It was the first time that WWE held an event in India in two years. And with Mahal having Indian roots, it was special for him.
Mahal ended up losing to Triple H, who’s of course a WWE legend. But with the company pushing Mahal over the past year, many people thought Mahal would win in an effort to placate the Indian fans in attendance.
Triple H explained during an interview with NBC Sports that people in India don’t just automatically love Mahal because he’s Indian. He said that Mahal still has to earn their respect.
“I often think it’s funny to me that people in America, who have never been to India, put their thoughts and their beliefs onto other people, ‘like clearly that’s the truth.’ (Laughs). It’s totally different there!” Triple H said. “The way they see things and react to things is very different. There are certain guys that once they reach a level there, it’s a whole different ballgame; Undertaker, [John] Cena. It’s just a different level of stardom.
“When we were over there a few months ago having business meetings, to hear the people who are running television studios or Internet companies say to me ‘I watched you when I was a teenager. You were like the biggest guy in the world.’ I met a massive Bollywood star the other day who told me that I was his entire childhood. He got suspended from school for telling someone to ‘suck it.’ At a time in ’96 when there were like three channels there, we were on one of them all of the time.
“It’s not to say Jinder wasn’t ‘over’ there. He was! You have to understand the market. It’s not like everyone just went, ‘Oh my God he’s Indian! He looks like us so we love him.’ They are a savvy market. They understand that he’s [playing] a bad guy [on television]. Even though he got a massive reaction, he still needs to earn their respect. He’s still growing and still new. You know what I mean?”
Triple H is confident that Mahal will grow in popularity in India as he continues to prove himself over time.
“Just even being on this tour will help him. The reaction he got at the beginning of the night was much different than the reaction he got at the end of the night. It just grew. Their appreciation of him grew. It was all handled in the right way and done in the right manner. Over time he’s going to grow and become a cultural icon for them.”
Triple H is right. You have to figure that if Mahal was such a big star in India, they wouldn’t have had to cut the tour short due to poor ticket sales.
Mahal came back to WWE in July of 2016 and has already won the WWE Championship one time. But he still has to prove that he can be a superstar for the next several years before even people in India will buy into him and support him the way they have wrestlers like Triple H.
Mahal will have a chance to continue to build his legacy as a big time wrestler, since he’ll et a chance to win the WWE Championship back when he faces off against AJ Styles during this Sunday’s Clash of Champions event.
It will be interesting to see whether or not Mahal gets his title back or if WWE wants to have Styles continue as the WWE Champion going forward. If I had to make a guess, I would say that Mahal will win his title back this weekend.
Feel free to comment below and tell us whether you think Mahal will defeat Styles. Also do you believe that he end up becoming a WWE legend when his career is all said and done?
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