Mahal not among Forbes’ top 5 to get big WWE push in 2018


Yuvraj Singh ‘Raj’ Dhesi, better known as Jinder Mahal, the Canadian WWE icon of Indian origin has not been able to hold on the high after defeating Randy Orton for the WWE Championship belt in May this year. The joy of being right on the top lived for only a little over four months. To be more precise just 170 days.

In New Delhi, on Saturday evening the Deshi hope failed to prevail over Triple H, which could have helped him end the year on a reclaimed high.

Mahal was the undisputed king of the WWE ring following his win over Orton. Ironically, the reign of supreme dominance was also ended by Orton following a fabulous spell that lasted 170 days.

At Money in the Bank on June 19, Mahal successfully defended the title against Orton. He, in the June 20 Smack Down episode defeated Luke Harper in an untitled match. In the July 11 Smack Down episode Mahal defeated Tye Dillinger in an untitled match. Two weeks later at Battleground, Mahal successfully defended the title against Orton in a Punjabi Prison match with the help of The Great Khali. The joy was short lived. On August 8, in an August Smack Down episode, Mahal was defeated by Orton in an untitled match.

It has been a roller coaster ride thereafter, he lost the title in the November 7 SmackDown episode against AJ Styles to end his 170 days reign. Mahal was again disappointed at home (New Delhi) on December 9, Saturday.

Forbes’ magazine has drawn a list of 5 WWE Stars, who will get a massive push in 2018. Mahal is not one of them. Here are Forbes’ top five.

1. Matt And Jeff Hardy

Hardy Boyz - Matt and Jeff Hardy - InsideSport
According to Forbes, Matt Hardy’s legal battle with Anthem Sports over the “Broken” trademark is in the rearview mirror, so Matt has officially become “Woken” in WWE. Jeff was one of WWE’s most popular stars and best merchandise sellers during his singles run in 2009, and judging by the overwhelmingly positive reaction they’ve received since returning at WrestleMania 34, he and Matt together as the “Woken Hardys” will become a huge force to be reckoned with under the WWE banner.

2. Elias

Elias (WWE) - InsideSport
Elias has not been able to do much in NXT but been surprisingly successful on the main roster. WWE’s decision to push Elias to the upper mid-card has been fruitful. He has been constantly improving and labeled a breakout star by fans and critics alike. Elias could soon be among WWE’s most must-see villains. His recent segment with Braun Strowman generating a very impressive 1.6 million YouTube views is a testimony to the fact.

3. Paige

Paige (WWE) - InsideSport
Paige heads to be a good ole’ fashioned comeback story for 2018. Her new stable Absolution could play a major role as WWE is reportedly considering doing a women’s Elimination Chamber match and a women’s Royal Rumble match. According to Forbes, the 25-year-old Paige has always been tremendously talented, and with WWE’s growing female audience paving the way for women’s wrestlers to be featured more prominently on both Raw and SmackDown, she should lead the charge.

4. Shinsuke Nakamura

Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE) - InsideSport
There are big indications that Shinsuke Nakamura has big things in store even as his booking on the main roster has been suspect at best. He had has demonstrated to be a strong TV ratings draw and a big hit on YouTube to establish his booming popularity despite any questionable booking. These aspects of his stardom are strong reasons to be optimistic about Nakamura’s future in WWE. He has also immediately proved to be a merchandise-selling machine upon his WWE debut and continues to receive some of the loudest and most positive reactions in the entire company. Forbes reports that a combination of his apparent drawing power and popularity and the buzz created by the tease of a potential dream match between Nakamura and Styles, make it clear that WWE will have no choice but to push Nakamura up the card early next year.

5. The Miz

The Miz (WWE) - InsideSport

The Miz has developed into arguably the most reliable heel in all of WWE. He is currently on hiatus, but looks to be in line for an even bigger push whenever he returns in 2018 because, according to the Forbes report, he’s as good as it gets when it comes to WWE’s heel side and should be poised to be a consistent main eventer and even world title contender next year. He continues to improve and deliver in big matches and marquee storylines. WWE will have no choice but to move Miz away from mid-card titles and to the top of the card, which is exactly where he belongs.