Josh Barnett of USA Today‘s For The Win recently interviewed Triple H about Jinder Mahal’s unlikely rise to a major player on SmackDown LIVE. Here are some of the highlights:
His thoughts on Mahal’s first run in WWE:
“I don’t know (Jinder) was as fully ready for the experience (on the main roster) as I would have liked him to be. Drew (McIntyre) and Jinder are in some ways similar — two guys who were very young and very green, but I liked them a lot when they were here.
“Jinder is a guy who has always worked extremely hard. He trains hard; he’s very intense about what he wants with his career; he’s very thoughtful. That’s the same with Drew. That opportunity came for them when you’re too young and not ready for it and a little immature to it. (When they left), I had a conversation where I told them, ‘We’re not going to be able to do more with you here. Go other places, learn more in your career, mature and think about the business in a different way.’ Sometimes you get reliant on other people telling you what to do instead of going out there and figuring it for yourself, which is what you have to do.
“To Jinder’s credit and to Drew’s credit, they left, they went and figured it for themselves, they improved. They’re both men now as opposed to kids trying to make it in the business. They see their careers differently and what they want and are still extremely hard workers and great people. Now hopefully they are in a better position to succeed.”
What Mahal has done in his second run with WWE to succeed:
“From the second he’s been back it’s been, ‘What else can I do to make this work? What else can I do to improve? What else can I do to get to the next level?’ It takes time. You bring people back, you let them get their feet wet a bit, you make sure they’ve matured in the way you want them to and move from there. I think fans or people who watch we do, they think it’s a matter of, ‘This guy is there so why don’t they do something with him?’ It’s a more complex process than that and a lot goes into it.”
For more, check out the rest of the interview.