Jinder Mahal is a strong contender for the worst WWE champion of all-time. He went from jobber to champion in about one month, winning the title in May 2017 and holding onto the belt for just shy of six months. During that time he had a Punjabi Prison match against Randy Orton and defeated Shinsuke Nakamura twice on pay-per-view. It looked like Mahal was going to face Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series in November. Mahal was expected to enter December as champion because WWE had a tour of India scheduled at that time.
The Survivor Series card was booked based on the champion versus champion brand warfare gimmick that is still used today. Brock Lesnar was the Universal champion and set to face the WWE champ at that event. Lesnar vs. Mahal was reportedly planned for the event, Lesnar accepted Mahal’s challenge on television with a scathing promo from Paul Heyman, and John Cena was apparently going to be the referee for the match. Sounds wild, huh?
None of that came to fruition, though, because Mahal suddenly lost the WWE championship to AJ Styles within two weeks of Survivor Series. Lesnar ended up facing Styles on the pay-per-view.
That history recap brings me to a recent conversation on Wrestling Observer Radio between Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez, which came about after Dave brought up the poor booking of Mansoor, Shanky, and Mahal in the 12-man gauntlet match that Sami Zayn won on SmackDown a couple 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 with Jinder. It didn’t work.
Alvarez: Yeah they tried. They put the title on this guy for eight months, and then a week before they were gonna go to India, they beat him.
Meltzer: Yeah, 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 through that for eight fucking months. At least you can go to India with the guy 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 they have Triple H beat him. He loses in India to Triple H, and then the big explanation is, well, you know Triple H is really over in India.
Are you disappointed that we never got that dream match of Lesnar vs. Mahal (with special ref Cena) on pay-per-view, Cagesiders?