Former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal speaks to us ahead of the WWE Superstar Spectacle in Hyderabad...

Indus Sher will take on The Judgement Day while global superstar John Cena will also have a match at the live event.
In frame: Jinder Mahal
In frame: Jinder Mahal

Probably one of the first names that pops up when one thinks of Indians in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is Jinder Mahal. From starting out as a member of the 3MB, which included former WWE superstar Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre, to becoming the first wrestler of Indian origin to be a WWE Champion, Jinder has come a long way. Now, he is all set to be in Hyderabad for the WWE Superstar Spectacle, where his current team Indus Sher (Sanga and Veer Mahaan) will challenge The Judgement Day (Finn Balor and Damian Priest) for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship. We speak with Jinder to know more about the match, how being the WWE Champion changed his life and lots more…

How are you finding your current persona in WWE?
It’s amazing. During my time in WWE, I have experienced so many things. From being in 3MB to becoming the WWE Champion and even being paired with the Singh Brothers and Shanky and Veer in the past and now with Veer and Sanga for Indus Sher. It’s a chance for me to share my knowledge and experience with newer superstars and guide and help them in everything. In the live event in Hyderabad, Indus Sher will be challenging Finn Balor and Damian Priest for the tag team championships. If they win the tag team championships in India, it will be a huge thing. History will be made.

<strong><em>Jinder Mahal</em></strong>
Jinder Mahal

For most of your time in WWE, you role played a negative character. Did you enjoy that?
I wouldn’t actually call it a negative role. I would maybe call it a villain role. What we do is entertainment
and I have been playing the villain in WWE for many years. I prefer it. It’s a lot of fun. Getting the crowd’s reaction especially when I have a good hero to share the ring with, we can tell a really good story and get the crowd involved.

How was your experience being a WWE Champion?
The experience was incredible. I grew so much as a performer and a person. I knew t hat once I became a WWE Champion, my life would never be the same and it has never been the same again. I got to share the ring with so many great superstars like Randy Orton, AJ Styles and even John Cena, who will also be appearing in Hyderabad. I got to make history. I got to visit India with the WWE Championship. I look forward to doing it again with Indus Sher as tag team champions.

What do you tell people who look down on WWE because it is perceived as fake?
Obviously WWE is entertainment. It’s no different than any television show you watch in terms of storytelling and creativity. We also have a storyline to follow. But what we do in the ring is very physical. We are world-class athletes. And if anybody hasn’t seen WWE live, I encourage you to see it. Those fans who are going to the show in Hyderabad, are going to witness something incredible. In WWE, whether it’s a live show, Monday Night Raw or Smackdown, there is no cut. There is no redoing. It’s live. There is only one take. There is nothing fake about it. Injuries are a real part of the lives of WWE superstars. I had several injuries in the past which needed surgeries. It is entertainment, but at the end of the day, there’s a very real aspect to it, which makes WWE an incredibly interesting form of entertainment.

What does your life away from WWE entail?
Pretty much my whole day is centred around training, nutrition and recovery. When we have live shows or RAW or Smackdown, there is a lot of travel, getting to the arena, organising myself, putting on the show for the WWE universe and then traveling for the next show. And in between that, juggling between nutrition, working out, recovery and rest. At this age and point in my career, recovery and rest is super important.

Indus Sher face The Judgement Day on September 8, 7.30 pm. At Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, Hyderabad.

Sony Sports Network is the official broadcaster of WWE in India. 

Twitter: @al_ben_so

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