Like a lot of American entertainment entities, WWE has spent the last several years trying to develop its fan base in India. It’s a smart business strategy, after all. India contains over 1.2 billion people. It has the second-largest population of any country in the world. That’s a lot of untapped potential for revenue and for building a passionate fanbase.
In fact, it’s been reported on many occasions that one of, if not the biggest reason why Jinder Mahal has held the WWE Championship since May is because of WWE’s planned India expansion. Mahal is from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, technically, but on WWE TV he is the Maharaja, or “Great Ruler” who hails from India. It’s actually kind of fascinating, as Mahal is portrayed as a bad guy on American television, while commentary in India treats him like a hero.
Mahal’s title reign has been a mixed bag. Outside of the ring, Ryback criticized WWE’s business strategy in India because “they don’t have any f*cking money.” Inside the ring, Mahal’s time as WWE Champion has been a combination of underwhelming matches and tone-deaf promos. WWE isn’t giving up on India, though.