Although Jinder thinks he’d enjoy a behind the scenes role, he feels he has more to offer on-screen.
This past January at NXT New Year’s Evil, Jinder Mahal made his return to NXT for the first time since 2012 and aligned himself with Indus Sher (Veer & Sanga). As a part of the 2023 WWE Draft, the trio were moved to Monday Night Raw.
Jinder reflected on his return to NXT as he was speaking to Corey Graves and Kevin Patrick on WWE After The Bell. He said he felt refreshed working with Indus Sher and some of the younger talents at NXT.
He expressed his thought that Sanga and Veer are mega stars. Mahal would go on to add that he learned a lot from the NXT coaches during his latest stint.
It was incredible just being around young energy again, young, motivated superstars (in NXT) and it inspired me. It pushed me in a way, just seeing these young people. They’re full of hopes and dreams and aspirations and everything because kind of, we get a little bit grizzled and ah, like grumpy. It does happen, it does happen so yeah, just felt reinvigorated and then being around The Indus Sher, those two guys are mega, mega stars in my eyes. They can do everything. They have every aspect of the game down from look to persona to Veer’s explosive, powerful moves, Sanga’s just a mountain, just so powerful and calculated. Those two are incredible and excites me just standing ringside and watching those guys or tag teaming with them when the time comes or having those guys have my back when it’s my turn in the ring so yeah, it was incredible and you know what? I learned a lot. I worked with Terry Taylor and Shawn Michaels, all the great coaches there.
Mahal has been in the wrestling business for nearly 20 years. He thinks he would enjoy a behind the scenes/mentor role at WWE but is not ready to wrap up his in-ring career. He feels he has more to offer on that front.
Yeah, definitely some day (I would like to transition into that mentor/behind the scenes role). When my in-ring career is over, definitely. I would love to mentor future superstars in a way and it would keep me active. I love being out there, I love being a part of WWE, I love traveling. I’m addicted to the lifestyle in a way. I love it. I love going to random gyms in all these different cities, I love being on the road, I love the overseas tours, being on the bus with everybody. It’s like family, the comradery we have with everybody in the back from the crew guys to the superstars in the locker room, everybody. Even the catering department, I’m such good friends with so no, it’s incredible. I would love to be a manager of some sort or maybe even I’ll work backstage as a producer. I think I would really enjoy that, just helping out, even off-camera. But I think I still have a long time left still in the ring, I can still perform at a high level, I stay in shape. At any time, this suit can come off and The Maharaja is ready, in shape and able at all times to still even challenge for the World Heavyweight Championship. The Maharaja’s always ready.
The conversation turned over to representation in wrestling. Mahal feels that the South Asian culture is underrepresented in WWE. He stated that he would love to see an NXT South Asia or NXT India developed.
It’s incredible (representing my culture in WWE). I love it. Obviously WWE prides itself on its diversity and inclusion of everybody, all different cultures but, I do still believe South Asians are underrepresented in WWE. One-in-five people walking on earth right now are South Asian or South Asian heritage and that’s a huge chunk of the population. So diversity matters and it matters for everybody and it should be equal, right? So, we just want a seat at the table to represent our culture, represent our people and India itself is such a diverse country. There’s so many different languages and cultures within India so all three of us (Mahal & Indus Sher), we represent a different part. It’s incredible and I was hearing rumblings of possibly a Performance Center opening up in India. I know we have the NXT Europe opening up so I would love NXT Asia, NXT India to maybe be next.
WWE CEO Nick Khan confirmed that WWE is going to be running an event in India this September.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit WWE After The Bell with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.