Triple H says Jinder Mahal worked hard to be in a place where he could become number one contender.
Released from WWE in 2014, Mahal was re-signed last year and now finds himself number one contender to Randy Orton's WWE World Championship. In an interview with USA Today, Triple H talked about how Mahal found his way to the main event after being cut in 2014. Also cut at the same time as Mahal was his 3 Man Band stable mate Drew McIntyre. Triple H talked about how both McIntyre and Mahal worked hard to return to WWE.
“Jinder is a guy who has always worked extremely hard. He trains hard; he’s very intense about what he wants with his career; he’s very thoughtful. That’s the same with Drew. That opportunity came for them when you’re too young and not ready for it and a little immature to it. (When they left), I had a conversation where I told them, 'We’re not going to be able to do more with you here. Go other places, learn more in your career, mature and think about the business in a different way.’ Sometimes you get reliant on other people telling you what to do instead of going out there and figuring it for yourself, which is what you have to do," said Triple H.
Mahal (and McIntyre) are both more mature now according to Triple H.
"To Jinder’s credit and to Drew’s credit, they left, they went and figured it for themselves, they improved. They’re both men now as opposed to kids trying to make it in the business. They see their careers differently and what they want and are still extremely hard workers and great people. Now hopefully they are in a better position to succeed,” said Triple H.
Jinder, specifically, has been quite the go-getter recently:
“From the second he’s been back it’s been, ‘What else can I do to make this work? What else can I do to improve? What else can I do to get to the next level?’” Triple H said. “It takes time. You bring people back, you let them get their feet wet a bit, you make sure they’ve matured in the way you want them to and move from there. I think fans or people who watch we do, they think it’s a matter of, ‘This guy is there so why don’t they do something with him?’ It’s a more complex process than that and a lot goes into it.
“But I’m happy for a guy like him — whether it was because of him or whatever reason it didn’t work out on the first pass through — to be able to come back and do it again.”
Mahal's new physique has got some attention since he returned to WWE, evidence of the hard training Triple H mentioned. The WWE World Championship match between Orton and Mahal is scheduled for WWE Backlash on May 21st.
The rest of Triple H's interview can be found at USAToday.com.