Jinder Mahal went from being a mere enhancement talent to winning the WWE Championship and the United States Championship in a single year’s time. The Modern Day Maharaja has victories over the likes of Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode only to name a few.
WWE United States Champion Jinder Mahal was recently a guest on Lilian Garcia’s podcast. There, the Modern Day Maharaja talked about his ascension from being a jobber to a big-time player.
Mahal was told that he would be elevated as a Superstar after WrestleMania 33 but he never expected to be directly put into the WWE Championship picture. Mahal said that he had two choices: swim or sink; he chose the former and hasn’t looked back since: (h/t wrestlinginc)
WrestleMania week I saw Road Dogg at the hotel in the hallways. He said, ‘Hey Jinder, after WrestleMania, good things are going to happen to you.’ I think the plan was that they were going to elevate me a little bit. I thought, cool, I can actually be in a storyline, be in the U.S Championship, the I.C Championship. So, I got drafted to SmackDown, which was a good sign. All along, I wanted to be drafted to SmackDown. Right when I got signed I would see Road Dogg in the hallways and telling him to please draft me to SmackDown because I saw people on SmackDown getting opportunities.
I love Raw. Raw has a stigma about it, but us on the blue team have a chip on their shoulder, but they say SmackDown is the land of opportunity, which it really is. I was at a live event on a Monday Night, and they announced the Six-Pack Challenge match for the Number One Contender’s Match. I also see Tweets wondering how Jinder Mahal is in the Number One Contender’s Match, he hasn’t won a match in a long time. I think Baron Corbin, or Luke Harper was going to go in with Randy Orton.
I remember getting my wrists taped and I asked who was going to face Randy Orton. I think Luke Harper was in there. He said to me, ‘it’s you.’ I was taken aback. What? I’m going to work with Randy Orton [for the WWE World Championship]? Five minutes later I saw Randy, and told him that we were going to work together. So, I had to grow a lot very quickly because to be a main event WWE Superstar is an entirely different ballgame. I always see people wishing they can be in the main event. If you were given that opportunity, would you sink or swim? I had no choice but to swim. I was fortunate enough to have a great relationship with Randy Orton. I believe Randy Orton is one of the greatest of all time. He is so smooth, so flawless.
The Modern Day Maharaja’s story was unheard of until it actually culminated. However, Mahal is one of the last true heels left in this business and has optimized every opportunity that he has ever earned.