Jinder Mahal: From Jobber To #1 Contender

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Jinder Mahal
(Photo credit: WWE.com)

Jinder Mahal made his WWE television debut on April 29th, 2011. He confronted The Great Khali backstage. Mahal spent the next few months confronting wrestlers, but it never led to anything substantial. Mahal then began appearing on NXT and put together a winning streak. Mahal had the chance to become the first ever NXT Champion but lost in the Gold Rush Tournament Finals to Seth Rollins.

On September 21st, 2012, Mahal joined forces with Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater to form 3MB. Heath Slater was getting destroyed by Brodus Clay on an episode of SmackDown but McIntyre and Mahal came to his aid.

3MB lasted for a while and certainly had their fans. They were a goofy team that often lost their matches. If they were not on RAW or SmackDown every week, they would have most likely would still have been on Main Event or Superstars. The Three Man Band officially broke up on June 12th, 2014 when both Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre were released. Two weeks after he was released from WWE, Mahal did an interview with Slam! Wrestling. Mahal stated that he hoped to one day return to WWE and accomplish things he never got to do.

“I want to keep wrestling,” said Mahal. “I’m still young and I would like to go back to WWE someday and accomplish things that I never got to do, work with people that I never got to work with.”

Jinder Mahal made his WWE return on August 1st, 2016. Heath Slater was showing up on both WWE RAW and SmackDown begging for a contract. Mick Foley was the GM of RAW at the time and made a match between the two former members of 3MB to determine which Superstar would get a contract. Mahal seized the opportunity and quickly defeated Slater to earn a contract on RAW.

Jinder Mahal then recently joined the SmackDown roster during WWE’s Superstar Shake-Up. Mahal wrestled Mojo Rawley in his first SmackDown match last week and Rob Gronkowski was watching the match in the first row. Gronk had previously leveled Mahal with a shoulder tackle at Wrestlemania 33. This time Gronk thew his beer in Mahal’s face and Mahal wound up losing to Rawley. Mahal still hadn’t made an impact since returning to WWE.

On this past week’s episode of SmackDown, everything changed. Jinder Mahal competed in a Six-Pack Challenge against Mojo Rawley, Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. The winner of the Six-Pack Challenge would become the #1 contender to the WWE Championship. Sami Zayn was about to hit Mahal with the Helluva Kick but was prevented from doing so by the Bollywood Boyz. Mahal then took advantage and won the match and became the #1 contender to the WWE Championship. Mahal will most likely face Randy Orton for the WWE Championship at the SmackDown exclusive PPV WWE Backlash on May 21st, 2017.

Time will tell if Jinder Mahal will actually become WWE Champion at Backlash. Even if he doesn’t, this is a major opportunity for Mahal. He is guaranteed to headline a PPV with the WWE Champion. Mahal cut a very solid promo after winning the Six-Pack Challenge and you can see it at the end of the video above. This can either be a disaster or WWE and Mahal can hit it out of the park. It all depends on whether Mahal and the WWE creative team can get the WWE Universe to legitimately despise him. We will see if that winds up being the case. At the very least, it is something new and it appears that SmackDown truly is the land of opportunity in WWE.

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