Jinder Mahal has spoken about the criticism he receives from fans regarding his reign with the WWE Championship in 2017.
Mahal had been presented as an underneath talent for years before being released and returning, and even for a while after he returned, but was suddenly propelled into the main event scene and crowned WWE Champion at Backlash 2017 in a win over Randy Orton.
Many fans didn’t see Jinder Mahal as a WWE Champion level talent and suggested his reign with the title was simply a way to try to increase WWE’s popularity in India.
Speaking with GiveMeSport, Mahal said:
“While I was WWE Champion, I was called the the experiment, the unworthy champion, the worst champion of all time.
“So this is just people downplaying my accomplishments. WWE Universe in India, their TV deals were just as much in play when I was in 3MB, and while I was released, I do believe WWE Raw was live on Sony. When I was brought back we were still live on Sony. I wasn’t brought back to become WWE Champion, at that time they separated the rosters again, Raw and SmackDown, and they just needed some people who were TV-ready essentially to throw on and maybe highlight some of the newer talent, but somewhere along the line I knew, ‘Hey this is my way in. This is my foot in the door. I’m going to knock the whole door down and I’m going to become WWE Champion’.
“So that’s like me saying, ‘Hey Drew, you were WWE Champion because WWE wanted to expand into the UK’. Why is that? Why are people not saying that? Right now Drew is celebrated, I’m the one who was this experimental champion, which is untrue. I’ve worked hard for, and I’ve earned, every opportunity that I’ve ever been given, every championship that I’ve had, I’ve worked very very hard for.”
Jinder Mahal reigned as WWE Champion for 170 days before losing the title to AJ Styles on the November 7 episode of SmackDown in Manchester, England.
Mahal is actually scheduled for a match against Drew McIntyre at SummerSlam this coming Saturday.