No that title isn’t any kind of misdirection. The man who was only signed as a jobber not one year ago. Jinder Mahal, the man who’s spent the better part of the last six years as the butt of jokes among fans is now THE top man in the WWE – capturing the WWE Championship from Randy Orton at WWE’s Backlash PPV.
The match was the main event for the WWE Championship. Jinder Mahal had won his opportunity in a match on Smackdown Live a month back, defeating the likes of Sami Zayn and AJ Styles for the chance to face Orton. Many fans didn’t believe it was possible – even the bookies had Orton down as the clear favorite.
It’s the first time that Jinder Mahal has held a WWE belt of any level, let alone the biggest Championship in the company. His victory also marked the first time that the Indian born Superstar had competed for the Championship.
Jinder Mahal, prior to this victory, was most noted for his role in the Three-Man-Band stable. Headed by Heath Slater, the group were glorified jobbers (aka, people whose job it is to lose regularly). He left this group when he was released back in 2015. He returned to WWE during last summers WWE Draft – beating Heath Slater for a contract on the Monday Night Raw show. During the post-Wrestlemania ‘Superstar Shakeup’, he found his way over to the Smackdown Live brand.
It’ll be very interesting to see where this leads. WWE has been making some huge pushes into the Indian space recently, looking to tap into the huge population there. Certainly giving the sub-continent a Champion of its own is a huge boost for WWE’s exposure within the region. Certainly this will get eyes on the product.
What do you think? Are you surprised that Jinder Mahal has won the WWE Championship?