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Jinder Mahal has a golden opportunity to impress in the WWE

Jinder Mahal has an amazing chance to prove he has what it takes to succeed on WWE's main event scene.

Feature 21 Apr 2017, 18:45 IST
Jinder Mahal went from nothing to a WWE Championship shot

Jinder Mahal came out of nowhere to become the new No.1 Contender to Randy Orton’s WWE Championship. Mahal’s win on SmackDown Live only reinforced the notion that truly anything can happen in WWE, and now fans are anxiously waiting to see how it will all play out.

Mahal has the chance of a lifetime, and there are certainly many WWE Superstars that would love to have his spot. Though recent buzz online attributes Mahal’s rise to the company’s expansion in India, the fact is the reasoning behind it all may be irrelevant.

This is about a guy getting an opportunity. WWE is the biggest pro-wrestling company in the world, and these opportunities are rare indeed. For the most part, Superstars have to earn their way up the ladder to get any sort of substantial reward.

However, in Mahal’s case, the decision to elevate him was sudden and extremely surprising. He seemed to have moved from the back of the line to the front, while others are still waiting their turn. But just like any other talent on the roster, Mahal must now prove he can handle the responsibility that’s on his shoulders.

He’s stepped into the game and must contribute. It’s the precise position that every aspiring pro-wrestler wants to be in, and now Mahal has it. Of course, getting there may have looked easy, but now the real work begins.

The most important aspect of Mahal’s development must be his character. Because many fans are already hating on him, Mahal has the potential to quickly become one of the most despised heels in the company. WWE knows this, of course, and will surely capitalise on it.

He must be featured on TV as much as possible. This is not a case in which he should be used sparingly; if anything, he should be utilised during multiple segments on SmackDown Live. The more fans see him, the more they will grow to truly hate him, and that’s a very good thing for everyone involved.

Mahal must get comfortable in his own skin and be relaxed in his approach, yet maintain an explosive intensity at the same time. He can’t get too overwhelmed with his newfound spotlight, but rather use it to his advantage.

The booking is key, as is always the case when WWE brings a new main event star up. Fans must not only hate Mahal but must also learn to respect him. If he’s not a serious threat to Orton’s title, then all of this would have been for nothing.

Fans must believe that Mahal has the ability to beat Orton. That doesn’t mean that Mahal must physically dominate Orton every time they cross paths, but it does mean that Orton himself must begin to recognise that his newest challenger is a force to be reckoned with.

The only way to make that happen is if Jinder actually believes it himself. This cannot be just another role for him; it must be the role for him. He has to understand where he is and what’s expected of him. If he can do that, and if fans accept him as the real deal, then his eventual match with Orton should be a success.

Of course, much of that depends on how he does in the match itself. It’s not that Mahal has ever been overly criticised for his work, but he’s not exactly been highly praised either. His recent match with Finn Balor is proof that Mahal is only human and still a bit rough around the edges.

Working stiff in the ring is not necessarily a bad thing, but when it comes at the expense of a top guy, it’s a problem. That cannot be the case when Mahal faces Orton. Mahal must follow Orton’s lead and work The Viper’s style of match. 

With Orton calling the shots and pacing the bout, Mahal will have chances to look good in the midst of it all. Fans are likely not expecting to see Mahal instantly evolve into an exciting performer overnight, but they are certainly hoping that he will at least look the part.

Despite Mahal’s surprising main event rise, a good number of fans are okay with it all. WWE’s recent campaign to promote the next generation of stars has worked on every level and has taken both Raw and SmackDown in different directions. 

It’s an exciting time for fans that are ready to see something new from WWE, and it’s the best opportunity any of the younger stars will certainly ever have. It’s all about getting over and taking the company into the future, and going in new directions like Mahal has done, is part of it.

WWE can be credited for opening the door, but Mahal has to walk through it. He has a prime opportunity to do what so many others may never get the chance to do. He has the chance to become an elite talent in WWE, and he’s taking his first steps to making that a reality.

Whether or not he will actually get there is anyone’s guess.

Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Sportskeeda. His podcast, Tom Clark’s Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online here.

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