Source: Talk Is Jericho
As previously noted, WWE Champion Jinder Mahal was recently a guest on Talk Is Jericho. Among many other things, Mahal discussed staying sober and keeping a positive attitude, the formation and original plan for 3MB, getting released from WWE, being in talks with Impact Wrestling prior to making his WWE return, and working with The Big Show.
"I behave. I lock myself in my hotel room every night. And so yeah, it's a complete 360º [turn], or 180º [turn], or whatever it is. 180 from whatever I was doing before." Mahal continued, "I mostly drive alone or I ride with Gallows and Anderson, even when I'm home alone I listen to like CT Fletcher or like Eric Thomas, ET, just stuff to motivate me. Yeah, positive, or I listen Grant Cardone audiobooks just being positive and it's weird. It's kind of like The Secret. I haven't read The Secret, but I know what it's about, just having positive energy around you and being positive and things start happening. I'm really, honestly, a firm believer of this. Like who would have thought?"
On the subject of 3MB, Mahal recalled running into Heath Slater backstage at a TV taping, who was bragging about getting his own faction. While the man behind Impressive Pelvis Welsey may have thought 3MB would include Fandango and Dean Ambrose, those spots would be filled with best friends Mahal and Drew Mcintyre instead.
"I came to TV. I can't remember where we were. Right when I got to the building, I see Heath Slater. He's like, 'man, I just had a meeting with Vince [McMahon]. I'm going to get my own band!' [Mahal asked], 'who's going to be in it?' He said, 'I don't know, man.' Johnny Curtis wasn't Fandango at the time and he was coming to TV. Surprisingly enough, Dean Ambrose was coming to TV. [Slater said], 'well, maybe Ambrose' not knowing that [he was going to The Shield]. They had other plans for him. And I jokingly said, 'watch, I'll be in the band.' Completely joking! So Drew McIntyre is my best friend. He's like my brother, so I was hanging around Drew ringside and one of the writers called him over, Kevin Eck. Kevin Eck calls Drew over and I just stumble down the hall, 'oh, I'm going to go to catering.' I come in the hallway and I see Scotty, Scott Armstrong, 'oh, Scotty, the card's out. What do I got?' And I think it was Heath Slater versus Brodus Clay with Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal, and Rhyno."
According to Mahal, the original plan for 3MB was for the band to get caught lip-syncing. Of course, the storyline never played out on WWE programming. Though the trio may be tempted to blame it on the rain, Mahal blamed it on Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins.
"The plan was a Milli Vanilli type [of lip-syncing situation]. I think even Vince was like, 'we're going to do that where you guys get caught lip-syncing' or whatever like that." Mahal continued, "at the same time, like, a week or two later, [The] Shield came and the attention was sort of shifted. I remember even at one time, we went to RAW and we weren't booked and they were like, 'Vince only wants one three-man group.' They were like, 'oh, you guys will be on SmackDown.' We weren't on SmackDown. We were on Superstars."
During the interview, Mahal acknowledged he "just lost all motivation" while a member of 3MB and that was one of his biggest mistakes.
"I just kind of lost motivation, looking back now, which I never should have done. It should have motivated me more, but if you look at the shape I was in when I debuted, like, I was kind of like how I am now. I was ripped, veins everywhere. I was in good shape." Mahal admitted, "looking back it was one of my biggest regrets."
Moreover, Mahal admitted that he would have fired himself too and that he was very negative at that time.
"I obviously got released. Looking back now, I would have fired me. Like, I didn't care. I was miserable. It was completely different at that time. I feel like everyone around me was just like miserable in the locker room." Mahal explained, "every week, it was like 3MB, it was nothing that was going to be positive or fun. It was 'go do something embarrassing.' Do you know what I mean? So I was just so unmotivated. I don't know. I was just in a bad place."
Mahal went on to say that getting fired was probably the best thing to happen to him.
"Yeah, [being released was a relief], but, at the same time, it still sucks because this is my dream and all I ever wanted to do, but, at the same time, there was a little bit of, 'oh, I don't have to go to TV anymore.'" Mahal professed, "looking back now, or in five years or 10 years, I'm going to look back and be like, 'do you know what? Getting released was the best thing that ever happened to me because: a) I got into real estate; b) I kicked myself out and got remotivated. Like, to think, if I was still in that slump from 3MB till now, like, I'd be dead! You can't maintain that! I would be shot. There's no way I could do that, be that miserable, be living like that for that long, so it's almost the best thing that happened to me."
Interestingly, WWE Senior Director Of Talent Relations Mark Carrano called Mahal about returning to WWE a day before 'Main Event Mahal' was scheduled to meet with Impact officials.
"I actually got a call from the other [pro] wrestling promotion too. Yes, [Impact Wrestling called Mahal] and there was a pay-per-view in Orlando [Florida] on Sunday and I live in Tampa [Florida], so they were like, 'yeah, can you come talk to us on a Sunday? We want to talk to you. Talk to Big.' I said, 'okay.' Saturday, the day before, [Mark] Carrano called me, 'Jinder, we want to sign you back.' That's the weirdest thing, so I sat at home, literally, for two years. No one cared about me. Nobody [cared] because I didn't care! All of a sudden, when I started caring, other people started caring. And then, so I told Carrano, 'hey listen, I have a meeting tomorrow. Let me just see my options. I want to talk to them.' Obviously, I knew I wanted to come back to WWE, but i already told them that I would come talk to them, so I was going to keep my word and talk to them. And then, I called Carrano back and said, 'send the contract over.'"
With respect to The Big Show, Mahal said the future WWE Hall Of Famer is "probably the greatest big man of all time" and that 'The Giant' tried to make Mahal look good at a WWE live event in Champaign, Illinois because he knew WWE had big plans for 'Big Match Jinder' and wanted to help him.
"The card shifted and it was Jinder versus Big Show, and, so I go, 'hey Show,' I think I talked to the producer, 'yeah, we'll have a regular match, this and that, show up, yeah yeah, no problem.' So I go up to Show, 'me and you'. Man, Show is super, super cool with me. I love Show and he's like, 'do you know what, man? We're going to tear it up tonight. We're doing everything. You're going to bodyslam me.'" Mahal said, "he was really giving in that match and I know for sure after that match he was sore too. We did everything in that match. It was a long match. Man, he was just so cool and so giving. He was like, 'you know what, man? I see they want to do something with you and I'm going to help you.' And just being around him. He has so much knowledge, just calling spots, because he has seen everything."
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