'Want to Face The Rock at WrestleMania': WWE Champion Jinder Mahal
Jinder Mahal, the reigning WWE Champion is in India to promote their WWE LIVE event that is to take place in New Delhi, coming December
A file photo of jinder Mahal during his recent India visit. (Twitter/ Jinder Mahal)
New Delhi: Jinder Mahal, the reigning WWE Champion is in India to promote their WWE LIVE event that is to take place in New Delhi, coming December. With an Indian being a world-title holder, the wrestler has become a household name now. 'The Maharaja', as he is popularly known, is busy promoting the event, and caught up with CNN News18s Yash Bhati. Here are the excerpts from the interview:
Q. Jinder, how are you feeling after becoming the first Indian to get the WwE championship back to your country?
Jinder:It is a matter of history that I am coming to India as a WWE Champion. It has been amazing. The response and love I have been getting is phenomenal. Everybody tells me how happy they are for me. It is truly a proud moment for all of India. It is going to be more monumental when I defend my WWE championship on Indian soil on December 8th and 9th. It is a great time for WWE India and it's only getting better.
Q. You are representing India at the WWE. Any pressures come with that, or you are just happy to be representing India at a global stage?
Jinder: Absolutely. There is pressure. But I thrive in that pressure. It's a great amount of pressure that I feel when I come for these two huge live events on December 8th and 9th. But I am looking forward to the reception and reaction that I will receive. I have a very tough opponent in Kevin Owens, so obviously I have a lot of pressure. But I am going to rise above the pressure and be successful in defending the WWE championship. And then it's my goal to be champion past WrestleMania.
Q. For many years we did not have a Indian wrestler in the WWE. Then it was only Great Khali. Now we have more than 4 including the Singh brothers. So what do you think has caused this change in Landscape?
Jinder: The Great Khali motivated us. I look up to him. Kavita Devi, even trains under him. He opened many doors for us. Not only myself, he has inspired the Singh Brothers. All of Indian youth is inspired by the Great Khali. Hopefully we can do the same. I am the first Indian to bring the WWE championship to India and hopefully it can motivate the next generation. But I believe the future is far brighter for India than it is right now. I want to see WWE open up its training center in India. We have world class athletes in many sports. Satnam Singh is first ever Indian NBA player. Arjan Bhullar just made his debut in the UFC. We have Jujhar Khaira in the NFL. It is a ground breaking time for India. There would be many more moments in the WWE, so we want everyone to come and join us when we come back in December.
Q. You have also faced your ups and downs. You started out as a manager for Great Khali. You got into a 3mb faction, and were released in 2014. But you came back with renewed focus. And of course with an amazing physique. Did these of ups and downs affect you mentally?
Jinder: I am mentally as tough as ever right now because of those downs. I have experienced the bottom. When I have came back, I started from the very bottom. I want to send this message to the Indian youth that through hard work anything is possible. Look at Kavita Devi. History has been made as she is the first Indian women to step in the WWE ring. And now she has signed a developmental contract. The future is even brighter. She is going to make her own history and will motivate the youth even further. So there is no telling that what the next the generation in WWE from India will be going to accomplish.
Q. And Jinder can we see a 3MB reunion. Now Heath Slater has also been a champion. Drew is NXT champion. And of course you are WWE Champion. A dominant faction on the cards?
Jinder: I think somewhere down the road definitely. but right now i am focusing on the championship. I know Drew McIntyre is motivated. This championship is my pride and joy. History is being made that a WWE championship has been brought back to indian soil and i look forward to continue making history on December 8th and 9th.
Q. Last question Jinder. What can we expect from Jinder Mahal in the Future. Any dream matches that Jinder has in mind?
Jinder: Yes, The Rock. He was my idol while growing up. He is simply electric in everything he does. Be it movies, TV, WWE. He is my role model in lots of ways so definitely The Rock at WrestleMania.
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