Ahead of defending the WWE Championship in a Punjabi Prison Match against Randy Orton this Sunday at WWE Battleground in Philadelphia, Jinder Mahal spoke to Philly Voice.
Thoughts on the Punjabi Prison match and performing in Philly:
“I love performing in Philly. The fans aren’t scared to voice their opinions. Sometimes their opinions are split, sometimes half the crowd is chanting one thing, sometimes half the crowd is chanting the other. But, you know, I look forward to it. I really don’t know how they’re going to react. That’s what’s going to make the match exciting. I don’t know if they’re going to boo me out of the building or if they’re going to boo Orton out of the building.
I do definitely know for sure they’re going to enjoy the match. It’s a Punjabi Prison match and it hasn’t happened in 10 years, and the structure is truly a monstrosity. I brought the Punjabi Prison this week on SmackDown, and it’s a spectacle. You’ve got to be there live just to appreciate the sheer size of it. It is a very risky match – for example, I went a little bit earlier and climbed the cage; it’s high and I’m scared of heights – but I know the Philly crowd is going to be rocking that night and I gotta do what I gotta do. I’m going to take the risks that I have to take to retain the WWE Championship.”
His current goals in WWE:
“Even before my return, I was focused on getting better and better and better and better. I haven’t hit my prime yet. I’m constantly improving. I haven’t even hit my peak. I’ve got many years ahead of me. There’s more title runs. I will one day become a WWE Hall of Famer. I want to be one of the all-time greats and that’s based on hard work and I’m going to do whatever it takes to be the best.”
His friendship with NXT star Drew McIntyre:
“Drew’s one of my best friends. We’re always texting back and forth. Just to think a couple years ago, we were considered a joke and failures. I’ll be frank about it. I considered myself a failure when I got released from WWE after 3MB just because I didn’t live up to my potential. I didn’t live up to the expectations that I set for myself. I was going to come back with redemption and that’s exactly what I did.
And I know that’s what Drew’s doing. He took [being released] very personally and when he was on the independents, he was the hardest-working man on the independents and the most-traveled man on the independents. And you know, now he has a shot at Bobby Roode for the NXT Championship on SummerSlam weekend. I know he’s gonna do great. He’s going to become the NXT Champion. He’s going to become WWE Champion. And, you know, there’s always peaks and valleys. Three years ago, that was a valley. Now we’re at the peak and we’re still on the rise.”
For the entire interview, check out Philly Voice.