Drew McIntyre’s WrestleMania win over Brock Lesnar has fans eager to see how his title run will go. Seth Rollins has already come into the picture as his first title defense, but it’s just hard to see him dropping the belt so soon. It appears creative is giving McIntyre a legitimate threat in the form of Rollins, with speculation already focusing on who’ll be next later down the road.
However, in an emphatic return on the recent episode of RAW, McIntyre’s worst nightmare is back in action. And no, it’s not Lesnar — it’s actually his former 3MB teammate, Jinder Mahal.
The Modern Day Maharaja squashed Akira Tozawa and, in a backstage interview, he then trashed the WWE Universe for writing him off after a knee injury. He said people thought he’d retire and he’s back to make a statement. That statement could be going after McIntyre and the WWE Championship, which Mahal actually won in 2017 from Randy Orton. His reign wasn’t that long, as he’d lose the belt a few months later to A.J. Styles. Since then, he’s bounced from SmackDown to RAW, feuding with the likes of Roman Reigns along the way.
So his stock has been built, and he has worn the United States and the 24/7 belts as part of his heel gimmick. He definitely plays it up well as a villain fans love to hate, especially as he hates on America — a gimmick seen since the days of the Great Khali and Iron Sheik. What makes Mahal a great opponent is he’s already bitter, so writers can spin it as he’s jealous of McIntyre and wants his belt back. That sense of entitlement to his old title is perfect, not to mention he has the size and skill to work a solid “big man” rivalry, which we all know Vince McMahon likes.
This holds a lot of depth to it too, as Mahal knows McIntyre well from their 3MB days. Writers could shape a cerebral affair with Mahal knowing McIntyre’s past, his struggles to come up after getting cut from WWE years ago, and also, his weaknesses in the ring. He can get in the Scottish Psychopath’s head, becoming that mental and physical threat who preys on the trials and tribulations of old. In other words, there’s emotional heft to the feud, which keeps building up Mahal’s credibility.
Such a high-level rivalry gives Mahal momentum, whether he wins or not, and does away with his boring “man of peace” schtick. An angle like this allows Mahal to be aggressive too and makes it easy for him to then get back into the mid-card as someone with a lot of weight behind his character.
More so, this also gives RAW that international flair, as Mahal’s fan-base in Canada, India and Asia is pretty strong, which is perfect for the ratings as McIntyre already pulls a European crowd as well. Ultimately, this is a win-win rivalry, as McIntyre gets a solid fight to keep his upward trajectory moving and fans get two guys who can work the mic well and put on a show in the ring. It also keeps WWE from rushing Lesnar back into contention and sticks to continuity because a lot of people still have fond memories of 3MB, especially with the way they expressed sadness over Heath Slater’s release. They’re no Shield, but bringing an end to this stable is just too good an opportunity to ignore on TV.
WWE finally has the perfect opponent for Drew McIntyre after his worst nightmare just returned to RAW, and no, it's actually not Brock Lesnar.