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.
On June 22nd, WWE announced that they were starting a new weekly wrestling show in India called WWE Sunday Dhamaal. According to the press released, WWE Sunday Dhamaal features “the best action and family-friendly entertainment from WWE’s flagship programs, Raw and SmackDown.” And now, WWE is heading to India in the flesh.
According to The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, WWE has two Live Events scheduled for India this December. They will be held on December 8th and 9th, to be exact, and despite the fact that these shows are being promoted as Raw-brand events, Jinder Mahal is going to be there. Tickets are on sale now in India, if you’re interested.
This news has already caused many to speculate that Jinder Mahal is likely to retain his WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell on October 8th, and carry that title into December so he can “return home” as champion. This thought process is nothing but speculation, of course, and because this is WWE we’re talking about here, plans can change in an instant.