Former WWE Star Jinder Mahal Looks Back On Title Win And Championship Reign

Former WWE star Jinder Mahal has revealed that even he didn't expect to become a world champion.

One of the most shocking title changes in recent memory was Jinder Mahal's world title win in 2017. Mahal, who had only been re-signed to WWE a year earlier, found himself in the main event of Backlash 2017 challenging Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. No one gave him a chance, but in professional wrestling, anything can happen, and that anything was Mahal picking up the win and becoming the WWE Champion. Many people have speculated why the decision was made to put the title on Mahal, which he explained during a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet on his "Insight" podcast.  


"I remember WrestleMania week in Orlando, I'm at the hotel and I see Road Dogg in the hallway and he's like, 'Hey Jinder, big things after WrestleMania coming for you.' I said, 'Okay,' thinking maybe we move up to the IC level, US Championship level, little bit more TV time."

Mahal believes Vince McMahon liked how good he looked as he understood the discipline it takes to get in such shape, which led to him taking the spot originally reserved for Rusev at Backlash after winning a number one contender's match a few weeks earlier, a match that the late Luke Harper told Mahal he was winning. 

Plans eventually went in Mahal's favor and he ended up winning the title from Orton and held it until the company's European tour in the fall of 2017. But along the way, he never knew when he was going to lose. "Week to week, pay-per-view to pay-per-view, I had no idea, and then even when I lost the title to AJ [Styles], Vince brought us to the office and told me that day."


Please credit "Insight" when using quotes from this article, and give a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.