4 reasons why Jinder Mahal was a true heel champion
The WWE Championship is undoubtedly the most sought-after and revered title in sports entertainment history. No knock to the WWE Universal Championship, but despite several name changes and title design modifications, the WWE Championship’s longevity of relevance has spanned more than five decades since Buddy Rogers established the title on April 25, 1963.
Given that only 50 men have ever been able to call themselves WWE Champion, making Jinder Mahal’s 170-day reign as Champion, despite criticism, was a historic title reign. In fact, the “Modern Day Maharaja” can hold his head high as a fighting champion who successfully defended his title on four separate pay-per-view events.
But we like Jinder’s reign for only one reason: he was a proper “heel” Champion, one of which we haven’t seen in quite some time. This is largely unique in modern day WWE, where fans and writers often clash over how a performer is supposed to be portrayed (see Roman Reigns).
Here are some of the reasons we loved his title reign.
#1 He was a true heel
Jinder Mahal created the right amount of heat, whether it was directed at his subjective ability to wrestle, his personality, or his microphone skills, that personified what it is to hold a title as a heel. We haven’t seen that level of heat directed at a WWE Champion in quite some time, with heel champions in recent memory both receiving boos, jeers and cheers from the WWE Universe.
There was nothing better than the crowd aggressively shouting "USA! USA!" while Jinder calmly raised his title with a devious and defiant grin scrawled across his face. This is the sight, frankly, that we missed in our recent WWE Champions.
Don’t believe we haven't had a real heel champion in some time? Let’s look at the five WWE Champions prior to Jinder Mahal winning the title from Randy Orton at Backlash 2017...