Jinder Mahal: “I’ve actually put on 20 pounds of muscle”
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WWE Champion Jinder Mahal recently took part in an interview with the official WrestlingNewsSource.com Podcast, WNS Podcast. During the interview Mahal discussed his preparations for facing Brock Lesnar, AJ Styles being a distraction, his time away from WWE, relationship with Vince McMahon and winning the WWE Championship. Below are the highlights:
ON FACING BROCK LESNAR
He’s a household name, he’s the beast incarnate. But, I feel I still don’t have the same respect I should be getting from the WWE Universe. From our fans. So, in fact, I have to tame the beast. I am the beast tamer Jinder Mahal. That’s what I am going to be known as once I conquer the beast. But yeah this is the biggest match in my career thus far. Brock Lesnar is definitely my toughest opponent thus far but there is a reason I am the modern-day Maharajah and the reigning defending undisputed WWE champion. I heard the comments Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman made about me and they’re not taking me too seriously which in fact I’m kind of glad because that’s my game plan that’s what I do, people underestimate me and then I surprise them.
ON HOW HE IS PREPARING FOR BROCK LESNAR
A lot of it is physical because Brock is such a physical opponent. His hard-hitting style, his suplexes. He’s going to try and take me to suplex city. So definitely my conditioning. I’m going to be going into this match in the best possible shape of my life. Training very hard, dieting very hard. I’ve actually put on 20 pounds of muscle. I know it’s going to be a tough match and I’m going to be as heavy as possible so he can’t suplex me and toss me around. But like I said earlier, he’s underestimating me and I’m going to shock him and surprise him with my strength, my speed, my power and I’m going to have the Singh brothers with me, my advocates. So it’s going to be great. But we also have War Games kicking off on Saturday, November 18, Raw after Survivor Series is going to be awesome, then I will also be at SmackDown live the Tuesday after Survivor Series in the Toyota Center. Obviously, I will still be there as WWE champion and it’s going to be a great event I’m looking forward to returning to Houston.
ON AJ STYLES BEING A DISTRACTION IN HIS PREPARATION FOR LESNAR
No not at all. I’m very focused on Brock but as champion, everybody’s coming after you. Guys like Baron Corbin, AJ Styles, Sami Zayn, Randy Orton. SmackDown has such a stacked roster, such a talented roster, upcoming guys like Bobby Roode. But, I’ve got to stay focused and my main goal is WWE champion for as long as possible and going down in history as one of the greatest champions of all time. In order to do that, I must defeat the Universal Champion. The man, the beast incarnate, Brock Lesnar.
ON THE BIGGEST CHANGE IN HIS CAREER DURING HIS TIME AWAY FROM WWE
It was just my motivation had changed. I had become complacent in WWE when I got released in 2014, I had become unmotivated. I wasn’t driven, I was out of shape and just not focussed. Getting released in 2014 was the best thing that happened to me because I got to regain my focus, regain my pride and come back as the best-conditioned athlete there is in WWE which ultimately led me to become The single greatest WWE champion.
ON HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH VINCE MCMAHON
Before I got released I used to avoid Vince McMahon. I was just intimidated by him, he’s the CEO of $1 billion corporation. But now, my relationship with him is great. Actually, when I first came back motivated I told Vince “Someday, I’m going to run this place and be the man”. And all that is happening in WWE, a place that rewards hard work and I’m very fortunate that Vince sees the hard work that I am putting in constantly 24/7. I’m on 24/7 improving on every aspect of my game and now we have a great relationship. I go into his office and talk to him all the time.
ON WINNING HIS FIRST EVER WWE CHAMPIONSHIP
Yeah definitely shocked the entire WWE universe just like I’m going to shock them when beat Brock Lesnar. Everybody’s underestimating me but that’s what I do I prove people wrong. People were shocked that I was even consider to be in the #1 contendership Six Pack Challenge Match With the winner going on to face Randy Orton at Backlash. People were even shocked that I was in that match let alone when I won that match. But when I won the WWE Championship against Randy Orton, a 13-time world champion, in Chicago the atmosphere was unreal. I heard the ref count to three and the camera zoomed in on peoples’ faces and the expression was just shock. Their jaws dropped and it’s going to be a similar reaction when I beat Brock Lesnar in the Toyota Centre at Survivor Series. But it was just an unreal moment. Many ups and downs from being released from WWE to coming back, just growing up. Wanting to become WWE Champion, idolize girls guys like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, The Rock and Stone Cold all former WWE Champions. To have my name in the history books with the likes of these great superstars is unreal. An unbelievable feeling.
ON HIS TOUR OF INDIA
It was unbelievable the support and the love everybody showed me. I was unfortunately only there for three days. I only had one public appearance and thousands of people showed up. They said to me to step up on stage and say a few words. We’re going to be returning December 8 and 9 for two live shows in New Delhi so I can’t wait to go back to India. Overall, it was one of the best experiences in my life. I was totally blown away by the love and support the whole country of India showed me
ON BEING PART OF THE ROSTER VS BEING A CHAMPION
Being a champion everything changes. For instance, every night at live events I ask the marketing rep what the gross was that we did on the gate. how did we do last time I was here. I talk to the merchandise people. Not only that, the rest of the locker room looks up to me so I got to set a positive example for the rest of the locker room. Work ethic, every night I bust my rear end and leave it all in the ring and I just want to set that example because everyone looks up to me because I’m WWE champion. Everybody is striving to be in that position but ultimately I know everybody is coming for me in that position. Guys like AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura who will all be there at Survivor Series and at the Smackdown after Survivor Series and it’s just a talented, talented roster we have on Smackdown and Raw is no different. Guys like Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins who will be there at Survivor Series and also at Raw. Really, WWE is at an all-time high for in terms of talent
ON WHO HE’D LIKE TO FACE AT WRESTLEMANIA
So last year I was in the pre-show in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal and it was my goal to be on the actual show. But now my goal is to main event Wrestlemania and my dream appointment, I actually already issued the challenge on social media, is John Cena. That would be a blockbuster match and in order to cement my legacy is one of the greatest champions about time I need that Wrestlemania moment and there would be no bigger moment than to defeat the superstar, the franchise, John Cena.
A TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE OF JINDER MAHAL
I’m on the road, I do all my traveling at night. I get to the next city at night so I often get in very late like 3 or 4 AM. So I sleep in and usually wake up at 11. The first thing I do when I wake up before breakfast is I do empty stomach cardio before breakfast, 25 or 30 minutes on an elliptical trainer. Then I have my first meal usually a protein shake with oatmeal and banana. Then I go to the gym and train for another two hours, I do weights, stretch, yoga. Usually, the gym as a sauna or steam room and I like to take advantage of both of those things. And I also bring my meals with me from home. I have a company called Nutrition Solutions that prepare all my meals for me. I have a big cooler bag, I freeze my meals, I have ice packs and I always get a hotel room with a fridge. So I always take my meals with me. My diet is very strict.
HIS BIGGEST INFLUENCE GROWING UP
Growing up I always liked Bret Hart. One of my favorite matches was Wrestlemania 10 Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels – Iron Man Match. A story to be told and two amazing superstars both of whom I look up to but I always liked Bret Hart.
Listen to the full interview here