jinder mahal
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Jinder Mahal On His First WWE Run, His Subsequent Release and Time on the Indy Circuit, Being Ready to Be the Main Event Guy in WWE

WWE World Heavyweight Champion Jinder Mahal was a recent guest on Booker T’s podcast, ‘Heated Conversations,’ which you can listen to the entire interview at this link. The interview was conducted before he became World Champion, but definitely an interesting listen. Below are a few of the highlights from the podcast:

On How It Was Like Being in the WWE the First Time:

First time around, I actually got signed at a young age, around 23 and debuted on the main roster when I was 24. When I got drafted originally on SmackDown in 2010, things didn’t work out the way I hoped that they would. I think part of it was because I wasn’t mature enough as a wrestler yet. I didn’t have enough seasoning, I didn’t have the experience yet to be ready to be on TV. I was in FCW for one year. I just wish I had more time in developmental, but anyway, I was there, I was on TV and doing my thing, but not really getting much into storylines, just mainly working on Superstars or Main Event every week and then I got put in 3MB and kind of went downhill from there. Not just that though, I lost a lot of confidence as a performer, that’s just really the kiss of death; you can’t ever get complacent, you can never get comfortable, you have to stay focused and I will be the first to admit that it was me that messed up; it was me that lost focus, but I’ve regained my focus since I came back; I’ve gotten into the best shape of my life. My goal every week is to come back in better shape, come back more impressive in the ring, more aggressive in the ring, on my promos, which is what I should have been doing years ago, but it’s better late than never, but now that I am 30 years old, I am a man now, not a child and take my opportunities more seriously now because I had lost it at one time. I know what life is like on the other side when you almost have to face real life. I don’t take anything for granted; every day is an opportunity and I want to step up to the opportunity and rise to the occasion, just like I got my shot at the WWE Championship this Sunday against Randy Orton.

On Whether He Found Growth While on the Indy Scene:

Yeah, you know what, getting released from WWE was one of the best things that could have ever happened to me. I got to find myself as a person and a performer. I was able to wrestle in Puerto Rico, in Japan, and in the Middle East, got to go to the Middle East, India, and Reality of Wrestling [Booker T’s school]. One of the first independent bookings I received after my WWE release was working with you [Booker T] and I just wanted to thank you very much, because Book you did a lot for me. You helped me get my green card, you got my work Visa, you wrote me a great letter and I honestly owe you everything so thank you so much for that.

On The Transformation of His Life:

Honestly, I was starting to get a little soft. I began drinking beer, so June 1st of this year will be a year of completely not drinking any alcohol, so that was the first thing that I did, I stopped drinking alcohol, and the second thing was I got on board with this meal prep company called ‘Nutrition Solutions,’ which is based out of Tampa. So, I ordered from the meal prep company and that was literally all that I ate. I started training again; I just regained my focus again. I started reading Self-Help Books. I started watching  YouTube videos of Eric ‘Hip Hop Preacher’ Thomas, even like C.T Fletcher. I just lost motivation. You know, for two years I was out of WWE and was doing my own thing, enjoying life a little bit too much, and one day I just said enough was enough and started focusing, so two months later I was signed back up to WWE so when that happened I knew I couldn’t stop, I had to pick it up a notch. Since then, I’ve just been focusing, training hard, behaving, going straight to my hotel room every night, locking myself in, and you know what? My life outside of the ring and inside of the ring is improving. I don’t think it’s a coincidence, it’s part of having a balanced life.

On Being Ready to Be the Main Event Guy in WWE:

I’m ready for the opportunity. I’m ready to do everything. I am ready to do the media and put in the long matches every night, stay until the end. I was lucky to work the main event this whole European Tour with AJ [Styles] and Randy Orton in a triple threat, it was such a great experience. Having that pressure, I thrive off of that pressure. It was a different respect that I had received from the boys when I came on the bus, it was a different respect, which is an addictive feeling and I want more of that. I actually told Vince [McMahon] after my match on Tuesday on SmackDown. I told him, Vince, I know I am a work in progress, but I am going to be your guy and it’s going to be soon. I flat out told him that. I want everything; I want it all, and I think I am ready for it now that I am mature and everything is coming together.

Ever since I have been back, I have been focusing and I’ve been telling myself—every day I started writing a journal of my goals, which I should have written WWE Champion, but every day I write down that I want to be a Champion in WWE so you know what, it’s one of those things, I don’t think it’s a coincidence, but it’s kind of weird that I am writing all this stuff is starting to happen. Other things in my personal stuff in my life that I am writing down that is slowly starting to happen.