WWE Champion Jinder Mahal recently spoke with The Times of India. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights:
For the first-ever NXT championship (Gold Rush tournament), you squared off against Seth Rollins in 2012 and five years later, during a recent WWE live event in Vancouver, you faced Rollins again, this time for the WWE championship. How did it feel?
It was way back in 2012 and I posted the picture on my Instagram page. It was a historic moment and to think that five years later, Seth Rollins and me will be main eventing a WWE live event in front of 10,000 people for the WWE championship is just great. It goes to show how far we have come in these five years. Rollins got there before me in the main event picture, but through hard work, perseverance I climbed to the top where I belong. We both belong and are where we should be; so, it was a very special moment.
In that Instagram post you talked about a prophecy. What is the story behind that?
I believe it was the prophecy made by Triple H in NXT at that time (Gold Rush tournament). Two young guys who he thought were the future of the business and it turned out to be true. Rollins is a multiple-time champion, I am the current World champion. We were having main event matches in NXT and now we are in the main events in WWE. So I believe it was the prophecy of Triple H. He is one of the smartest minds in the wrestling business and wrestlers that are in NXT right now, main eventing NXT shows are the guys who you are going see main-eventing WWE PPVs in Raw and SmackDown Live in the future.
Being a champion means every small detail is scrutinized. Who are you turning for advice to iron out the rough edges?
Mostly the producers. Arn Anderson has been a big help. But number one is Vince McMahon. He is very hands on and I am very fortunate to work with him. He is the first person I probably ask about my matches, anything I did wrong, my television promos – he is my first point of contact and I take his advice very seriously. Look at the empire he has built. He started from scratch and look what WWE universe is today, it is a global phenomenon.
You are trying out a lot of things during this title run from different entrances, different attitude – is it something that you have come up with or there is somebody working behind the curtains?
A lot of it is my idea and actually a lot has come from Triple H as well. He is also very hand on working behind the scenes. Presentation is everything and it is very important in this business I believe. Look at the all-time greats like the Bret Hart, The Rock- look at Finn Balor right now, his entrance is spectacular. It is so impactful and it sets the tone for the match. So, I have been throwing in my own set of ideas with Triple H, along with the backstage producers, stage crews, lighting guys and it is a combined effort. Credit doesn’t go to the people working backstage, but they are an integral part of the show.
Your promos have also been improving…
My promos have improved because I put in a lot of effort during my time away from wrestling. I did promos in front of the mirror, I used to record it on my cell phone, used to review it and worked on it. I always go to Vince after every promo that I do on television and I seek his advice.
How confident are you handling the main event stage now?
You have to be. if you don’t believe u are main-eventer in your mind, you cannot be a reach the main-event level. You have to believe in yourself, in your ability, in your character. You have to believe that you can carry that pressure and carry the WWE championship. You are the face of WWE, you are the face of Samckdown as the WWE champion and it is not something to be taken lightly. I take it very seriously and you know, I am obliged for the chance and I want to go down in history as one of the greats.