Why Jinder Mahal needs to beat AJ Styles
I think we can all agree that Jinder Mahal has been underwhelming as WWE Champion. He didn't have the proper push to the title, he's not one of the better in-ring talents, and he doesn't grip the audience with his attempts to be the heel he needs to be. The better match for Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series is definitely AJ Styles, not Mahal.
However, he needs to beat Styles this Tuesday night on Smackdown. And in the course of the article, I'm going to tell you why.
I want to preface the rest of this article with the fact that I am no expert in how booking works. I don't have any insiders in the backstage area. The only thing that makes me qualified to write this article is that I've been a fan for 20+ years, I've got thoughts of what I would like to see, and I can type. So feel free to disagree, leave comments, and let me know what you think.
Mahal's first real action on the WWE roster was with 3 Man Band, or 3MB. When he was on that comedy team, he was known as the quiet one. And for good reason. I mean, Heath Slater's got kids. Leaving Mahal to rely on his in-ring work, which, to be honest, wasn't that bad for his spot on the roster at that time. When he was released from his contract, many of us never thought he would be seen on WWE TV again.
That's when WWE surprised us all. He was brought back and he was a completely different person. He had completely changed his diet, his workout routine, and he looked like he could be marketable. But, WWE decided that he would still be lower-mid-card.
You may remember his altercation on the Wrestlemania pre-show with Rob Gronkowski during the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Before we knew it, Mahal was the number one contender for the title; a title he won off of future Hall of Famer Randy Orton. It didn't make sense, everyone was confused. Even my wife, who only knows what happens on the shows because of me, didn't understand why a former member of 3MB was now WWE Champion.
Now, don't get me wrong, Mahal has some great opportunities to be a great heel. His look is intimidating, his voice is very powerful, and he's got the Singh Brothers in his back pocket to distract the referees and opponents. And while I think the Singh Brothers are the top reason why Mahal has a good chance of being a great heel champion, he should go over Styles clean.
Let's play out a scenario where Mahal beats Styles clean. That makes him look strong going into a matchup against Lesnar, who is a part-time champion dealing with a rising talent pool on Monday nights, several former world champions, and the ultimate enemy, age.
He's 40 years old now and really can only be the dominant champion for another 3 to 4 years before he has to pass on the torch to someone else. So going into the Survivor Series matchup, WWE can play it out like he's the easy choice for the win, but completely swerve on the audience.
The matchup starts with Lesnar taking Mahal to Suplex City, as expected. The Singh Brothers, being the good stooges they are, try to distract Lesnar. This causes the referee to get hit, leaving his body lying on the mat. Lesnar, who realises that his easy win was taken from him, then goes after Samir and Sunil. Of course, they get put through the announcer's table, because they get that treatment at each Pay-Per-View.
Meanwhile, Paul Heyman is in the background directing traffic. That's when the match can really start to swing to Mahal's favour. Heyman, frustrated that Lesnar is now forced to wait until the referee comes for his victory to be cemented, grabs a steal chair for Brock to use.
That's when the referee finally wakes up and sees the Singhs on the ground and Heyman with a chair. The referee and Heyman get in each other's faces, causing the referee to steal the chair from Heyman and toss him from ringside.
Now, even though Lesnar is standing while Mahal and the Singhs are lying on the ground, he's still all alone. Mahal fights back, getting one last bit of help from the Singh Brothers to win the match and leave the audience stunned.
For the next two months, Mahal can ride the wave of beating Lesnar. That's when Styles can win the Royal Rumble and take the title from Mahal from him at Wrestlemania, which is the proper time to take the title from a true heel champion.
This is how Jinder Mahal can go from irrelevant to relevant in two weeks time.