During this week’s episode of SmackDown Live, many people were surprised to see Jinder Mahal becoming the number one contender for the WWE Championship. While many people believed Sami Zayn would finally get a big push, Jinder would take the number one contender spot with the help of the Bollywood Boyz now known as the ‘The Singh Brothers.’
A Corporate Decision
Just like with most things WWE, the decision to give Jinder Mahal the number one contender spot had little to do with the wrestler himself, at least according to Sportskeeda and numerous other wrestling sites. Unfortunately, the reason why seems to underline the WWE’s messed-up priorities once again. Never mind the fans we have, there’s money to be made elsewhere!
The WWE has major plans to expand the brand in India, so pushing Jinder is no real surprise then. India is currently one of the biggest markets for the WWE, so pushing Jinder Mahal certainly pleases the Indian wrestling fans.
According to Sportskeeda, Mahal’s win and the debut of the Bollywood Boyz on Smackdown also has a positive impact on their merchandise sales in India (what a surprise! I say with sarcasm). WWE is planning to flood the Indian market with Mahal and Bollywood Boyz merchandise, and hope to sell out in a matter of weeks.
Orton Vs. Mahal
Letting go of my disgust for the “corporate” stance of the WWE for a minute, I believe the Orton Vs. Mahal match might be quite interesting. The match is set for Backlash. Orton will definitely still be champion as his “House of Horrors” match vs Orton is not for the title.
If Wyatt does take the title, it could be an opportunity to turn Mahal face for the Indian market. Why you ask? Because Mahal could take the title back from the evil Bray Wyatt, making Mahal the hero of India. Still, I don’t think WWE is that creative at the moment. We keep on getting the same old matches and see great stories buried before they even begin. If the WWE remains focussed on merchandise sales and expansion into other countries, they will lose what made them big in the first place – the loyalty and love of the hardcore WWE fan in the US and Europe. India will love this special attention at first, but eventually the WWE is going to do the same to them when they look to expand to another market.
I’m going to be a 100% honest, I don’t mind Jinder taking the number one contender spot. He’s a terrific athlete and has created a persona for himself the WWE Universe can love to hate. However, I don’t like the fact that others have to suffer for a corporate decision. There are other superstars (Sami Zayn!) who are crowd favorites and have been held down for way too long. While Jinder Mahal is also deserving, I can think of someone that is even more deserving at this point. Therefore, the “corporate” decision of the WWE genuinely upsets me as a human being.
What’s your opinion on this?