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Posted in: The King's Corner
The King's Corner: Jinder Mahal: Could He Be The Champion We Need Right Now?
By KingKervin
Aug 12, 2017 - 1:32:59 AM

The King's Corner

Jinder Mahal: Could He Be The Champion We Need Right Now?

In today’s modern wrestling world, we have warped views on why certain performers don’t deserve the platform they are given. We tend to value the ability of wrestlers in the ring over what truly makes a wrestler important – character work. It’s why guys like Sami Zayn, who I respect greatly as an in-ring performer, tend to get more love than someone who can’t work great matches like a Jinder Mahal. It’s a subjective opinion, like most of wrestling tends to be. And while I respect fans who appreciate the styles of greats like AJ Styles or Seth Rollins, I can’t help but wonder why the character work seems to fall by the wayside.

When you go through the annals of time, people seem to forget that some of the best and greatest, the most beloved wrestlers of our lifetime, weren’t exactly incredible wrestlers, but lived and died by their characters. Remember a guy like Hulk Hogan, who, for all of his flaws as a wrestler, was an incredible character. We didn’t care about the fact that his leg-drop finisher bested some of the greats of our generation like Sting or Macho Man Randy Savage. We cared that Hulkamania ran wild, and that he tugged at our heart strings because of his undying love for country, vitamins, and prayers.

Which brings me to the Modern Day Maharaja, Jinder Mahal. He currently reigns supreme as the WWE Champion of the biggest company in the wrestling world. His detractors are many, and his supporters are far fewer than the 1.3 billion people he claims to represent. His wrestling skill mimics those of past lore like a Hulk Hogan or a Lex Luger, but his character, in every sense of the word, represents that of someone who fights or cheats as any other heel would. He finds the easy way out. He relies on the help of his cohorts, which is nothing different from anything we’ve ever seen before.

So, why is it, in the so-called “Reality Era” is he so disparaged and slandered like he’s the worst character on the planet?

His character is a microcosm of so many others who we hold dear. We love the Miz because he can destroy those better than him on a microphone. We love AJ Styles because he can out-wrestle any opponent on the planet. Every character in the world of wrestling can find a loophole, or an explanation as to why they believe they are the best. Roman Reigns can use his cockiness as a crutch for his greatness. John Cena can use his never give up attitude as a crutch for his greatness. Yet, we fail to accept the fact that someone like Jinder can use his lackeys as a reason for his championship reign. Ric Flair was the dirtiest player in the game, defending his title on cheap tactics.

Am I saying Jinder is on the level of those legends of the past? Absolutely not. In the past, we could accept a guy like Lex Luger, despite his obvious shortcomings as a wrestler, simply because he was an American typecast hero. Flip the script. If Jinder, who has the body of a Lex Luger, along with the same wrestling skill, was an American, would we feel differently toward him? Is Jinder in the wrong era? Were he wrestling in WCW or early 90s WWF, how would we feel about him? Would his lack of work rate change our opinions of him then? Would he be as popular as a man like Iron Sheik, who thrived on country affiliation? It’s hard to say. It reminds of those who crown Michael Jordan as untouchable, despite a guy like LeBron James, who may be the only true challenger in terms of skill to Jordan. We easily can harken to the past, and compare eras, when in reality, it’s a futile comparison.

We, as fans, need to remember, that eras change, times change, and with each changing of the guard, there is always someone who might be better than what we are accustomed to, or what we’ve grown up with, and have grown to love. We are only left to speculate. The fact that a guy like Jinder Mahal has made us question where we are as fans, and what we value in the ring, in and of itself is an accomplishment for him. We can bicker amongst ourselves as much as we want, but when someone comes around, forced down our throats or not, that challenges all that we hold dear, we must stop and analyze the impact it has on us all.

If Jinder Mahal never draws a dime in the WWE, we have to remember that it gives us pause, and allows us to reflect on the legends we hold close to our hearts. It gives us a reason to go back into the history books and remind ourselves that despite our anger towards his push, his skill, or his character, that the impact he has caused on our fandom is legitimate. He gives us a reason to root against someone again, and not just cheer or boo because that’s our modus operandi, but because at the end of the day, we need our heroes. We need our Hulk Hogan’s, our Sting’s, our Kurt Angle’s, our Stone Cold Steve Austin’s. We need a despicable villain, capable of nothing without help and cheap tactics, to give us the ultimate end game we all relish – a man capable of overcoming those odds for the greater good. We need a Shinsuke Nakamura or an AJ Styles to put this dastardly villain in his place, and remind him of where he truly belongs on the wrestling totem pole.

That reasoning right there, regardless of whether WWE positions him where he is due to marketing reasons or not, is the reason we watch this sport. At the end of the day, the majority of us watch to see good overcome evil. We watch because the story given to us is that of redemption and of promise. We watch not because we need five star matches, but that every good man needs a foe. Wrestling will always be wrestling in its purest form, but when someone comes around to lay waste to what we hold dear as fans, that’s when we come together, to root against our common enemy.

Hate Jinder Mahal or not, he has created a rise amongst us that tells us we refuse to accept this mediocrity to represent us. We refuse to accept someone who lacks skill in every way could ever be at the top of the mountain. It’s why we will chant for Shinsuke at Summerslam. It’s why we will hum his theme song. It’s why we will shout “YES YES YES” for every moment that denies Jinder Mahal victory. Jinder Mahal isn’t our wrestling savior. He’s our wrestling antithesis. He’s not the cool heel we cheer. He’s not the forced face that we boo. He’s our common denominator. He’s the man we stand together as fans of our beloved sport and say, “No more”. He’s what wrestling has lacked in so many ways, for so long. There is no grey area with Jinder Mahal. He’s everything we despise, and everything we hate. He’s the bridge that connects smarks with marks so that we can rally for our hero, and rally against our common enemy.

You don’t realize it yet, but come August 20th, win or lose, you will finally recognize that Jinder Mahal’s reign at the top is everything we’ve needed to unite us. Let’s just hope WWE gets it right when push comes to shove. And until next time…

The King has spoken!


Kervin wants to hear from you. Hit me up in the comments section below to talk about today’s column. Any and all comments are welcomed! Find me at my e-mail address of karl.m.ervin88@gmail.com, and follow me on Twitter at the link below. I appreciate everyone’s input.

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