Drew McIntyre won the WWE Championship at this year’s WrestleMania, and he’s been on a dominant babyface run since then. At this weekend’s Backlash pay-per-view he’ll defend his title against Bobby Lashley, but a new report states that the company recently had plans to put him into a program with Jinder Mahal.
As quoted by Sportskeeda, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter‘s Dave Meltzer noted that WWE planned on pitting the former 3MB teammates against each other before Mahal got injured. However, while their history seemed like it’d play a part in the feud, Meltzer revealed that WWE may have chosen to overlook their stable days.
“There was a report regarding a McIntyre vs. Mahal program that had to be scrapped. There was talk due to the dearth of top heels of doing one match since they have the storyline of being former partners (although bringing that period up kind of reminds people of just how low on the totem pole both were for years) but not a long-term program.”
Mahal was the World Champion for six months back in 2017, the same year that McIntyre returned to WWE after being released in 2014. While he has struggled to establish himself as a main event player since losing the title, his heel personality — and previous title credentials — make him a logical opponent for McIntyre.
McIntyre and Mahal’s careers also run parallel in many ways. They were both released in 2014 after falling down the card and becoming comedic enhancement talents. However, during their time away from the company, they got into much better shape and returned to WWE, winning World Championships in the process.
McIntyre believes that these elements, coupled with their history as allies, could make for an interesting storyline. The World Champion is also keen for the feud to happen at some point, but Mahal’s knee injury could have ended those plans.
Mahal’s title run was steeped in controversy, as he won the belt without having any substantial build beforehand. He had lost the majority of his matches when he came back to the company, and then WWE decided to turn him into a champion. Mahal did get some notable heat from the fan base, however, and his reign gave him a spotlight to showcase his skills.
Mahal looked set for a push when he returned to Monday Night Raw following a long-term injury a few weeks ago, but he only competed in one match before he was put on the sidelines again.