mid-day online exclusive: WWE champion Jinder Mahal reveals why he loves India

WWE has great news for fans in India. WWE will host a live event in New Delhi on December 9 and 10. The WWE India event will have some of the biggest WWE superstars from Raw and SmackDown Live. The main event will feature none other than WWE champion Jinder Mahal. The Indian-origin wrestler talks about the fans in India, his journey to becoming a champion as well as reveals his opponent in India. 

Jinder Mahal

Although you began your journey with WWE in 2011, could you tell us a little more about it? The man before the champ?
Before me being signed with WWE, I always dreamt of becoming the champion and it was my dream. I began training and dedicated my life to becoming a WWE champion and the man you see now, is the WWE champion - the first ever WWE champ of Indian origin. This visit to India is the first time the WWE championship has been brought to the country. I am looking forward to competing on Indian soil as WWE champion on December 8-9 for two blockbuster events at IGI stadium in New Delhi. Come out and support your WWE champion - The Modern Day Maharaja, Jinder Mahal.

In what unique way would you prepare for your opponent in India come December? Would you put the WWE title?
It was just announced today. My opponent in New Delhi for the WWE championship will be none other than Kevin Owens- a former Universal champion and a force to be reckoned with. He is one of our greatest superstars. He is not a man that I take lightly. You could see from his match with Shane McMahon at Hell In A Cell. He is absolutely ruthless. But I will have the support of the home crowd and Indian fans. I know the WWE Universe in India is very, very passionate. I can't wait to perform here and make my country proud. I will retain the WWE championship against Kevin Owens.

What did you do to re-invent yourself in WWE to achieve the success and position you currently have?
In 2014, I was released from WWE and it was a tough time. But it also was the best thing to have happened as I managed to find focus, be motivated and driven again. That ultimately led me to become a WWE champion. It is only just the beginning and I want to go down as one of the greatest WWE champions. I want to be someone like The Great Khali who has represented India in such a positive way as WWE champion. I look forward to establishing my own legacy and motivating our next generation of WWE superstars from India.

You have faced and defended your title against Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura. Who do you think from the current roster is a worthy contender, or someone you'd like as an opponent?
SmackDown Live has many superstars - everyone from AJ Styles to Baron Corbin and my opponent in New Delhi - Kevin Owens. But as we talk about WWE as a whole, Raw roster is just as stacked with guys like Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman. They too will be competing against each other in New Delhi. I also look forward to stepping in the ring with WWE Universal champion Brock Lesnar. WWE's talent is at an all-time high. Our women's division with Natalya, Charlotte, Naomi, Sasha Banks, Alexa Bliss, Bayley are all world-class athletes. Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss have already announced they will be in India this December.

What goes into your preparation for main events at WWE?
There is definitely a great deal of pressure but I thrive on it and use it to motivate me. I ensure outside of the ring I am outworking my competition, improving my game inside and outside the ring. I come into every match prepared and India will be no different. I actually consider this the biggest WWE match of my career thus far. I have had many great main events with guys like Randy Orton, John Cena, Shinsuke Nakamura, but this is the highlight of my career. I will come in the best shape possible and put on the best performance possible to make India proud.

How did you come to form your finisher 'The Khallas'?
I have finished off many WWE superstars with it and will continue to. 'Khallas' means 'the end' which is truly what I believe is the fate of my opponent once I hit him with it. Khallas is an evolution from my uncle Gama Singh's finisher, the Cobra clutch hold. I first put them in a submission hold, drive them up and straight to the mat. No one has yet kicked out of the 'Khallas'.

Which wrestlers do you draw inspiration from?
Growing up I have been a huge fan of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and even Triple H. Triple H still is with WWE to this day and works closely with talent and NXT. Having someone with Triple H's knowledge and experience is very valuable. I have a good relationship with Vince McMahon too. After my matches, Vince is the first person I speak to.

How does it feel to represent India as the WWE champion?
It's a huge honour, just being here. Seeing the passion and love everyone gives me and their excitement makes me want to put my best effort and represent India. I truly believe India has world-class athletes and I want to continue to represent the country. I am excited for the next-gen WWE superstars. Kavita Devi, who is the first ever Indian female wrestler in WWE. She feels the same honour as I do now. Other superstars training at the performing centre like Jeet Rama and Kishan Raftaar, who are also proud to represent the country. History will be made on December 9 when I defend the WWE championship against Kevin Owens.

Give us a message for your fans in India in true Punjabi style
First, I would like to thank the WWE Universe fans here in India. Thank you for all the love. I am expecting you all to pack the Indira Gandhi Indore stadium in December. It will be a blockbuster. I thank the fans for all the love and support

Also view: These 20 photos of Geeta Phogat with her husband and sisters spell love

Geeta Phogat and family

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