Was Jinder Mahal ever relevant?
We explore Jinder Mahal's relevance as a main eventer, over on Smackdown Live.
Much has been written about Jinder Mahal over the past few months. It all started with people noticing his impressive physical transformation. The Hard Body Mahal shtick was not really convincing enough to put people he jobbed to over with the WWE Universe. Case in point, Mojo Rawley.
There were people who did comment on his possible use of banned substances, but by and large, no one cared. And then, something weird happened. He won a number one contenders match. People started to notice.
But he was still considered to be an afterthought. Until that moment, when he landed the Khallas on Randy Orton to win the WWE championship. As numerous Youtube reaction videos show, WWE genuinely managed to shock almost everyone.
It would be an understatement to say that not many were pleased with this change. And he took his time to grow into his role. And from a promo point of view, he did. But the choice of opponents and the quality of matches did a major disservice to Jinder Mahal. Not to mention, the complete disconnect from the rest of the programming.
Shows are supposed to be built around your champion. That was never the case with Jinder Mahal. Week after week, his promo, his rivalry, his interaction (or lack of) with Daniel Bryan and Shane Mcmahon made it difficult, if not impossible to build a show around him. Smackdown would have continued irrespective of his segments being there.
Although he was the WWE champion, it never looked like the company had faith in him to carry the show. His victories were cheap. Every time it was the same. The Singh brothers interfered and allowed him to capitalize. Even the bumps that were noteworthy were taken by the Singh brothers.
That looked to change with Survivor Series looming large, it looked like WWE was finally willing to place more faith in him and place him in a marquee clash with Brock Lesnar. A clash, mind you, put together because he challenged the Beast.
There seemed to be a build. Win or lose, and we all expected him to lose, it was a chance for him to come out looking strong. Instead, WWE pulled the trigger and AJ Styles became the Champion.
Here was the test of how relevant Mahal was for Smackdown. Would he be added to team Smackdown? Would he interfere in the Styles-Lesnar match? Would he cost Smackdown the victory? None of those things happened. He was supposed to have a rematch after Survivor Series, and inexplicably on Smackdown, it was announced to have been postponed to Clash of Champions. They even teased an end to his association with the Singh brothers.
As hard as he has worked to come where he has, it is difficult to see Jinder Mahal as relevant in the main event scene anymore. He probably never was, even when he was the Champion.
However, while it may not have been one of the greatest WWE championship reigns of all times, there is a lot of credibility that WWE added to Jinder Mahal's character. He has come out looking stronger than Dolph Ziggler or Jack Swagger at the end of their respective reigns. It is now up to the writers over at Smackdown to weave him intrinsically into the show.
They have a wrestler who can thrive as an old school heel and get genuine heat from the WWE universe. Maybe a 3 MB reunion or a feud with Rusev to go after AJ Styles. As a wrestling lover, one just hopes that it would not be another case of wasted opportunity by the WWE.