Jinder Mahal shocked the wrestling world on the April 18th edition of Smackdown Live when he won the six-pack challenge. Jinder defeated 5 other WWE stars to become the number one contender for Randy Orton’s WWE Championship.
Jinder will be getting his title shot at the Backlash Pay-per-view, after Orton finishes his current feud with Bray Wyatt.
You are probably wondering, what the hell is WWE doing putting Jinder Mahal in the World Title picture? Before coming to Smackdown Live, he was used essentially as a jobber and would rarely win.
There are some rumors circulating that the reason why Jinder is getting such a big push from WWE is because the company wants to really focus on their expansion into India. (Note: Mahal was born in Canada but his family is of Punjabi Sikh origin).
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The company has reportedly hired Sheetesh Srivastava as Vice President and General Manager of WWE India. Srivastava has a fantastic resume, with his former employer being Disney. He will be leading the charge to tap into the massive market that is India in things like merchandise and live events.
This also makes sense as to why the Bollywood Boyz (Gurv and Harv Sihra) helped him win on Smackdown Live. The trio will likely be forming a faction on Smackdown and will be one of the main focuses of the show for the next several weeks leading into Backlash and Jinder’s title shot.
The hope is that the push of Jinder and the Bollywood Boyz will help drive a ton of sales from the Indian market. Not a bad move, considering that the country has over a billion people living in it.
Love or hate the decision, it seems like this was a calculated move on the WWE’s part in order to help their growth into India. We will have to wait and see how it plays out.
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