wrestling / Columns

Don’t Hinder Jinder

May 19, 2017 | Posted by Andrew Hughes

Smackdown Live has featured unheralded names featured in major roles. Tyler Breeze and Fandango are flourishing as an over-the-top duo that hands out tickets as the fashion police. Their backstage segments have revitalized their careers and have them heading into Backlash this Sunday with a legitimate chance to walk away tag team champions. Tamina Snuka is back in the fold after what felt like an eternity away as the muscle to a new heel group on Smackdown. Tamina, Carmella and Natalya (and James Ellsworth) are now known as the “Welcoming Committee” and are producing entertaining segments as the foil for Naomi, Charlotte and Becky Lynch. In the main event of this coming Sunday’s pay-per-view Randy Orton will be battling Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship and….

Wait WHAT?

If you haven’t watched WWE since the Superstar Shakeup you’ve clearly missed quite a bit. Acts are being resurrected left and right. Alicia Fox won a match on Raw for the first time in over two years. The aforementioned Breezango are one of the hottest tag teams in wrestling. Apollo Crews is being shoehorned into a tag team with Titus O’Neill because they are both black…oh wait WWE has always inexplicably done that.

But…Jinder Mahal? IN A WWE TITLE MATCH?

Yep. And it’s working.

Jinder Mahal has had potential since the day he marched into WWE under the guise that he was the Great Khali’s brother-in-law. It was a silly way to introduce a new character but the WWE has also introduced a man with a painted face who eats worms and slams a clock on his head for an entrance.

Mahal always had a lot of great attributes. His voice is deep and raspy and he delivers lines well. He has a tremendous look. The man looks like he was carved out of granite. He is legitimately menacing (although Ryback may disagree about the whole “legitimate” part). The only thing holding Mahal back was his booking.

Boy oh boy was it shitty.

Mahal never went on a legitimate win streak. He never captured a mid-tier title. He never really did much of anything. Instead the Great Khali got the better of him even though Khali’s days of main-eventing (and not having trouble walking) were mostly over. Mahal was a joke.

The joke did get funnier. Jinder Mahal became a member of 3MB with Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre and was actually over. The team, though, was a laughingstock. They were a fun laughingstock though. There was even a time when the crowd chanted for the 3MB to stand toe-to-toe with the Shield during the peak of their powers. They did and were crushed.

That became a trend for Jinder Mahal. Following the 3MB star’s release in 2014, Mahal toured the Indy circuit for a bit. He certainly didn’t have a Cody Rhodes-esque run through the premiere Indy powers of America but he did quite well for himself. Mahal returned to Raw following the draft last year to begin another long streak of losing.

He lost as a singles star and he would go on to lose as Rusev’s tag team partner as well. Mahal was back to being a punching bag. He was even Rob Gronkowski’s tackle dummy at WrestleMania!

Mahal lost to Finn Balor on his last night on Raw and was subsequently drafted Smackdown. Then something funny happened. He won.

Mahal became the #1 contender to the WWE Championship after the Singh brothers (formerly the Bollywood Boys) came to ringside and cost Sami Zayn the opportunity. In the following weeks the self proclaimed Maharajah laid waste to talents like Zayn, AJ Styles and even Randy Orton himself. He rolls into Backlash with the most momentum (by far) he has ever had. He may very well win the WWE Championship this Sunday in Chicago. And you know what I say to that?

Don’t hinder Jinder.

Go out there and become a champion buddy. It will have been quite a six year odyssey. But that’s the most fun thing that can happen right now in pro wrestling (in my opinion of course). And wrestling is supposed to be fun.

I apologize to Drew Gulak and Noam Dar for losing sight of that in my admittedly shitty cruiserweight column two weeks ago. Without the power of positivity we are nothing people!

Flame away everyone.