Jinder Mahal paved the way for Drew McIntyre's recent successes. Or so he believes.
Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp (full interview above), The Modern Day Maharaja suggested that without him, Drew McIntyre, as we know him, would not exist.
After a prolonged injury absence, Jinder Mahal returned to WWE TV this spring and entered into a feud with Drew McIntyre, complaining about the number of title opportunities his former 3MB teammate had been receiving. Mahal claims that he laid the blueprint for McIntyre to succeed and is off-put by the fact that the Scottish Warrior brags about doing the things that everyone else does too.
"He followed it to a T," Mahal began by saying. "I came to WWE before Drew. Came back. Became WWE Champion before Drew. Main evented all over the world before Drew. Did all this media before Drew. Now Drew touts himself as this great media machine and everything. Doesn’t stop talking about how much media he does. Guess what? We all do it. I was there. We all do it. We all have our turn. I’m still doing it. I just don’t advertise it. You see Drew McIntyre wearing this suit. Where do you think he got his style from? The Maharaja, right? All the swagger, all this confidence. If there was no Modern Day Maharaja as WWE Champion there would be no Drew McIntyre. I showed him the way. I showed him it was possible. I gave him the belief in himself."
McIntyre and Mahal were both released by WWE on June 12, 2014. Drew reemerged in NXT nearly three years later in April 2017. Mahal on the other hand returned in August 2016. He would become WWE Champion at Backlash 2017, defeating Randy Orton. McIntyre won the belt for the first time in the main event of WrestleMania 36 against Brock Lesnar.
According to Mahal, WWE was keeping an eye on Drew during his time away from the company and even goes so far as to say that he respects McIntyre for reinventing himself and becoming a great representative for the brand.
"They were. As much as bad things are said about Drew—which are all true, by the way—I gotta give respect to Drew. He, like myself, reinvented himself. Became a great representative of the company.--Exactly, exactly, exactly. He’s a little bit too close for comfort. But as I was saying, whatever, I respect Drew on a personal level. But on a professional level, I have to humble him. I’m going to embarrass him at SummerSlam. Not only that, a win against Drew McIntyre will automatically put me into the WWE title picture," Mahal stated.
Jinder lost to Drew at SummerSlam, but their feud didn't end there. Not only have the two been doing battle at Live events, but they faced off in a 6-man tag on the September 13 episode of Raw. On that night, Drew and The Viking Raiders bested Mahal, Shanky, and Veer.
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