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Seth Rollins and Jinder Mahal delivered a rollercoaster finish on Raw

All hell broke loose on Raw as the World Heavyweight Championship match between the titleholder Seth Rollins and his challenger Jinder Mahal reached its boiling point.

“Señor Money in the Bank” Damian Priest sat ringside, ready to redeem his guaranteed title opportunity on either Rollins or Mahal. However, he was thwarted by Drew McIntyre, and the two brawled all the way back to the locker room. Meanwhile, in the ring, the referee was distracted long enough for Veer of Indus Sher, one of Mahal’s proteges, to hit Rollins in the face with Priest’s briefcase, which he had left behind during his fracas with McIntyre.

Mahal then capitalized on the moment by hitting Rollins with his finishing move, the Khallas. Fans gathered in the Simmons Bank Arena in Little Rock, AR, let out an audible gasp as they stood in anticipation of Mahal stunning the world once more to win his second world title. Visions of his 2017 upset over Randy Orton for the WWE Championship flashed through their heads as the ref began to count.

One-two-thr...

What looked like a sure defeat for Rollins led to cheers of relief as the champ kicked out of Mahal’s pin attempt to save his title. Mahal’s cronies then jumped on the apron to protest the referee’s count, but the official responded by ejecting them from ringside. Moments later, Rollins caught the distracted challenger with a curb stomp to the back of the head to score the pin and retain his crown.

As closing sequences go, Rollins and Mahal had a brisk yet compelling series that electrified the crowd and tricked them into believing that Mahal would win, even if just for a moment, thanks to a few key elements.

First, the skirmish between McIntyre and Priest created a disturbance that typically results in chaos that favors the villain. Following that, there was outside interference in support of the rogue, who swooped in with his signature move to conclude a sequence of events that placed Seth Rollins in jeopardy.

While most never considered Mahal a threat to win Rollins’ title on Raw, there was at least some doubt for many following a week where Mahal was the talk of the town. That led those who follow sports entertainment intently to at least conceive of a scenario where Mahal could leave Raw as the new World Champion.

While the encounter was standard fare, the final moments between Rollins and Mahal were a masterclass that, even for a zeptosecond, made those at home and in the arena believe that a title switch was about to happen.

That is the magic of pro wrestling — its ability to captivate and suspend disbelief. Rollins (who was apparently dealing with an injury at the time) and Mahal, aided by their supporting cast, delivered a simple yet compelling performance that kept fans engaged through its conclusion. And for those who overlooked (or perhaps disrespected) the Modern Day Maharaja leading into Raw, they were reminded that the former WWE Champion still has a few tricks up his sleeve.

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