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Jinder Mahal's WWE Championship win is the right move for the company's new era

Tom Clark
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 10:50 IST
Jinder Mahal became the new WWE champion at Backlash

Jinder Mahal is the new WWE champion and many fans are very upset about it. It’s interesting of course because before his match with Randy Orton at Backlash on May 21, Mahal actually had his fair share of supporters.

During their match, fans were giving the Indian Superstar the John Cena treatment by chanting “let’s go Jinder, Jinder sucks.” It’s apparent that fans were aware of what could happen. It’s safe to say that there was a bevy of acceptance online for a title change at Backlash.

But once it happened, fans were sent into a state of shock. Now that reality has set in, the question must be asked. Why? Why are fans so upset about Mahal becoming the new WWE champion? The answer is perhaps not that obvious, though it’s there for everyone to see.

The fact is WWE has conditioned the audience to believe that a guy must work his way up to get a shot. Daniel Bryan is a great example of this, as he had to come up from the very bottom to finally get a real opportunity at main event stardom.

His road wasn’t always easy, and WWE didn’t always do the right thing for him, but he persevered until he reached the top. CM Punk is another great example of a talent that had to fight his way from nothing to relevancy, and he did it his way.

Daniel Bryan climbed up the ladder to the top of WWE

The same thing has happened for years in other promotions outside WWE of course, but Vince McMahon’s company is the one getting the most attention and rightfully so. After all, no one should know more about the business, or how it should be presented, than the WWE.

The idea of a hard working talent that builds his career one step at a time has been perfected in that company.

Even Roman Reigns had crowd support when he began his ascension in WWE. The company didn’t seem to be moving too fast, Reigns was doing well, and the process was going fairly smoothly. Had WWE not elevated Reigns over Bryan, then maybe The Big Dog would have a much more positive reaction than he currently does.


But things are different when it comes to Mahal. He was never pegged as the heir apparent to John Cena as Reigns was. He was also never booked on a path to the top as many other world champions before him had been. Mahal didn’t come from out of nowhere in terms of being new to the company, but he may as well have been.

Fans are looking at Mahal as if he didn’t deserve the win because he didn’t work his way up. It’s that simple. Had he began on a road to the main event in May and won the WWE title at SummerSlam in August, then fans would likely have not had a problem with it. Fans understand how the system is meant to work, and how it’s always worked in the past.

However, while hate is being thrown at Mahal, there’s another point that’s been missed. This move is something new, it’s different, and those are good things for WWE. Mahal’s win will be hailed as part of the New Era, a win that proves WWE is committed to the evolution of the product.

The New Era is much more than just a gimmick; it’s an actual movement.

Jinder Mahal is the new champ of the New Era

The WWE faithful wanted to see the company move ahead. For years it was John Cena versus Randy Orton. Every time it appeared as though WWE would go in different directions, everything always seemed to go right back to the same old routine.

Punk and Bryan were different, and each man gave fans something new to follow. But each man’s career ultimately ended prematurely. Fans got a glimpse of what life in WWE could be like if the company chose to look ahead, but those glimpses never lasted long enough.

But once NXT got over and fans saw the level of talent that was performing there, they finally had hope. Maybe WWE would indeed begin to advance to the future, instead of always staying in the same location.

Despite how fans may feel about his new role as WWE champion, they can’t forget that Mahal’s win falls under the New Era umbrella. With that being the case, Mahal should be given a chance to show what he can do on the main event stage.

He’s not had that opportunity to date, but everything has changed now. WWE has made the move, Mahal has stepped up to accept the responsibility, and fans have to learn to live with it. The company cannot evolve unless new stars are created, and that’s exactly what’s happening with Mahal.

A WWE Championship win doesn’t mean that Mahal is the new top guy. It also doesn’t mean he’s being given the keys to the kingdom. However, it does mean that he’s now become a brand new player in a company that’s succeeded on the backs of guys that rose above expectations. If he is to make it, then he must now do the same.

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 at

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Published 23 May 2017, 13:33 IST
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