Jinder Mahal was a recent guest on Busted Open Radio, and he talked about his release from WWE in 2014 and everything he had to do to get back, as well as his transition from jobber to WWE Champion.
"I had just become complacent when I was with 3MB, I'll be the first to admit. I wasn't really giving it 100 percent anymore, which is the kiss of death in WWE. You have to be on 100 percent of the time. So being released was honestly the best thing that happened to me. I grew so much as a performer and as a person I matured. I was in WWE right out of college so I never even faced real life, so all of a sudden I go from college to all of a sudden we're touring all over the world, everyone wants an autograph, everybody is at the airport, we're making a lot of money. For a kid my age I had a house paid off, I had two cars - I had a Corvette and a Challenger, and I just became complacent so when I went away I had to refocus and start from scratch. And even when I came back I started at the bottom, I was on Main Event and Superstars every week.
"I was brought back to enhance the other guys. When they did the roster split they needed some experienced guys right away. I wasn't happy in that role but I knew that I was gonna - the only way out of that position was to out-work my competition. I was gonna be the hardest working in WWE, week by week I'm improving, my promos I'm improving, I'm speaking to Vince after my match - which is something I avoided. In my first run I would avoid Vince for some reason. I was kind of intimidated by him, but now I have a great relationship with Vince, after I come back from Gorilla, Vince is the first person that I talk to. So just working my way up, this is just the beginning. I have a long career ahead of me still, I just turned 31. Even Drew, we both got released at the same time. We both have a chip on our shoulder now, we have something to prove because this got taken away from us. We both used to hear this a lot when we were young, like 'Oh he has potential, he has potential!'
"But I heard Jim Ross say this, he said, 'potential doesn't pay the bills forever.' So it's about time we realized that potential. We both realize that now, and it's great to see him, he's gonna main event NXT Takeover, and he's definitely, definitely going to be a future WWE Champion or Universal Champion. 100 percent. Yep, we both have something to prove, we have a chip on our shoulder, and we're just gonna outwork everybody, our competition, we're gonna give it 110 percent every day, and to think that we were released two years ago - I mean he went off and did great things on the indies. I kind of did. A lot of the times on the indies I still wasn't that driven, I wasn't that focused, but it's kind of funny like as soon as I got focused, I stopped drinking, started training again, just taking it seriously - two months later I was signed. I was signed to WWE. So I don't know. If I didn't get serious, I don't know if they would've called."
Jinder Mahal defends his WWE Title tonight against Shinsuke Nakamura at SummerSlam. Fightful will have full Live Coverage of that match and the entire event, including a post-show podcast.
You can listen to the entire interview in the audio player below.