It’s possible that there’s no WWE move more polarizing from the past few years than when Jinder Mahal became the 50th WWE Champion. Well, maybe “polarizing” isn’t the right word, because very few fans were outspoken about liking that decision. (And yes, I am one of those very few.)
All told, Mahal ended up holding the title for nearly six months, and held it for a lot longer than a lot of actual Hall of Famers ever did. The decision to put the belt on Mahal reportedly had a lot to do with WWE trying to break into the Indian market, but by the time WWE actually traveled to India, Mahal was no longer a world champion.
And then he lost to Triple H in India.
Even if he never makes it back to the main event scene (and the jury is still extremely out on that one), you can never take his time as WWE Champion away from him. Mahal has talked quite a bit about the support he received from Vince McMahon behind the scenes, but it appears he had at least one other McMahon in his corner as well.
In a new interview with the Times of India, Stephanie McMahon spoke about Mahal’s run with the championship, and she believes WWE considers the experiment an unqualified success.
“I think his Championship run was incredibly interesting and successful to our global audience and not just to India. If he became a bit of a hero in India as a result, well that is awesome too … Jinder of course is playing the antagonist here in the States. I think he was received as a homecoming hero when he performed live in India and whenever there is a local star there is significance to the audience there. Our audience is so much bigger, it is global, so we have to entertain everyone.”
I’m sure there will be plenty of wrestling fans who will take issue with McMahon’s comments, but that’s what the internet is for, right? [checks notes] Yeah, it says right here, “for complaining.”