Thursday, June 1, 2017

Jinder Mahal on Pressure of Breaking the Barrier in India, Vince McMahon’s Input in His Character, Mixed Reaction to His WWE Title Win, More

WWE Champion Jinder Mahal recently spoke with Sportskeeda and below are some interview highlights:

Q: WWE has been trying to consolidate its market in India for awhile. As a wrestler of Indian origin, how much pressure is there on you to maintain your character and fitness and break the barrier?
JM: Yes, definitely, WWE is looking to expand in India. It already has a huge presence in India. So I believe, alongside other Indian Superstars like the Singh Brothers, Akam in NXT, Lovepreet (Kishan Raftar), I think the more Indian wrestlers come, the bigger the Indian audience becomes, the bigger the WWE Universe in India becomes, which I think would be a great thing because our Indian fans are very passionate.
I would love to do more live shows in India – because I know the last two shows in Delhi last year were a huge success, they were both sold out. I would love to see WWE all across India, in Punjab, Mumbai and Delhi.
Q: How much of an influence or input did Vince McMahon have in your character development since you moved to SmackDown LIVE?
JM: Yeah, Vince has been very hands-on, after every match and every promo that I do, Vince is the first person that I come and see for advice because Vince is truly a wrestling genius, sports entertainment genius.
This empire that he built – he started from humble beginnings – and to see what WWE is right now, a global powerhouse in sports entertainment, the largest entity in sports entertainment, so, obviously, he knows what he’s doing. He’s built many stars in the past and will continue to build stars… I’m very hands-on with Vince – from character, promo, match-wise, everything.
Q: Your WWE Championship victory elicited strong reactions from fans. How important or difficult is it in this day and age to evoke such a response from the WWE Universe?
JM: To shock the WWE Universe the way I did is a great feeling and it doesn’t happen very often. You could see that after I won the championship they showed the crowd in shock, their faces, their jaws hit the ground. I can’t remember the last time that something evoked that kind of emotion, that kind of response.
There was a unique dynamic even in the crowd during that match. Some were chanting “Jinder sucks”, to “Let’s go Jinder”, almost like how John Cena. That’s a cool dynamic; as long as the WWE Universe is making a noise – whether it is a good noise or bad noise, that’s what I like to see.
Q: Who is your dream opponent in the WWE?
JM: I think my dream opponent is Brock Lesnar. Imagine that match – Champion vs Champion, WWE Champion vs Universal Champion. He is my dream opponent because if I can knock off Brock Lesnar that would truly solidify me… I’m the best and let the world know that the WWE Champion is better than Universal Champion.


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