WWE was trying to play a joke when Jinder Mahal was the returning WWE Champion on Day 1, but a Rocky interaction and chance encounter on social media created an opportunity. With Jinder being, ironically or not, a viral hit, it may be time to start predicting every Jinder Mahal PLE until WrestleMania 40.
This experiment might be even more relevant now that his most recent opponent is nursing a knee injury. Seth Rollins is undoubtedly a bigger star and draws more than Mahal.
Even with his 15 minutes starting up again, he still needs to be more widely used. However, even the worst characters in film or literature are just one story arc away from being iconic. The show must continue, and Jinder could be a big part of that.
WWE Royal Rumble – Drew McIntyre vs Jinder Mahal vs Jey Uso (World Heavyweight Championship Match)
The “Modern Day Maharaja” would probably be in the Royal Rumble match. Most of the active roster will make an appearance. However, his newly forming fandom online and an opening at the top of the card might see him get moved from another superstar padding the numbers of WWE’s biggest match of the year to instead being in the world title picture once again.
If WWE cares about continuity, then Seth Rollins’s most recent three challengers need to be on the top of the pile for his replacement. That would be Jey Uso, Jinder Mahal, and WWE’s other CM Punk feud-in-waiting Drew McIntyre.
With CM Punk likely being slated to fight for the title at WrestleMania 40, giving his only other rival the belt before that event makes sense. Having Jinder Mahal in the mix, though, makes it more entertaining for the next several months.
Drew McIntyre and Jey Uso both should avoid taking pins ahead of marquee WrestleMania matches. Mahal can do it for them. He also delivered reasonably well in his Raw match with Rollins, so he can certainly have another go on a show where the top draws on the card aren’t related to the titles.
Also, putting him in a title match on a “big four” premium event might get Khan to do some free advertising again. Jinder would have long odds of winning the Royal Rumble.
It is actually more likely he took the title after he took out Seth Rollins. A newly pushed Mahal might feel credible enough to threaten Uso and McIntyre, with whom he has a shared history. His loss won’t be shocking, but it saves two top stars from a loss and fits with the story WWE has been telling thus far.
Elimination Chamber – Men’s World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Chamber (Drew McIntyre, Finn Balor, Jinder Mahal, Sami Zayn, Cody Rhodes, R-Truth)
If CM Punk wins the Royal Rumble, that means WWE will be focused on finding him a challenger, or rather a champion. Drew or even Damian Priest will probably hold the title, but most likely McIntyre.
So WWE has to find two main event heels, and one must be outside Judgment Day to carry this match. That means Jinder Mahal is up again. Having competed twice for the title, Mahal is a relevant choice. This is especially true if he beats a talented face like Johnny Gargano or Xavier Woods to earn his spot, which is always the best course of action.
— The Maharaja (@JinderMahal) January 14, 2024
Much like the Royal Rumble match, Mahal is destined to lose; unlike the Rumble match, though, he will probably not have a significant role. Veer and Sanga can help in the build by being additional bodies for the rest of the field to beat into while building to the match in Perth.
It won’t be nearly as grand an exit as an entrance to the main event, but three title matches in a row is more than enough to make Jinder feel like a lasting presence in WWE’s mid-card ranks.
WrestleMania 40 – Fatal Five-Way for the Intercontinental Championship (Jinder Mahal, Sami Zayn, Ivar, Dominik Mysterio, and Xavier Woods)
There is more than one title for Raw superstars to chase after. Let’s suppose rumors are true, and Brock Lesnar is returning for Gunther so both giants can beat each other senselessly.
In that case, the Intercontinental title is short for Gunther’s waist. Brock Lesnar isn’t going to fight somebody over the Intercontinental championship. Now, maybe Gunther loses it in a chamber match; who knows? Still, if that match happens, the title will be on somebody else’s waist for WrestleMania. As of today, that person would likely be Xavier Woods.
Jinder would enter this match feeling like the biggest threat to the title, which this bout will need. Having challenged for the world title three times and picking up wins on Raw in between, he will be coming into WrestleMania strong.
That match may have a stipulation, but it probably won’t, and either way is acceptable. All the big one-on-one matches can carry that load. The match will give some hard-working folks on the roster a chance at a WrestleMania moment.
Creatively fitting as many people on the show as makes narrative sense is always WWE’s WrestleMania plan. With that title coming off a massive reign improving its prestige, it can easily sustain fans’ interest. Jinder can be the match’s primary villain in a way that talents like Ivar or Dominik Mysterio can’t.
Pitfalls in Predicting Every Jinder Mahal PLE Until WrestleMania 40
As quickly as the limelight gave a shine to Jinder Mahal, it can go away. Predicting every Jinder Mahal PLE until WrestleMania 40 could easily read as does not appear for each entry.
Mahal is different from staple acts such as Sami Zayn or AJ Styles. When those stars aren’t utilized much, they are still around just enough to get a spot on the bigger stages. Mahal could go away for another six months, and it wouldn’t change a thing.
That, though, would be a major mistake. WWE has the chance to capitalize on a blunder by its most prominent alternative and finally accomplish what it set out to do six years ago.
The Jinder Mahal experiment set out to create a genuine draw for an Indian audience to expand WWE’s fanbase in that country. Last year, when WWE went to the country, its three biggest Indian superstars lost in an opening tag match. Putting their hopes on Jinder Mahal wasn’t as misguided as some fan discourse might suggest.
Despite the match’s real-life impact on Rollins’s potential availability, his match with Seth was good and fun to watch. Since Seth Rollins is probably out, Mahal could find himself higher on the card. That means challenging for the world title quite a bit on the road to WrestleMania, though not on the Philadelphia card. Only time can honestly tell how WWE will react to the situation.
Will they keep pushing and see where it leads, or will they hinder Jinder?
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