A recent episode of The Art of Wrestling features former WWE Superstar and Three Man Band member Jindar Mahal.
The conversation begins with heavy breathing as Jinder Mahal says, “I’m not blown up at all.” They laugh until Jinder realizes the tape is rolling: “Is that how every one of these starts? Someone asks ‘Oh so are we on now?’” Colt says that they’re going from one kind of action to another, as Jinder is just 30-seconds removed from stepping out of the ring. Colt and Jinder are currently working for a promotion whose event is booked outside—in a parking lot—in extremely cold conditions. Jinder says he took a bump into the grass because he thought it’d be easier, but the grass was cold and wet. Though Jinder grew up in Canada, he’s grown accustomed to year-round heat as a decade-long resident of the southern half of the United States. Jinder spent years in Florida while working for WWE, and is now located in Texas. Jinder says that his recent return to the independents have been a learning experience, as the indies have changed rather drastically since he first began wrestling. He’s had to learn how to make his own bookings and arrange autograph sessions, and credits Mason Ryan with showing him the ropes. He says that Ryan told him to create a booking email and plug it on Twitter. Jinder says that within the first day, he received offers from all around the world. Colt says that’s called the “Raven Effect”—because in 2003 Raven hit the indies for the first time, and made more money than he ever did before.
Jinder grew up with a link to the business, as his uncle was the Stampede-based wrestler Gama Singh. Colt asks about the popularity of the name Singh. Jinder says that—for the most part—it’s generally a middle name, but agrees it tends to pop up quite a bit. In addition to Gama, the wrestling world has always featured Tiger Jeet Singh and his son Tiger Ali Singh, as well as the Great Khali, whose real name is Dalip Singh. Jinder says that the majority of Indian wrestlers are from the Punjab province of India. Colt asks if there’s a large Punjab population where Jinder grew up in Calgary, to which Jinder provides an emphatic yes. Jinder’s father was the first of his family to immigrate to North America; Jinder and his two siblings were all born in Calgary. Jinder was a lifelong wrestling fan and can remember one such occasion wherein he touched Scotty 2 Hotty’s foot at a house show. Jinder was born in 1986—good year to be born—and didn’t remember much about Stampede Wrestling. He was a longtime WWE fan because Canada only received WWE programming. He says that the Hart Family is incredibly famous in Calgary, and Bret Hart was akin to a godlike figure while Jinder was growing up.
Jinder started training under former Judoka-turned-wrestler Bad News Brown AKA Bad News Allen, and began wrestling on a weekly basis in 2004 at the age of eighteen. They discuss Bad News’s notoriously large penis. Jinder says he’s never seen it but has heard stories. Colt says Japanese wrestlers say: “Three biggest penis in Japan—Jody Fleisch, Scorpio, and Bad News Allen. You Colt—you have very OK penis.” Jinder says that Japanese people are “obsessed with dick size.” Jinder was introduced to Bad News—who he refers to as a wrestling father figure—by his uncle at just fifteen years old. He says that he began training at an awkward time for Calgary wrestling, as the Hart Dungeon was closed and Lance Storm hadn’t yet opened his famed ‘Academy. Jinder’s other trainers besides Bad News included Rick Bognar AKA Fake Razor Ramon. Colt asks if Jinder was “blown away by Fake Razor Ramon.” Jinder says, “Fuck yeah!”
Jinder was working the independents in the U.S. and Canada while attending school fulltime. He eventually earned his degree in business from the University of Calgary while en route to law school. Jinder worked a number of try out matches in Calgary, wherein he felt as though he didn’t give his all. He says that he wasn’t smartened up to the business at the time, and wasn’t providing the talent scouts with what they were looking for. After honing his craft a little longer, Jinder attended an open tryout in Florida—which cost him one thousand dollars. He figured he didn’t have anything to lose, as several Superstars made it into the company via that route including New Jersey-based wrestlers AJ Lee and Darren Young. Jinder was signed right on the spot along with various other talents, none of whom made it to the main roster. Jinder was bumped up to the main show in record time without any dark matches to prepare him, and was slotted aside the former champion, Great Khali. His first appearance was in a backstage segment with Khali and Rey Mysterio in Greensboro North Carolina. Jinder says he believes his immediate push to the main roster was due to Khali’s upcoming departure from the company. With Khali’s contract running out, and a tour of India looming in the distance, WWE needed a new “Punjabi Playboy” for the events. Jinder never actually wrestled in India however, but says there are big things planned for the near future.
You can follow Jinder on Instagram and Twitter @JinderMahal, and on Facebook at Facebook.com/JinderMahal. You can book Jinder for independent events by emailing [email protected]
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