Evidently WWE’s commitment to Jinder Mahal is real.
At the company’s Payback pay-per-view, the upstart once again proved he is a serious player in the main event picture. Interfering in the House of Horrors match between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt was a perfect gateway toward the promotion of Mahal not only as a legitimate consideration, but it also helps the company with its push in India.
Per stillrighttous.com, WWE is expanding into India in a big way. They are looking to capitalize on the Indian fanb ase who love pro wrestling and could bring a lot more money to the company. WWE recently opened up a WWE Shop in India as well. Therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised to see Jinder Mahal merchandise pop up soon.
See, it’s no coincidence Mahal is WWE’s latest attempt at taking a foreign import and making him a solid heel. And his inclusion in the match on Sunday proves that he is being booked to be a true heel in every sense of the word.
I like what Sean Keely wrote on thecomeback.com when it comes to Mahal as the new bad guy on the wrestling map.
“Given its carnival roots, wrestling organizations needed to find ways to connect to new groups of people quickly and easily and, as P.T. Barnum might say, there is no quicker and easier way to make a large group of people know how to feel about someone than to assign them an ethnic stereotype.”
WWWF used a thick, powerful Russian named Ivan Koloff to end the reign of Bruno Sammartino. The Iron Sheik was the most hated villain in the WWF when Hulk Hogan “saved” professional wrestling and the birth of Hulkamania was conceived.
Vince McMahon senior used the fans’ love of their country to capitalize on the business. Italians were represented by Sammartino. Pedro Morales was the favorite of the Hispanic and Latino community. Koloff was a Russian badass. Ivan Putski was a Polish Power.
Today, Mahal is the latest incarnation of a foreign heel. And since there is money to be made in India, where other wrestling promotions have tapped into the value of building a brand their fans can identify with. It makes too much sense, but at the same time, should he beat Orton for the title (which could be a real possibility) how long would the once mid-card performer hold the strap? It’s hard to see someone who was part of the 3MB trio get anything more than a courtesy run.
Also, and it may not have been considered, Orton was promoted as the heel in the feud with Wyatt, who won the match Sunday night, but did not win the title. How does this help The Eater of Worlds and will he be part of the title picture in the future?
WWE did the right thing with its House of Horrors match, but the end result may in fact hurt the current champion. Somehow, I see the company bypassing the current script, making Orton the babyface in this feud, only to see him return to the true heel he is once the company gets what it wants. The fans will have no problem getting behind Orton’s quest to defend the banner, but they will find fault with pushing Wyatt further down the WWE ladder. The win did more to hurt Wyatt.
Win or lose, that does not seem to be on the minds of the brain trust of WWE. Money is the root of this sudden push. Orton and Mahal could have a very good run together. But in reality, it only goes so far. For now, it has its place. But when the company decides to end this program, what happens to Mahal? What happens to Orton? And what will happen to Wyatt?