Jinder Mahal is a strong contender for the worst WWE champion of all time. He went from runner to champion in about a month, winning the title in May 2017 and holding the belt for just six months. During that time, he had a Punjabi prison match against Randy Orton and defeated Shinsuke Nakamura twice on PPV. It looked like Mahal was going to face Brock Lesnar in Survival series in November. Mahal was expected to enter in December as champion because WWE had an India tour scheduled for that time.
The Survival series The card was reserved based on the champion vs. champion brand war trick still in use today. Brock Lesnar was the Universal Champion and he was ready to take on the WWE Champion at that event. Lesnar vs. Mahal was planned for the event, Lesnar accepted Mahal’s challenge on television with a scathing promotion from Paul Heyman, and John Cena was apparently going to be the referee for the match. Sounds wild, huh?
However, none of that came to fruition, as Mahal suddenly lost the WWE Championship to AJ Styles within two weeks afterward. Survival series. Lesnar ended up facing Styles on the PPV.
That summary of the story leads me to a recent conversation on Wrestling Observer Radio between Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez, which came after Dave brought up the poor booking of Mansoor, Shanky, and Mahal in the 12-man gauntlet match that Sami won. Zayn. Slap a couple of weeks ago. Meltzer claims that Mahal dropped the WWE Championship to Styles in 2017 because Brock didn’t want to work with Jinder:
Meltzer: Well, they tried Jinder. It did not work.
Alvarez: Yes, they tried. They put the title on this guy for eight months, and then a week before they went to India, they beat him.
Meltzer: Yes, do you know why they did that? Because Brock didn’t want to work with him.
Alvarez: I realize that, but my God, I had to suffer for it for eight fucking months. At least you can go to India with the boy as champion. But no, a week before, it was like a giant rib. Let’s beat him a week before we go to India!
Meltzer: And then they go to India and Triple H beats him. He loses in India to Triple H, and then the big explanation is, well, you know Triple H actually ended up in India.
Yes, Triple H mentioned that he is more finished than Jinder in India. But hey, at least Jinder earned their respect!
Are you disappointed that we never got that dream match of Lesnar against Mahal (with special referee Cena) on pay-per-view, Cagesiders?