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Posted in: Doctor's Orders
The Eternal Optimist Presents: 7 Reasons Why Jinder Mahal's Push Doesn't Suck
By Dave Fenichel
May 19, 2017 - 7:45:13 PM

Hi kids.

Smackdown took an interesting turn when they crowned Jinder Mahal, primarily used as enhancement talent, number one contender to the WWE title. One of the more unusual world title matches in recent memory goes down this Sunday at Backlash. Predictably, this has led to an incredible amount of vitriol from our portion of the community.

As such, being The Eternal Optimist, it is my job to spin this in a positive light. More importantly, I feel the need to talk some of you crazies off the ledge that you are currently teetering on. Jinder Mahal as #1 contender might not completely suck, and here are seven reasons why.

Reason #1 – His Core Attributes:

Jinder Mahal has two things going for him that every successful main eventer needs.

First, he has a tremendous look. Steroid assisted or not, Jinder Mahal is huge. He’s absolutely ripped. He looks like a big time superstar. The WWE is loaded with tremendous Indy Talent, almost all of whom don’t have “the look” that screams superstar.
Second, he cuts a good promo. Even though he’s been used as fodder for other people, he’s proven himself to be very adept on the mic. He’s very well spoken, conveys his message well, and always draws heel heat. There are plenty of internet darlings who can’t say the same thing.

Having a great look and being able to cut a strong promo that elicits the fan response you are looking for don’t 100% guarantee success, but they are pretty good indicators of one’s long term potential.

Reason #2 – He’s an Unknown Quantity in the Ring:

One of the biggest knee-jerk reactions that I have heard from our community is that Jinder Mahal sucks in the ring, and can’t work a main event level match. Do we actually know this to be the case?

Here’s the deal. He’s wrestled five minute jobber matches for his entire WWE tenure. Those tell you absolutely nothing about a wrestler’s ability to work. I remember a story coming out regarding frustration in the WWE locker room once NXT became a prominent brand. Many wrestlers were upset because they considered themselves to be just as good in the ring if not better than the NXTers, but weren’t given the same opportunity to showcase their skills. It’s no different here. We don’t know whether or not Jinder can wrestle, because he hasn’t been given the opportunity to do so.

Here’s what we do know. He’s only been involved in one match of any length that is indicative of his ability to work at a main event level. That match was the six-pack challenge from last night, and it was awesome. It would be unwise to automatically assume that he isn’t up to the task.

Reason #3 – The Ethnic Card Sells:

There are very few certainties in life – death, taxes, and the race card working in wrestling.

There is a long line of past history to prove this. The Iron Sheik was the Iranian villain, Nikolai Volkoff was the Russian villain, and Mohammad Hassan was an Iraqi symphatizer. During more modern times, Rusev has thrived as a Putin supporter and the Bulgarian Brute. Do I need to even mention the number of times the WWE has gone to the well on an anti-American Canadian gimmick?

There’s a reason these gimmicks work. Like it or not, there are still a ton of wrestling fans that hate everything non-American. Any gimmick of this nature provokes a tremendous emotional reaction from the fan base. I don’t expect Jinder Mahal to be different. I like that they paired him with The Bollywood Boys and the “anti-Indian” stance is a fresh twist on an old classic.

If you are expecting Mahal to flop because of a lack of heat, think again.

Reason #4 – People are Talking:

When it comes to professional wrestling – angles fall into two buckets. Bucket #1 is the bucket of angles in which raise tremendous discussion, whether it be good or bad. Bucket #2 is the bucket of angles that are met with complete indifference. Silence is deafening.

My social media absolutely exploded yesterday the second Jinder Mahal won the match and became the number one contender. Chad, aka The Doc’s Facebook post regarding Jinder prompted somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 responses. Everyone and their mother has an opinion on this. A few liked or loved it. The majority absolutely hated it. The specifics don’t matter. This is an angle that got people talking, and that is never a bad thing.

Reason #5 – Randy Orton’s Face Status:

The majority of the fan-base, our community included, absolutely hated the idea of Randy Orton going over Bray Wyatt for the belt at Wrestlemania 33. Part of the reason for this hatred was because Bray got his legs cut out from under him. An equal or bigger part is that Randy Orton in 2017 is not someone that you want to cheer for. Randy Orton as a main event face has been a complete flop.

Enter Jinder Mahal. The anger and ire towards this guy is unreal. So many people are so angry about Mahal receiving an opportunity that they feel he doesn’t deserve. What will the end result be? People will cheer for Randy Orton.

The WWE has been desperately looking to give the fans a reason to cheer for him. Smashing Jinder “Jobber” Mahal into oblivion is just that reason.

Reason #6 – The Bradshaw Comparison:

A lot of you are too young to have watched Bradshaw live prior to his JBL days. He was a completely uninspiring tag team wrestler that had shown marginal in-ring ability and even less ability on the microphone. As soon as the original brand split occurred, JBL trotted out in suits and started giving financial advice.

To everyone who watched, it was a real “WTF” moment. None of us understood. We all couldn’t believe that Bradshaw was suddenly a main-eventer, and no one wanted to treat him as such. Clearly, you don’t need me to tell you what happened. JBL took the ball and ran with it, showed tremendous skills that none of us knew he had, and is now considered an all-time great.

If you can’t see the parallel that I am drawing, than I’m not sure I can help you. Like JBL, Jinder Mahal is being given an opportunity that fans feel he doesn’t deserve as a direct result of a brand split. Don’t be surprised if Jinder displays tremendous skills that we thought weren’t there. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Reason #7 – Optimism for the Future:

Last, but certainly not least. The out of nowhere mega-push of Jinder Mahal marks a drastic change in creative direction from the recent years’ past. The WWE is going out on a major limb and taking a chance on someone without even the smallest track record.

Maybe Mahal completely flops, and maybe he doesn’t. Even if he does, is this not an incredible step in the right direction? Safe doesn’t work for us. We want the WWE to take chances on guys that aren’t obvious to the naked eye. We want them to take risks, to provide us with something unique.

Even if Jinder Mahal fails miserably, if this is the start of a trend towards the WWE taking more leaps of faith with their booking, then sign me up right now.


Chill out kids. #Don’tHinderJinder. This isn’t the end of the world. For all of the reasons stated above, Jinder Mahal may very well work out in spades as a main event player. Even if he doesn’t, at the very least it shows that the WWE is willing to get risky. If they’re willing to take a shot in the dark on Jinder Mahal, why not Sami Zayn, Cesaro, or Chad Gable down the road?

As always, I’m your Eternal Optimist, bringing you nothing but positivity. Sound off below!

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