Jinder Mahal is the WWE Champion We Deserve


Jinder Mahal’s improbable win doesn’t seem so shocking when you consider the real-world events of the past year

The past year has been wild. On Jun. 19, 2016, the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, capping off what was considered an impossible comeback after being down 3 games to 1 in the series. On Nov. 8, 2016, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States despite almost every reliable media outlet (including FiveThirtyEight) predicting a Clinton victory. On Aug. 1, 2016, Jinder Mahal returned to the WWE after an almost two-year absence and less than a year later defeated Randy Orton for his first WWE Championship.

The New Era is certainly living up to its name. Even if some fans don’t believe The Maharajah is a worthy champion, he had already made a believer out of Triple H who spoke candidly about Mahal’s return to pwtorch.com back in April:

"“Jinder is a guy who has always worked extremely hard. He trains hard; he’s very intense about what he wants with his career; he’s very thoughtful. To Jinder’s credit and to Drew (McIntyre)’s credit, they left, they went and figured it for themselves, they improved. They’re both men now as opposed to kids trying to make it in the business. Now hopefully they are in a better position to succeed.”"

Triple H knows all about reinvention and what it takes to be a champion. He understands that the road to gold isn’t always the same path and in the end, a wrestler will have to prove themselves in front of the WWE Universe. All too often, the IWC is quick to denounce a wrestler before they’ve even had a chance to showcase their talents despite the irony of these same smarks yelling into their echo chambers for something new and exciting. This version of Jinder Mahal is new and he’s exciting. There’s no heat like heel heat and Mahal is going to be an insufferable champion. Fans are going to hate his guts and it’s going to be glorious. He has the look and the attitude so we should be in for an entertaining ride.

In order to further complicate matters, sportskeeda.com is reporting that the winner wasn’t even decided until 2 hours before the match. According to their “sources”, Mahal’s win boils down to “indecisiveness” over future feuds involving Orton, Mahal, and Rusev, who was set to return last Tuesday on Smackdown: Live but did not. If true, this type of inside baseball fascinates me because it speaks to the chaotic nature of even a scripted business like professional wrestling. Decisions have to be made quickly based on injuries, arrests or a myriad of other intangibles which include simply not knowing what to do. Sometimes flipping a coin yields just as much success as a well-laid plan.

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What I cannot grasp is why some fans were so upset with Mahal’s victory. For as much of a veteran as Randy Orton is, his latest championship run was a complete snooze. I miss the days when The Viper lived up to his namesake by being unpredictable and ruthless in his quest for and defense of a belt. This latest run seemed comfortable and almost as if Orton himself was bored with the reality of being champion for the 13th time. Losing to Mahal may just be the spark Orton needs to turn back into the man who has venom in his veins because there’s no gold around his waist.