WWE appears to be giving a major push to #Jinder Mahal. After his win on "WWE SmackDown Live" on Tuesday, fans all over the world were a little thrown back by the move. He was part of a 6 pack challenge where the winner of the match would be the #1 Contender for the WWE World Championship. The winner would go on to face the winner of Bray Wyatt vs #Randy Orton, which takes place later this month at "WWE Payback.".
It did not make sense, in theory, to have him win when he clearly had not been at the top of the card or anywhere close to it. Jinder Mahal was talented years ago, but that was when he was younger and had been in the company for years. He even worked as a mid-card star for a good portion at that time. But then he went on to job out a lot and even get released. He made a comeback last year in much better shape, and he even improved in the ring. Still however, WWE kept him as a jobber until he moved to the blue brand.
So why is WWE pushing Jinder Mahal?
According to WrestlingNews.co, the real reason for all of this happens to be due to business. WWE wants to expand in their India market, as the Indians seem to love pro-wrestling and have some of the most passionate fans you can find. Most are big John Cena and Roman Reigns fans, but they have not been high on anyone outside Great Khali as WWE has not had many Indians in a top place.
Jinder is billed from India, but he is actually from Canada. However, he is far better than Khali when it comes to Indian stars to use. The expansion move comes after rumors of Mahal being pushed started to go around the rumor mill.
Impact Wrestling saw one of their highest paying television deals come out of India, through the Sony SIX channel. WWE airs programming on TEN2 in India now. This is a big market to cater to that WWE has ignored for the most part as far as stars are concerned. However, they have attempted to change that the last few years. Bringing back Jinder Mahal was the start of this move. Mahal may be Canadian, but his family is actually Punjabi Sikh. He even speaks Punjabi, which will get Indian fans on his side the more he does it.
On top of this, WWE actually appointed Sheetesh Srivastava as VP and General Manager of their office in India. The plan is to put him in charge of day-to-day operations for WWE in the area. This will include everything involving live events, marketing, sponsorship, licensing and merchandise.
He previously worked for the Walt Disney company in India. WWE also opened up their WWE Shop in India a couple weeks ago, which was big for the market. The expectation is that they will push Jinder as a top star and new merch will come along with that.
What is the plan for Jinder Mahal's character?
The plan is to push Jinder to the World Title match by exploiting the character he used when he originally started in WWE. He was known as an Indian man from a rich family who helped him get trained in the world of wrestling, where he could dominate. Of course, he became a mid-card guy at best in his original run. Now he has returned in better shape, and is well worth the push. However, he has to be a heel that cheats to win for the time being, as he jobbed for so long that he needs help to be believable.
Included in all of this is that WWE added the Bollywood Brothers, now going by the Singh brothers, to help watch Jinder's back on "SmackDown Live." They debuted this Tuesday to help Mahal win the match. They will obviously be useful in helping Mahal as a top heel, but will be useful in the tag division too. They are also Indian, but from Canada like Mahal.
WWE does not have plans to make Jinder Mahal the WWE World Champion right now. However, we can expect WWE to give Mahal a hard-fought match with Randy Orton, who is expected to enter as champion heading into "WWE Backlash." Mahal may very well be a favorite to win the WWE United States Championship soon, but they could very well shock the world and go with Mahal as a World Champion. If they do this, fans may lash out as they know it would only be to connect to an audience rather than the world at large. #Wwe Smackdown Live