When he started off in the WWE, a young Jinder Mahal was brought to the main roster as a kayfabe brother-in-law of The Great Khali. Mahal became a superior figure to Khali to convince him to turn heel and become more serious. Eventually, Khali walked away from Mahal, and started a feud with him that lasted on-and-off for a span of months. While Mahal received a push initially, he quickly found himself lost in the midcard level when his alliance and subsequent feud with Khali ended.
Although Mahal did have a decent tenure in NXT, going to the inaugural NXT Championship tournament finals before losing to Seth Rollins, his career eventually led to a comedic faction with Drew McIntyre and Heath Slater, popularly known as 3MB. Mahal was released from WWE in 2014.
Due to the WWE having separate brands again, Mahal had another opportunity to compete in the WWE, as he returned in 2016. On Raw, Mahal still did not have a very successful stint, with the most notable airtime on the show being when he teamed with Rusev and they were feuding with Enzo Amore. However, when he got drafted to SmackDown Live, his career experienced a sudden change for the better. At the 2017 Backlash event, Mahal defeated Randy Orton to become WWE Champion, and kept the title for nearly six months.
Natalya had an opportunity to interview Mahal for her column in the Calgary Sun. In the interview, Mahal revealed how his second chance at becoming a top star in WWE led to his physical transformation.
"My rise in WWE was kickstarted by my physical transformation," said Mahal. "My transformation represents more than what is just skin deep; it represents my motivation, drive and willingness to constantly improve. For this WrestleMania, I did an eight-week bodybuilder diet and exercise program, which was extremely difficult to do considering our travel schedules. I hired a professional coach, carried my pre-packaged meals with me in a cooler bag, and woke up early or stayed up late to ensure that I didn't miss a meal or workout."
Natalya added that Mahal is in the best shape of his life, as a result of committing himself to a strict diet, along with hard work and dedication in the gym.
Although Mahal participated in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 33, lasting until the end before being eliminated by Mojo Rawley, Mahal commented on finally having a WrestleMania moment, winning the United States Championship in a Fatal 4-Way match.
"Wrestlemania 34 was a huge moment for me both professionally and personally. Although I've been part of WrestleMania in the past, I felt like I hadn't yet had a 'Wrestlemania Moment,' and this year's event definitely gave me that career-defining moment. However, my ultimate goal is to main event WrestleMania!" Mahal also stated that his dream rival is Seth Rollins, since there is some unfinished business from the NXT Championship match they had in 2012.
Source: Calgary Sun