Jinder Mahal is excited to come back to India. Though he has a few relatives in Punjab, the Canadian WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) star of Indian origin seldom gets to visit the country due to his busy schedule. So, when he knew he was going to be a part of the WWE Superstar Spectacle, a pay-per-view set to take place at Hyderabad’s Gachibowli Indoor Stadium, he was thrilled. This event also marks WWE’s first visit to India in almost six years. It features John Cena, one of the most popular pro wrestlers, performing in India for the first time. Along with Cena and Jinder, Indian fans will see Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Rhea Ripley, Seth Rollins, and more in action.
The last time Jinder was here , in 2017, he shared a memorable moment with Triple H (they performed a Bhangra step in the middle of the ring) despite losing to him.
“This time, I will accompany Indus Sher as they compete for the WWE Tag Team Championship against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. All the superstars have heard how passionate the WWE Universe is in India. So, we are all excited to come here,” he says.
Jinder, in a short interview, discusses his upcoming visit and more.
Does being a prominent WWE superstar of Indian origin pressurise you?
Yeah, there’s pressure, of course. But it’s incredible at the same time! Not only for myself. In the past, I saw the rise of other Indian WWE superstars like the Singh brothers, Shanky, and Sanga. So, at this point in my career in WWE, I’ve experienced many things. And I like to share my experiences and knowledge with newer wrestlers to guide them. I would love to see more WWE superstars representing India. Hopefully, we can get another trial in India soon and have more Indian wrestlers training at the Performance Center in the US and the UK.
Many people did not know WWE was scripted a couple of decades ago. Now, most of the WWE audience knows it. But there’s still a huge following. What attracts them?
Yeah, it is entertainment, no doubt. Just like any film or TV show you watch. But the athleticism is real. There are no retakes, cuts, or edits. It’s live. When you see world-class athletes performing, you appreciate what goes into it. It is mixing entertainment and athleticism to create a spectacle. I think that makes WWE special. And it has a universal language. You can watch it on mute and still understand the stories and emotions.
A lot of work goes into being a WWE superstar. First, it takes several years of training to learn the moves. The number of matches we have per year is challenging too. A majority of our events are non-televised. When they are televised, you have the pressures of live TV. So, you have to be an athlete-cum-actor. We have to be able to play a character, travel throughout the year, stay in shape, and not get injured. Although it is scripted, injuries still happen in WWE. Recovering from those injuries, surgeries and weathering the mental struggle are real challenges. Everything is worth it in the end when you when you get to perform live and do what you love.
Off the ring, what are you looking forward to during your visit to Hyderabad?
It will be my first time in Hyderabad. I hear Hyderabad has the best biryani. So eating some Hyderabadi biriyani will be incredible. I was also Googling for places to visit the other day. I found a beautiful forest and the Hussain Sagar Lake with its beautiful Buddha statue. Despite my busy schedule, I’d like to visit these places.
WWE Superstar Spectacle will take place at Gachibowli Indoor Stadium on September 8. Tickets on bookmyshow.com