Jinder Mahal shocked the world, when he beat Randy Orton for the WWE Championship in front of a sold out Chicago crowd at Backlash. Only the second WWE Champion of Indian descent, Jinder Mahal opens up on representing India in the WWE.
‘The Maharja’ has had his fair share of struggles, as he worked his way from the bottom right to the very top of the mountain. He initially tasted some mild success with the WWE, before being released by the company.
Many people believe that Mahal’s recent surge to the main event scene is primarily a marketing move by the WWE. It is no secret that the WWE wishes to capture the huge Indian market over the coming years, and wrestlers like Mahal will play a big role in this.
But Mahal does not care, as he believes that his hard work and dedication is the sole reason for his recent success. This is what he said about his victory over Orton, representing India and much more.
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“It feels great. Randy Orton is one of the greatest WWE superstars of all time, 13-time WWE champion and to knock off somebody like him, the ‘Apex Predator’ is a great feeling; being a WWE champion and to be representing India is tremendous. Hopefully this will be the first of many WWE title reigns to come.”
“It definitely is an added pressure. But I like pressure, I thrive on pressure, I use the pressure to motive me more; to work harder and to diet harder, to be more aggressive in the ring. Pressure is something I want. I want the company to put faith in me because I am ready for it. You know, a lot of athletes they just want to coast by, fly under the radar, but not me. I want to be the greatest, I want to be a champion, I want to represent WWE, represent India, represent everybody on as big as a stage as I can.”
“Yes, it has been less than one year and honestly during my first run with WWE I will be first to admit that I didn’t give my 100 per cent. I got side tracked, I was too young. But I learned my lesson and said to myself that if I get another chance with WWE I won’t have any regrets and I will give my 110 per cent. And when you give something your 110 per cent, it gives you back 110 per cent and that exactly what happened. I gave my all to WWE trying to be the best superstar in the roster, and they rewarded me with the opportunity to become the WWE champion.”
“It is a great responsibility to be representing India in the WWE universe. Not only that, I am a WWE champion and as you said, the second ever (from India). India is such a passionate place when it comes to WWE, it has a special place in the WWE universe. The most passionate fans are from India and I hope that I can motive more Indians to pursue wresting or any athletics for that matter and become champions. And I hope they go on to represent India because in sports there is lack of Indian athletes. I think we have lots of talent there, we have everything and hopefully this (win) kick-starts and motivates younger people to pursue their dreams – whether it is WWE or cricket or anything like this and become champions.”
“I want to say thank you to everybody for supporting me. Spread the word. Tell everybody, tell your friends, that the Maharaja is WWE Champion and to tune in to SmackDown to see him become one of the greatest champions of all time. I also want to send a message to India’s youth. Anything is possible. Especially in Punjab, there is a huge drug problem right now. Stay away from that, take care of your body and respect yourself. Play sports, do exercise, stay healthy, get a good education and better your life. Anything is possible as long as you’re willing to put in the work.”