Former WWE Champions will clash when Drew McIntyre faces former stablemate Jinder Mahal this Saturday at WWE SummerSlam.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Wrestling Inc.’s Brian Wohl, Mahal emphasized there’s a mix of hype and hesitation in the Nevada air.
“I feel the excitement. I feel the energy here in Las Vegas,” Mahal said. “Touched down here last night, everybody here is buzzing. I’m a little bit nervous, everybody here is. It’s that nervous energy, but a good energy.”
After a brief match at the WWE Superstar Spectacle in January, Mahal left WWE TV until after WrestleMania season wrapped up. The Modern Day Maharaja made his return to the RAW brand this past May, giving him just over two months in the ThunderDome before touring resumed.
According to Mahal, the return to the road has been an adjustment period.
“It’s taking some getting used to (laughs). No, it’s been awesome. We have the fans, the crowd in Allegiant Stadium,” Mahal said. “That stadium, I can’t wait. It’s been a couple years since I’ve performed in front of a crowd that big. For travel, it is what it is. You get into a routine.”
Mahal’s history with McIntyre is storied. The two have been linked ever since they were air guitarists together in 3MB, but Mahal notes their past goes deeper than that.
“Drew is my long time workout partner. Traveled with him for years, roomed with him for years. We did everything together,” Mahal said. “Even when we were released, me and Drew stayed very close. We have a lot of parallels in our career. Being in 3MB, getting released, coming back, becoming WWE Champions, reinventing ourselves.”
The two have had similar trajectories since returning to WWE; however, Mahal wants to ensure fans recognize him as the better champion.
“But I want to remind everyone and I want to remind Drew McIntyre: I did it first,” Mahal said. “I did it faster. I did it better. I did it in more dominating fashion. He seems to have forgotten.”
While he has come up short against the Scottish Warrior in the past, Mahal compared his grasp on McIntyre’s temper to where he had Randy Orton in the summer of 2017.
“I have the experience now. I have the confidence now. You can tell from looking at my demeanor in the ring,” Mahal said. “I’m smiling, I’m relaxed, I’m not angry. When you’re angry you make mistakes. That’s exactly where I have Drew McIntyre right now. The last time I had someone this wound up before a match was in 2017 when I beat Randy Orton. That basically gave me the WWE Championship. I’m getting a similar feeling from Drew McIntyre. He’s over here swinging swords and going crazy. He’s going to make a mistake, I’m going to capitalize. I know Drew McIntyre very well. I know his weaknesses. I know how to press his buttons.”
You can check out the full interview below: