Reaction Zone - The most unlikely challenger

Last week on Smackdown, Jinder Mahal, born in Canada, but of Indian ancestry, pulled off the biggest win of his career, albeit with assistance from the former Bollywood Boyz, who will now be known as the Singh Brothers. A lot of folks wondered why this was.

The simple answer is that WWE is looking to expand its international base. They've opened a Shop Zone site for the Indian market, and want to build their brands. Jeff Jarrett, you'll recall, tried that with Ring Ka King as a offshoot of TNA (Impact) five years ago, and that ultimately failed. Vince McMahon's last attempt at building a fan base in India came a few years earlier when the Great Khali was imported, largely because he appeared in Adam Sandler's remake of "The Longest Yard" with Kevin Nash & Steve Austin, to name a couple of familiar folks. Khali's been gone a couple of years now, and writer Dave Kapoor (nee Runjin Singh) is still with the company. Wouldn't be surprised if Runjin suddenly returned.

Looking at Mahal's track record since his first entree into WWE, however, and you see a man who has only gotten flashes of pushes, the last being as part of a comedy trio, 3MB, with Heath Slater & Drew McIntyre. With McIntyre back in the fold (NXT), a reunion is almost inevitable, but we're getting ahead of ourselves. Mahal vs. Randy Orton headlines Backlash next month, and even if Mahal were to win the WWE World title, and hold it even for as much as a week, it would end up a footnote here if it doesn't generate the kind of business Vince McMahon is hoping for in India.

Then again, Vince shouldn't be part of the equation, anyway.

Take a look at what Triple H has accomplished with NXT. He has opened the pipeline in China, and a similar project in India should be left in his capable hands, not those of his father-in-law, as we all know Vince's leaden touch is bound to screw things up. Maybe Khali could be convinced to return, even as a special attraction. Hunter is putting in all the work, but instead of taking the bows as he rightfully should with a promotion, the old man holds him down on air by forcing him & Stephanie to be his puppets. Of course, that's another story for another day, but this is where we should be celebrating the accomplishments of the former champ as a businessman.

Speaking of screwing things up, if they really want to get Mahal over as a conquering hero in India, then he'd have to go over clean as a whistle at Backlash. No outside help, no screwjobs of any kind. Orton, being a 3rd generation superstar, would understand that it'd be best for business, knowing he'd get the title back after a few weeks while they gauge if Mahal is actually a credible champion.

If WWE wants Mahal to be taken seriously, now and forever, this is the perfect opportunity. And despite what I've said, I'd not be surprised if they did screw it up. That's what they do.

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