Jinder Mahal is WWE Champion, but is it all about the Indian market?

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JINDER Mahal is the WWE Champion. Mahal used interference from the Singh Brothers to defeat Randy Orton at WWE’s Backlash show to claim the title.

But Dan McQuade wrote at deadspin.com: “Wrestling journalism guru Dave Meltzer said on his podcast … is all about pushing WWE in India. “The entire reason for this has nothing to do with the United States,” he said. “It’s all about the ability to merchandise him in India.”

“According to Meltzer, WWE has a ton of television viewers in India, but they’re not making as much money as they want to. WWE’s social-media numbers are bigger in India than they are anywhere else, but, he says, they don’t make a ton of money off merchandise or WWE Network subscriptions there. Putting the title on Jinder Mahal is an attempt to wring more money out of India (a country of 1.3 billion people, as Mahal reminded fans).”

An article in Hindustan Times earlier this month pointed out: “The WWE has also started to show a lot of initiative when it comes to the business side of things in India. They recently launched their official merchandise shop in India and their official YouTube channel has been posting videos of their events with Hindi commentary. It has already created a buzz among the Indian fans and according to [WWE Executive Vice President] Ed Wells, they are looking to make the most of this opportunity.

“When it comes to social media support, India is number one and judging by the merchandise sales and fan reactions, we can be looking at a new chapter in our relationship with India.”

According to Wikipedia, “Dhesi … is the nephew of wrestler Gama Singh. He holds a business degree in communications and culture from University of Calgary.”

Yuvraj Singh Dhesi (born July 19, 1986) is an Indo-Canadian professional wrestler, currently signed to WWE on the SmackDown brand under the ring name Jinder Mahal, where he is the current WWE Champion in his first reign.

Wikipedia states: “During his first stint in WWE, Mahal had a short-lived alliance with his storyline brother-in-law, The Great Khali. Mahal was then mostly utilized as enhancement talent and formed a trio who had rock star personas, called 3MB, with Heath Slater and Drew McIntyre. This union lasted until Mahal and McIntyre were released from their contracts in the summer of 2014. A little over two years later, Mahal returned to WWE, and received a push after WrestleMania 33, culminating to a win over Randy Orton at Backlash in May 2017 for the WWE Championship. This win made him the second wrestler of Indian descent to win a world heavyweight championship in the promotion (after The Great Khali won WWE’s version of the now defunct World Heavyweight Championship in 2007), and the first to hold the WWE Championship.”