Talk is Jericho with Chris Jericho
Guest: Jinder Mahal
Release Date: May 17, 2017
Recap by: Armando G. Ureña, PWPpodcasts.com Reporter
Top Newsworthy Items
-Kayfabe still has a presence in India.
-Jinder Mahal thinks a WWE show in Delhi could outsell WrestleMania 32, assuming there’s a stadium big enough.
-Vince McMahon has been directly involved with the creative aspect of Jinder Mahal’s character recently.
-Mahal met with Impact management but signed with WWE right afterward.
00:00: Sponsor Ads
00:36: Podcast Introduction
09:14: Jinder Mahal Interview Part 1
21:58: Sponsor Ads
24:14: Jinder Mahal Interview Part 2
54:08: Sponsor Ads
55:15: Jinder Mahal Interview Part 3
1:14:51: Sponsor Ads and Closing
Jericho does his usual plugs and highlights some of the topics he goes into for the Jinder Mahal Interview. He then plays Fozzy’s “Judas.” Some more ads air before the interview starts.
Jinder Mahal Interview Part 1
Jericho opens the interview talking about how he loves how quickly the business can change, referencing Jinder Mahal going from losing squash matches to becoming number one contender for the WWE Championship. Jinder goes into some of his health habits that helped him get into the much better shape he is in now. He stopped drinking, started doing cardio in the morning, and started eating cleaner, among other things. He started getting into shape two months before the WWE called him for his return. During those two months, Mahal lost twenty pounds.
Jericho and Mahal talk about having a positive attitude and how that helps them navigate their careers. Mahal is always listening to positive mindset audio books. Mahal has a journal that he writes his goals in, goals which include having the best body in WWE and becoming champion. Mahal talks about his relationship with Vince McMahon getting better after his physique change and how he started moving up the card. Vince played a significant part in the recent development of Mahal’s character, writing Mahal’s initial promo after he became the number one contender. He has been cutting promos at every house show working on increasing his heel heat. Jericho and Mahal talk about McMahon’s experience giving him an intuition on what gets the most heel heat, so seemingly dumb promos will still get the desired reaction from the crowd.
Jericho asked how he got the call to come back to the company. Mahal said he had actually first got a call from “the other wrestling company.” The day before he was scheduled to meet with them, Mark Carrano called and said they wanted him back in WWE. Mahal said for two years nobody cared about him. Then when he started caring, others did. He did meet with Impact but agreed to rejoin WWE.
Jinder Mahal Interview Part 2
Part two starts with Jericho talking about The Great Khali and Jinder Mahal working together for shows in India, which would sell 30,000 and 40,000 tickets. They talk about Khali, with Mahal saying that everyone in India knows who he is, pro wrestling fan or not. He may be the most recognizable wrestler in the world right now. They talk about some of the shows that Mahal helped book in India. Kayfabe is still there in India, so something like Khali taking a chair shot and being “hospitalized” will make Indian talk shows cover it the next day, and an extra 30,000 people show up to the next show. Mahal says it’s very hard to organize shows in India.
Jericho asks about Mahal being from Calgary and how he came up through a similar system to Jericho. Mahal started wrestling at the age of 15. Early on, he would mostly train and occasionally wrestle. During his college years, he would be a student during the week and wrestle on the weekends. He was signed by WWE at the age of 23, working in FCW. Mahal talked about his relationship with Bad New Brown, someone he was close with during his developmental years in WWE.
Jinder was aware that Vince McMahon was looking for Indian wrestlers when he was picked up by WWE. Jinder was able to work good matches with The Great Khali on the house show circuit, in part due to how often they worked and their ability to communicate in Punjab. Mahal also enjoyed traveling with Khali. They were neighbors prior.
They talk about Jinder’s connection with the Indian culture. In Calgary, there are a lot of Indian people. There are areas where people can move and never learn English. They talk about finding authentic Indian food in areas in Calgary and where he lives now (Tampa). They talk about India, and how cows are sacred there, and people will not do anything to them, even for convenience. Jericho shares a story of him and Kane being stuck in traffic because of a cow being in the middle of the road. Mahal’s religion is Sikh, very different from Hindu which is commonly practiced in India. Sikhs mostly live in Punjab and speak Punjabi. Mahal suggests listeners maybe Google Sikh when they get the chance.
Jinder Mahal Interview Part 3
Part 3 kicks off with Jinder’s experience in 3 Man Band. The group started right after Mahal’s brief run in NXT, where he lost in the finals of the first NXT Championship tournament to Seth Rollins. Mahal and Drew McIntyre were intentionally put in the group as an odd pairing. Mahal talks about the group losing attention quickly, and then becoming a jobber group. Mahal says one of his biggest regrets is letting his time in 3MB demotivate him. While in 3MB, though, they would always be on TV and work all the house show tours.
Mahal briefly talks about his relationship with Drew McIntyre. The two are close and were released from WWE around the same time. Mahal says he and Drew talked about returning to WWE after they were released.
Jericho asks about the upcoming match with Rand Orton. Mahal is simply trying everything he can to be a hated heel. Jericho asks about a match Mahal had with the Big Show that ended up being a good match. Big Show wanted to help Mahal, knowing WWE wants to do big things with Jinder. Jinder praises Big Show’s knowledge and experience.
Jericho asks about Mahal’s favorite matches. Mahal has two, the NXT championship match with Seth Rollins that he feels shows more of his wrestling skills, and the WeeLC match. 3MB interfered on behalf of Hornswoggle, and they put everything they could into it.
“1.3 billion people in India, I don’t think a single person doesn’t know who Khali is” -Jinder Mahal on The Great Khali.
“It’s no small thing to be working for the world championship […] And to put you in that position, it shows that he sees something there”- Jericho on McMahon pushing Mahal.
Score and Review (7/10)
A good Jericho podcast. Jinder’s journey back to WWE and his new-found motivation during his second run were the most engaging aspects of the show. Information that came from Mahal’s WWE India tours was the newest thing I had heard, including being able to sell out arenas at 60,000 people, and kayfabe still being alive in India. Being able to hear Jinder’s more personal story, especially during the middle of his push, is great timing for people to get invested in him as a performer. Overall, it is a pretty basic podcast. There wasn’t any earth-shattering news or incredibly deep stories, but the interview was well paced, and it maintained a good level of intrigue throughout the whole thing. It’s a good listen, but mostly for fans of WWE.
For more, check out last week’s Talk is Jericho with Alexa Bliss.