Interview: Jinder Mahal speaks about Shield vs 3MB, Starrcade, breaking CM Punk's 434 day record & more
The WWE Champion, Jinder Mahal, is currently in India, doing the rounds and making media appearances ahead of the Live Events in New Delhi on 8th and 9th of December. He caught up with our reporter Vijay Sharma, and spoke his mind about a wide variety of topics.
Here is the unedited and unabridged version of his interview with Sportskeeda. Prepare for a journey into the mind of the Modern Day Maharaja.
You will be a part of Starrcade very soon. Were you a WCW fan at the time, and who were some of your favourite WCW superstars?
Jinder Mahal: Yeah, I was actually a big WCW fan, but not at the time when the first Starrcade happened. But I later on became a huge WCW fan at the time of nWo. During the Monday Night Wars, I was definitely a big WCW fan.
Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Buff Bagwell, Big Poppa Pump. I was a big fan of the Cruiserweight Division -- guys like Juventud Guerrera. We actually have a great Cruiserweight Division of our own with 205 Live.
So what is a typical day of a Champion like?
Jinder Mahal: First thing I do is empty stomach cardio. Before I have breakfast, I do cardio. I eat breakfast, go to the gym, train for about two hours, I stretch, I do sauna, I do the weights. Get a little bit of rest. And then I have to perform every night. Average of four days a week.
We go to the event and perform. Then we drive two or three hours, go to the next town and perform. Rest is very important because I train hard. I have a tough match every night defending the WWE Championship.
I want to keep my performance really high because I want to come into the Live Events in December in India in tip-top shape. I will be defending the WWE Championship against the challenger Kevin Owens.
It's going to be two blockbuster events. Great seats still available. The shows are being presented with our partners, Sony Pictures Networks. I'm looking very forward to this. These two events are the biggest matches of my life. I'm going to need everyone there, showing their support.
So, how do you maintain your physique?
Jinder Mahal: I only drink water; water, black coffee and protein shakes. So I don't count calories, but every meal I get about 30-40 gms. proteins, 30-40 gms. carbohydrates. Follow me on Instagram to see what I'm eating, how I'm training.
It's been nice to be in India the last couple of days, and I've been eating all the Indian food I want.
Who's your dream opponent for WrestleMania 34?
Jinder Mahal: Brock Lesnar -- that would be amazing. Or someone like John Cena. Even John Cena's such a big, big star here in India it would be a blockbuster match. Especially if I beat someone like John Cena, I would really establish my own legacy, which is my number 1 goal.
You've surpassed many greats during your WWE Championship reign. Do you think you can beat CM Punk's 434-day record?
Jinder Mahal: Absolutely think I can. Why not? I believe I haven't even entered my prime yet. So, I'm 31 years old, I'm already WWE Champion for 140 something days at the moment. I've a lengthy title run ahead of me and many more title runs yet to come.
I know there are many other WWE Champions coming from India. You know we have so much talent, so much potential and there's never been a better time. WWE is so global right now, we're representing 180 countries. We have the Performance Center. World class facility with NXT.
You have the best coaches, you have the best facility, you have multiple rings... you even have a high flying ring with the crash pad. You can try your high flying moves on. There's never been a better time than right now for being a WWE superstar.
WWE is a global juggernaut. A couple of weeks ago, we were in China. I was blown away by the response. All the fans knew everything. They're singing along (to) entrance music, they're saying catchphrases, wearing t-shirts.
Number 1 viewership comes from here in India, whether that's social media, YouTube, television, Sony Ten Sports, Sony Ten 1 HD. RAW Sunday Dhamaal only highlighted RAW, now it highlights both RAW and SmackDown Live. I just made an appearance there. There's big things happening, and it's only going to continue to grow.
The Shield has reunited. Do you want 3MB to reunite and face them?
Jinder Mahal (laughs loudly): You know what? Someday, definitely. Not right now. I'm doing my own thing; Drew's doing his own thing, as the NXT Champion, and I'm waiting for Heath Slater to beat Brock Lesnar and become the Universal Champion.
But he's great. He won the Tag Team Championship along with Rhyno. He's got kids.(laughter). Who would have thought? 3MB was very underrated. But we dedicated ourselves, we reinvented ourselves, we motivated ourselves. You might see The Shield vs. 3 MB someday.
In the WWE anything can happen. Including at the Live Events. Get your tickets at Book My Show. It will sell out; get them while you still can. It's going to be two nights of amazing entertainment, family entertainment. We need to boo Kevin Owens right out of the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium (laughs).
What's your opinion of Kavita Devi, India's representative in the Mae Young Classic tournament?
Jinder Mahal: Kavita Devi is great. She represented India perfectly in her salwar kameez. She preserved our culture, she showed much strength. She's a powerlifter turned wrestler, and the future is bright for Kavita Devi.
What can Indian fans expect from the WWE show on 8th and 9th December?
Jinder Mahal: You can expect an exciting and entertaining show. You can expect a family event. Come down and support so that WWE does more shows in India, not just in Delhi, but in Punjab, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai... all across India.
Do you want RAW and SmackDown Live to air from India someday?
Jinder Mahal: That would be amazing.
Last question, What was your reaction when Kevin Owens headbutted Mr. McMahon?
Jinder Mahal (exclaims): I was shocked! Mr. McMahon is the chairman, right? You can't headbutt him. And then he's bleeding, the 70-year-old man. That's Kevin Owens. He's ruthless. That's why I'm taking it very seriously. I've seen what he did with Shane at Hell in a Cell. That's why I'm taking this match very, very seriously.
There is a reason why I'm the Modern Day Maharaja. The WWE Champion. And I will have the Singh Brothers here with me in New Delhi.