Jinder Mahal’s push to the top of the SmackDown brand is one of the more surprising moves to happen in WWE recently. On a recent episode of Talk Is Jericho, The Maharaja spoke to Y2J about several topics including his return to WWE and how he’s feeling about his current push.
Mahal said the two years after his first release from WWE was a dark time for him. He said he was drinking every night, out of shape, and hitting rock bottom. Then he made the decision to stop drinking cold turkey and start dieting. Two months later he was back in WWE.
The Secret is a book that relies on the power of positive thinking and Jinder Mahal greatly supports that belief. He said he starts everyday with cardio and he writes down his goals. One of those goals is to become WWE Champion. That goal very well might become a reality at Backlash. He said he feels amazing now and sees big things for himself.
Mahal also spoke about his relationship with The Chairman Of The Board, Vince McMahon. “I see the results, and I see myself moving up the card. You know, I’ve become closer to Vince. It was weird. In my first run, even when I was in 3MB I would avoid Vince — not avoid him, but you know […] He’s intimidating, but now I have a good relationship with him.”
Jericho asked Mahal if Vince told him about his current push and Jinder said, “actually, he got to the arena really late, like 6:30 and that match took a long time to call and we were like literally calling it for maybe half an hour before match time. But he had rewritten my promo. The original promo was something totally different.”
“So when I finished calling the match, one of the writers was like ‘hey Vince changed your promo’ and I was like ‘okay, bring it to me’ so they brought it to me and I had read the America comment and all that and I was like ‘ugh I like the old promo better.’ Like it was something like, ‘I tried being peaceful but nobody was listening but now I have all you guys’ attention, I just beat five of SmackDown’s very best and I did it all alone.’ Something like that, it was just a regular heel promo but the new one was like: You Americans, this and that — I was like ugh I don’t like it, but Vince wrote it, it’s okay. But I did it and the reaction that I got I was like ‘ah man, Vince is a genius.’ He knows exactly what draws the most heat.”
“It’s weird, he knows what’s going to draw the most heat. I didn’t see it at first but as soon as I heard the reaction — actually when I came back to I sat with Vince and he was like, cause we went over time already and he was like, ‘forget about the time, let them boo even more before you start talking’ so I was like, okay.”
Jericho brought up the fact that since Vince wrote Jinder Mahal’s promo it means he’s even more invested in his situation. Mahal went on to elaborate even more on Vince’s influence on his current story.
“Actually while we were there I had actually asked Vince, ‘Vince please [at] every single live event, can I do a promo?’ and he said yeah. So Michael Hayes wrote it up right away ‘Jinder promo.’ So I’m checking my email a couple days ago and I saw a script for house shows for promos and I’ve never had that and even a day later like extra notes came [from Vince McMahon].”
Jinder said he feels prepared this time around and Vince knows what he’s doing. Timing is everything and that included the choice to bring Jinder Mahal back to WWE after his release.
“It was weird” Mahal said, “after two months of dieting and everything I actually got a call from the other wrestling promotion too.”
Jericho wasn’t shy about saying, “oh so TNA called you?” and Jinder confirmed this was true.
“There was a pay-per-view in Orlando on that Sunday and I live in Tampa. And [Impact Wrestling was] like, can you come and talk to us?” Jinder said he was planning on going to talk to TNA, but the day before he was supposed to go WWE’s Senior Director of Talent Relations Mark Carrano called him and said they wanted to sign Jinder back.
Jinder told Carrano he had a meeting scheduled with Impact Wrestling and wanted to see what his options were. “Obviously I wanted to come back to WWE but I had already told [Impact] I was going to come talk to them so I was going to keep my word. So I went to talk to them and I called Carrano back and said ‘yeah, send the contract over.'”
Mahal said it was all about timing because WWE was doing the brand extension and needed extra guys. He said he was part of a handful of guys they brought back to the company. But, it certainly looks like it’s working out way better for him at the moment.
If you use any portion of the quotes in this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a H/T to Still Real To Us for the transcription.