying a beat down on both of them.Unfortunately for Randy, Mahal recovered while the Singh Brothers took their lumps for him. When Orton arrived back in the ring to try to deliver another RKO, the champ was ready with a kick to the bad knee, a Khallas to follow, and a pin to retain the championship.
Mahal has had a strong showing ever since he seemingly became WWE Champion out of nowhere. A big part of that has been WWE's push to expand into India where the brand is growing rapidly, but Mahal's great look, talent, and charisma certainly helps his case. One might have expected that RKO had better odds at winning the match, considering 2017's Money in the Bank was set in his backyard of St. Louis, Missouri. That said, even the Viper himself previously expressed belief in Jinder Mahal as a superstar, claiming to have given Mahal advice to help him grow further as a professional wrestler and champion.
It's hard to say whether Orton may be eating his words or respectful as a result of Jinder Mahal's win tonight. The Modern Day Maharaja didn't exactly win clean over Orton with the interference of the Singh Brothers both in and out of the ring. That said, the bottom line is that Mahal pinned Orton and the WWE Championship belt is still firmly in his clutches for the time being.
[Featured Image by WWE]