We now live in a wrestling world where Jinder Mahal is the #1 Contender for the WWE Title.
You read that right, Jinder Mahal. If you told wrestling fans that a week, a month, even a year ago, they would have laughed in your face. They might have asked you what kind of drugs you were taking, or if the LSD was still kicked in from watching Naomi’s entrance.
On the surface, I don’t have an issue with new guys being given a shot at the WWE Title. It is something that should be done more often with the brand split in place. Hell, it is something that needs to be done more often in the world of the WWE all together. All too often we see the same 5-6 guys in the main events of any show. New blood is always welcomed at the top of the card. But the WWE (Vince McMahon in particular) always takes issue in one thing that doesn’t work for him. The guy doesn’t have the look, he said belt instead of title, he can’t cut a 20 minute promo like my son-in-law; these are just some of the things that end up stopping a main event push for someone.
But while wrestlers getting a main event push can be good, there is also a right way and a wrong way to do it. And unfortunately the WWE pushed Jinder Mahal to the top in the worst way possible. Last week, Jinder Mahal was a job guy. He legit KO’d Finn Balor with a stiff forearm. At Wrestlemania, he was made to look like a fool by Mojo Rawley and Rob Gronkowski. The same thing happened last week on his first appearance on Smackdown Live. And now we are suppose to believe that he can be the #1 Contender for the WWE Title?
Sure, unpredictability can be a good thing for the WWE. But this is the worst possible use of it. You can’t expect any fan, whether they are internet fans or someone that just started watching a month ago, to take this match seriously. This move just screams a lack of planning on the WWE’s part. I had no problem with the WWE giving someone new a Title shot at Backlash. That show is going to be a draw because of Shinsuke Nakamura’s first match on the main roster and AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens. Some people will ask why those three aren’t in the WWE Title match. The answer is because you can’t rush those matches. Same thing with Baron Corbin. If they wanted to make Jinder Mahal a main eventer, they should have done what they are doing with Corbin and build him up over time.
Out of all the options in the #1 Contenders match, Jinder Mahal was probably the worst possible winner. Hell, even Mojo Rawley won the Andre the Giant Battle Royal at Wrestlemania. That’s more than Jinder Mahal won recently. Then there is Sami Zayn, the perennial underdog who the fans are just dying to get behind. But he has taken two straight pinfall losses since coming to Smackdown. The best option would have been Luke Harper. There is history between Harper and Orton recently that could have been played up in the feud. Harper has also gotten himself over in recent weeks due to his in ring work. Harper deserves a higher spot on the card. A win in the #1 Contenders match followed by a 15 minute WWE Title match with Orton would have done tremendous work for Harper. I don’t even think Jinder Mahal has ever worked a 10 minute match. I’m not even sure what Jinder Mahal’s finisher is.
Then the WWE went and made Jinder Mahal look like a complete bitch in the aftermath of the match. After Orton came out and confronted Mahal and the Bray Wyatt promo started, Mahal just left. There was no sign of him whatsoever. If you want to get Mahal over in a serious manner, he should have attacked Orton right after that promo ended. But instead the WWE made Mahal a complete afterthought to the Bray Wyatt/Randy Orton BOOGITY BOO show. It was a bad start for the WWE Title push of Jinder Mahal. And if the WWE turns Mahal into the typical Anti-American wrestler that has failed so many in the past, it will only go on to hinder Jinder even more. (Sorry I had to get that line in there!)
So while I commend the WWE for trying to make new stars, they just went about it the completely wrong way with Jinder Mahal. You can only ask your fans to stretch their imaginations so much. If you find one wrestling fan that actually thinks Jinder Mahal will beat Randy Orton then I think you found a liar. Making new stars shouldn’t be a problem for the WWE. But when they attempt to make them, something always goes wrong. The WWE can never seem to get from point A to point B without making a mess of it. And I have a feeling that something like that is going to happen with this Jinder Mahal push.
Until Next Time,
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka