SK Exclusive: Jinder Mahal's surprising original plans for Backlash

How did the Gronk involvement at ‘Mania help Mahal? 
Billi Bhatti

Jinder Mahal's rise from jobber to the WWE Champion has been the surprise story of 2017. However, some of the circumstances surrounding it, as revealed by The Dirty Sheets Podcast, via our “DS Breaking News” show, are even more far fetched the final outcome. You can listen to the podcast by clicking the Soundcloud link, below.

Sitting in Boston, MA, on the night of WrestleMania 33, was head of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick. At the same time, Patriot's star receiver, Robert Gronkowski, was at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, playing wrestler.

"Gronk," as he's referred to, was scripted to aid his friend Mojo Rawley to win the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. This was a last minute call, made only when Gronk agreed to get involved in the match. The original winner was set to be Braun Strowman. 

One person who didn't confirm or sign off on Gronk's involvement was Bill Belichick. The Patriots were reported to be furious about Gronk's physical role, insisting that he not get physically involved at a WWE event again.

Unfortunately for the WWE and especially for Mojo Rawley, Gronk had already agreed to take part in a tag match at Backlash, where he would team with Mojo against Jinder Mahal and a partner of his choosing.

With plans for the Tag match completely scuppered, the WWE opted to make significant changes to their plans. Jinder Mahal would replace Baron Corbin as the No.1 contender and recipient of a WWE Championship match at Backlash, while, the biggest loser of the whole episode, Mojo Rawley, would be programmed to do absolutely nothing.

Gronk did return to the WWE one last time, to interfere in the blow-off match of the Jinder and Mojo feud, aiding a Mojo to get a victory from ringside, without being physically involved.

So whilst Mojo Rawley was the victim of the New England Patriot's decision to ban Rob Gronkowski from any physical interaction at WWE events, Jinder Mahal would end up as the ultimate beneficiary- going on to become the No.1 contender and then WWE Champion, when plans shockingly changed to Mahal going over Orton, just hours before the Backlash PPV.

If you enjoyed this article, check out our SK WWE Exclusive section for more news, scoops and interesting stories.


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Edited by Staff Editor
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