Jinder Mahal has received an unexpected main event push in 2017, holding onto the WWE Championship for 170 days before dropping it to A.J. Styles earlier this month. Mahal has headlined a number of pay-per-view events, including Backlash and Battleground.
However, many have been critical of Mahal’s push. The Modern Day Maharaja portrays a character that some have deemed offensive and racist, while also lacking all-around wrestling skills.
“His is a great story. He was in the WWE years ago, then left company. And then really improved both in his wrestling and his body and came back and became a world champion. I think a guy like Jinder Mahal is really what every WWE superstar should strive to become.”
Indeed, Mahal did join the WWE in 2011 and began a feud with The Great Khali. But Mahal never got over with the crowd and was stuck in the mid-card level. In 2014, WWE released Mahal – who later spent two years in the independent circuit before coming back to the company in 2016.
Mahal then had a number of rivalries with fellow mid-card superstars, but finally arose to power after winning his first WWE Championship over Randy Orton at Backlash. He is set to face Styles for the Championship at Saturday’s Starrcade special event, but has also invoked his rematch clause for the Clash of Champions PPV on Dec. 17.
Though many fans and critics haven’t bought Mahal as a main event superstar, the WWE has pushed him in hopes of expanding and growing business and interest in the Indian market. WWE is set to tour on India in December, so Mahal will get the opportunity to help expand his exposure even more.
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