Mahal’s Title Win Booked Last-Minute, Original Plans Revealed
August 2, 2020
Jinder Mahal shocked the wrestling world last night when he defeated Randy Orton to win the WWE Championship in the main event of Backlash. The Maharaja was not even considered a worthy challenger for the championship just a few months ago, but now he is the world champion of the Smackdown brand. However, it appears that the unlikely champion was not originally supposed to win his match against Orton. Randy is still looked at as the top guy over on Smackdown, and WWE went back-and-fourth throughout the day of Backlash when it came to who would win the main event. Early in the day, it seemed likely that Orton was going to retain the championship, but that plan was obviously changed.
Sportskeeda has reported that the change stemmed from something drastic that occured at last week’s Smackdown show. Originally, Randy was scheduled to retain the title and then face Rusev at Money in the Bank. The plan had been for Rusev to return to Smackdown this week and then win the championship from Orton at the June pay-per-view. However, Smackdown lead writer Ryan Ward wanted to keep the Orton/Mahal feud going, and Rusev did not show up for his announced Smackdown return last week. As mentioned before, it was decided that Randy was going to retain the belt before Backlash started, and WWE even asked Rusev if he could make it out to Chicago. Later on though, WWE decided to take a chance and put the title on Mahal.
No word on what the current plan for Rusev is as a result this. Maybe he could insert himself into the feud with Randy and Jinder, or he could win the Money in the Bank ladder match at the next pay-per-view to earn himself a future title match. Whatever happens, Jinder has been unhindered, and now we’ll have to wait and see what happens during his first title reign. Orton’s title run was not looked at fondly by many fans, but he is still considered the “Roman Reigns” of the brand. Expect to see Orton try to earn back the WWE Championship for a while. At the moment though, let’s see what Jinder Mahal as WWE Champion is capable of.