Oli Davis rounds up the biggest professional wrestling news in his daily WrestleTalk column…
Smackdown Live – where people succeed on merit; where championship opportunities aren’t just handed out, they’re earned; the land of opportunity.WHOAH, WHOAH, WAIT – GUYS. That’s too much opportunity.
At last night’s Smackdown-exclusive pay-per-view Backlash, Jinder Mahal beat Randy Orton for the WWE Championship in the show’s main event, after interference from his Singh Brother goons. After being positioned as an enhancement talent and undercard player for both his WWE runs – the first from 2010 to 2014, the second from just after last year’s brand split to right now – it’s only within the last month that Smackdown has positioned him as a main eventer, becoming the WWE Championship’s No. 1 contender shortly after moving to Tuesday nights in April’s Superstar Shake-Up.
As strongly as WWE booked Jinder for those five or so weeks, his undercard role has been difficult to shake off for many fans, with the Chicago crowd reacting with either bemused laughter or burning hatred. Former WWE Champion Bray Wyatt best encapsulated this sentiment with his tweet following the win:
— Bray Wyatt (@WWEBrayWyatt) May 22, 2017
Where’s a former APA member when you need Ron, am I right!?
It’s his name.
In celebration of the new WWE Champion, WrestleZone are reporting Jinder’s Wikipedia page received over 100 modifications within an hour of the main event finish, including his name being changed to “Frank The Clown” and “Triggered Orton Fanboys”, being listed as in a relationship with Jerry Lawler, referred to as the current WCW Champion, adding the nicknames “The Juice” and “Juiced Up”, described as a member of the now defunct WWE Divas division, and in his bio, the line: “he also takes steroids but WWE seems not to care.”
Hey, trolls – you spelt ‘he also adheres to a very strict low carb diet’ wrong.
Billi Bhatti over at Sportskeeda is claiming the main event result changed multiple times in the days before Backlash, with Orton originally being scheduled in for a long championship reign up until Summerslam time.
According to the article, Randy was eventually meant to drop the title to Rusev, with the Bulgarian Brute winning next month’s Money in the Bank. But when Rusev’s Smackdown Live preannounced debut was pulled last Tuesday, all these plans were thrown into disarray. Bhatti reports the real reason Jinder won is because of lead Smackdown writer Ryan Ward wanting to extend the Orton/Jinder feud, while keeping Rusev as the Money in the Bank winner. But plans changed agains on Sunday morning – the day of the show – where Orton would retain and set up a championship match against Rusev, with The Bulgarian Brute even being asked to travel to Chicago.
Finally, just two hours before showtime, WWE apparently then decided Jinder would win the title after all.
The Sportskeeda article was published about an hour before Mahal became the new WWE Champion, so the site continue their run of very noteworthy scoops, having also first broken the John Cena/Nikki Bella vs Miz/Maryse Wrestlemania match back in January.
Another factor most likely played into Jinder’s WWE Championship win – the company’s intended expansion into India. As Dave Meltzer has noted previously, many of WWE’s social media followers are from India, but aside from television rights, that market is relatively unmonetized. Jinder as champion is an obvious ploy to the country’s fans.
British promotion 5 Star Wrestling offered CM Punk $1 million to the return to the ring last week for their 128 man tournament starting on the 10th June. The plot thickened last night when the promotion’s owner Daniel Hinkles tweeted:
— Daniel Hinkles (@DanielHinkles) May 21, 2017
Don’t play Cult of Personality just yet, I’m afraid. The promotion have since told F4WOnline that this tweet was from a fake account, and has no affiliation with the company or its owner.
Check back on Flickering Myth every day for round-ups of the biggest professional wrestling news…