It was a quick rise to the top for Jinder Mahal. Moved to SmackDown in the post-WrestleMania Superstar Shake-Up, he quickly won a #1 contenders match and emerged with a tweaked persona... The Maharajah was here, chiding America for its xenophobia and anti-intellectualism, backed by the similarly re-packaged Bollywood Boyz, now the Singh Brothers.
In as unlikely a pay-per-view (PPV) main event as we’ve seen in some time, Mahal squared off at Backlash against Randy Orton for the WWE World championship.
The Viper didn’t wait for introductions to wrap up before he started throwing Jinder all around the ring area. He chased the Singhs and tossed Mahal through the announce area before finally rolling him into the ring to officially start the match.
It wasn’t much better after that, as Mahal was forced to roll out to avoid an early RKO. Then, Orton leveled him on the floor. A second trip outside the ring finally provided the challenger with an opening, and when he flung Randy shoulder first into the apron, it at last looked like The Maharajah had a chance.
With the Chicago crowd actually doing a 50/50 “Let’s Go Jinder”/”Jinder Sucks” chant, the Viper regained control and stomped Mahal’s limbs. The upstart responded by snapping Orton’s shoulder again, but even with one arm, Randy managed to slam Jinder onto the announce desk.
Orton needed to get Mahal back between the ropes, though, and that gave Jinder another opening in this back-and-forth affair. But eventually, momentum swung back to the champ when he sent the Maharajah into the post, injuring his shoulder. A big superplex looked like it might end things, but Mahal kicked out.
Having one arm didn’t keep Randy from hitting his spots as things wore on - the scoop powerslam and rope-hung DDT both made an appearance before Orton “went to that place”. Jinder wisely rolled out, and the Singhs ran interference, creating an opening for Mahal to whip the champ shoulder-first into the ring post again.
Back in the ring, a one-armed RKO connected, but the Singh Brothers were able to get Mahal out of the ring. So, Orton destroyed them, culminating in a tandem rope hung DDT.
That was where The Maharajah made his final move, however. Jinder slipped in with his finisher, Khallas, and 1 - 2 - 3 later, Mahal is WWE World champion.
Get complete Backlash results and coverage of every match on the card by clicking here.