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Is Jinder Mahal a babyface now?

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Former WWE champion Jinder Mahal returned to action on the April 27 episode of Raw, making short work of Akira Tozawa (who is enhancement talent on Mondays and a threat to win the Interim Cruiserweight title on Wednesdays, but that’s a whole nother topic).

After a week off-screen, the Modern Day Maharajah got some interview time with Charly Caruso on last night’s show.

“I am truly honored to be back on Monday Night Raw. It’s been a long ten months after my knee surgery, but I am glad to be back. And another positive is my old pal Drew McIntyre is now WWE champion. And I was truly elated to see Drew prosper. But as a former WWE champion, I deserve to be loved, I deserve to be celebrated, I deserve to be respected by the entire WWE Universe - just like Drew is. So this time, I’m on a new path. I will redeem myself. Yeah, I’ve made a lot of mistakes in the past. But I’ve learned from those mistakes. And this time my journey back to the top will be a hero’s journey.”

Mahal’s promo has some people asking if he’s a babyface now, and you can see why. He’s happy for his 3MB mate, and McIntyre’s been built better than any WWE top face in recent memory. More than that, he’s acknowledging he wasn’t a hero prior to his injury and saying he’ll apply lessons he learned from that run to be one this time around.

But I’m not buying it. Two reasons:

  1. His motives are off. He’s not doing it because he wants to do the right thing. He’s doing it because he wants to be adored. What he did last time didn’t work, so he’s gonna try a different way. Something tells me he’ll be unable to stick to this new plan if it doesn’t pay immediate dividends.
  2. His whole delivery reads much more “delusional heel” than “good guy”. WWE’s got a few of these running around these days, but Jinder’s doing a slightly different version. And if Mahal is headed toward a showdown with Drew, running through false idols is a good way to establish the current WWE champ as someone deserving of our support.

But that’s just my read. Tell us yours below.