Ahead of defending the WWE Championship in a Punjabi Prison Match against Randy Orton this Sunday at WWE Battleground, Jinder Mahal spoke to USA Today.
Mahal says he doesn’t have an opponent in mind for SummerSlam, WWE’s second-biggest show of the year scheduled for Aug. 20. He mentioned AJ Styles, Cena, Shinsuke Nakamura, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn as worthy No. 1 contenders, but recognizes the impact of a victory against Cena.
“He is this generation’s greatest. I am the future,” Mahal said. “I don’t think I’ve hit my prime. I need to establish myself. Beating someone of the caliber of John Cena at an event like Summer Slam would be awesome.”
When Mahal was released from WWE in 2014, he was a member of a group called 3MB. Drew McIntyre was also in that group and also released. Now SummerSlam weekend is likely to feature McIntyre challenging Bobby Roode for the NXT Championship at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn on Saturday and Mahal defending the WWE Championship at SummerSlam on Sunday. Heath Slater, the third member of 3MB, remains on the Raw roster.
McIntyre, who worked for Impact Wrestling and other promotions around the world while away from WWE, re-signed with the company earlier this year.
“I know that Drew is very motivated; he’s driven and focused,” Mahal said. “He took it quite personally when he was released by WWE. He set out on a mission to prove he is the best in the world and I truly believe he is one of the best performers in the world. He is just an animal. He for sure will be NXT champion and I know for sure he is a future champion, whether it’s the Universal championship or my championship.
“Somewhere down the line – it might not be for a while – but there will be a 3MB reunion. I had a lot of fun with 3MB. I learned a lot of things. That’s one of the things with WWE – to stay relevant, you have to constantly evolve. All three of us have evolved and now I’m WWE champion.”
You can check out the interview here.