Former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal was a recent guest on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast to discuss a variety of topics. One of the topics discussed was how he was booted from the champion vs. champion match against Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series.
Mahal was the first person to call out Lesnar for the match, and it was accepted by Paul Heyman. However, AJ Styles would step in and earn a No. 1 contender spot for the WWE Championship, and the two clashed on an episode of SmackDown Live prior to The Survivor Series. On November 7, 2017, in Manchester, England, Styles defeated Mahal to win his second WWE Champion and faced Lesnar later in the month in the champion vs. champion match instead.
When asked about losing this marquee spot to face Lesnar at Survivor Series, Mahal explained how he reacted to whether he lost his spot as one of the top heels in WWE.
"I wasn't worried at all," said Mahal. "A lot of people say, 'It's disappointing you got the push.' No, I didn't get the push, I made the push. I believe that every WWE superstar is in charge 100 percent of his own destiny. It's up to me. You know, you drop the title, you win the title, but that's part of the storyline. That match I had with AJ [Styles], even though I lost the title, it's like I lost the match, I really did win. I had an awesome outing, awesome match, came back and got a big hug from Vince."
Mahal added that he told Vince McMahon that he is going to be the WWE Champion long before he won it, and told Vince that he will be WWE Champion again when he lost it, and "he likes to hear stuff like that."
"I was wrestling, like, wrestling Darren Young on Superstars every week, but I was telling Vince like, 'Man, Vince. I wasn't even on Raw or SmackDown every week.'"
Regarding being in the United States Championship picture, Mahal addressed if this was a demotion from where he was at the middle of last year.
"No, it's not. It's the United States Championship," said Mahal. "I'm still on SmackDown, on the live events I'm still in a main, main spot, and that's up to me to maintain that level. You know, maintain that level of performance, and that's 100 percent up to me. If you see me fall down the card, it's my own fault. If I'm staying at this level, it's because of the hard work that I'm doing and I ultimately will become WWE Champion again. I 100 percent believe that."
Mahal also addressed fans stating that he won the WWE Championship due to WWE pushing the India market.
"India was still there when I got released," said Mahal. "India was there when I first debuted. India's been there the entire time. You know, WWE went to India while I was released also, too, but they didn't bring me back. So, everybody says that, that's okay, they can say that, they can say whatever they want. I wasn't even WWE Champion when they went to India! Yeah, so, it's fine. It [doesn't] bother me. Yeah, yeah, I understand it's a business, they do whatever makes money. India is their largest market."
Mahal also revealed that he was the one who linked Mahabali Shera to WWE when he was No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship, and he allowed Shera to stay with him for a couple of weeks.
You can hear the full interview here.
If any portion of these quotes is used, please credit The Sam Roberts Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast