Welcome to this new column (don't worry, the historical disasters are not going anywhere). Today we evaluate the case for not hindering the Jinder.
We hear all the time that anything can happen in the WWE. That what we think is certain one moment can be suddenly shifted totally as the rug is pulled out from under us. However I don't think any of us thought that Jinder Mahal would be the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship at Backlash.
That's right, the Jinder Mahal of 3 Man Band. Who on the 1000th Episode of Raw was one of six guys to be decimated by the Brothers of Destruction in a segment to get them both on TV in a nostalgia spot. Well, I am here to say that if we are going down this route we should go the whole hog and give him the title. Why? Allow me to elaborate.
1. Orton has excuses. Randy Orton went through a hellacious House of Horrors match with Bray Wyatt. Who knows (in kayfabe) how that affected him? Add to that the two Bollywood Boyz and there are plenty of reasons why Orton doesn't have to pick up the win. Maybe one of the Singh brothers runs interference? Maybe Jinder uses the belt he stole? Or maybe (if you want to get a little more creative) Wyatt's victory leaves some sort of lasting impression on Orton, causing him to be distracted at a key moment. At any rate, there are avenues to take to ensure that the victory has a tainted feel to it.
2. Orton frankly sucks as the face of Smackdown. Look, there's no getting round this. Orton has never been a great face. His moveset is too methodical. His mannerisms are too calculating and sinister. Yes, he has the most over finisher in the WWE, but when you have Styles, Nakamura, Jericho, Zayn as faces supposedly lower on the pecking order...questions will be asked. By taking the title off him Orton can be re-orientated to a place where he is more useful.
3. A Short-Term Reign For Mahal Makes Booking Sense. Styles is facing Owens/Jericho for the US Title at Backlash. Zayn is facing Corbin and Nakamura is facing Ziggler. All of these seem like potentially short-term feuds (not to mention whatever Harper, Rowan and Rawley get up to). If you give the title to Mahal you can throw open the floodgates to some interesting speculation, particularly since the next PPV is none other than Money in the Bank, which leads us to reason 4.
4. Jinder doesn't need to main event Money in the Bank If WWE are worried about Jinder's pulling power as champion (I imagine it wouldn't be great), then luckily they can Main Event Money in the Bank with the Money in the Bank PPV! Imagine a main event match with Harper, Rawley, Rusev, Ziggler, Styles, Corbin and Zayn (or something similar) jumping around for that briefcase. You could have the Orton/Mahal rematch as the penultimate match and have Owens take on Jericho or Nakamura! How's that for an interesting beginning to a card?
5. By having Jinder win the title, you can do something interesting with the cash-in. Let's say that Jinder holds the title at Money in the Bank and Baron Corbin wins the briefcase. I would have a returning Jericho (if he comes back by July) challenge Mahal for the title either at Battleground or at a July SD TV show. You then have Jericho beat Mahal and then Corbin wipe out Jericho to cash-in and win the WWE Championship. Corbin's reign could then get off to a nice start by going over against Jericho, while Mahal can be re-positioned down the card.
6. A Mahal Title reign could set up a Rusev face turn. Rusev demanded a title shot at Money in the Bank. A Mahal reign could see Rusev finally turn face if they were to choose to honour Rusev's request. That in itself could be a massive shot in the arm for Rusev (though SD is a little bereft on the heel side).
So that's my case. Please let me know in the comments what you think and what other indefensible subjects you'd like me to have a stab at. Until then, the defence rests.