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CHICAGO — In the future, when Jinder Mahal claims his time has come, we would be wise to take him at his word. The Maharaja completed the most improbable career turn in recent memory at WWE Backlash and defeated Randy Orton to win the WWE Championship, putting to rest a brazen, month-long campaign where the young Superstar stared down a 13-time World Champion and refused to blink once in the face of his foe.
In hindsight, that might have just served as more motivation for The Apex Predator: Orton jumped Mahal and beat him down before the match even started, sending Sunil & Samir Singh scurrying in the process. Mahal refused to allow the match to be called off, but he was easy pickings for The Viper at the start, coming a half-second away from eating an RKO.
The only early offense The Maharaja managed to get in came after throwing Orton into the LED boards on the side of the ring. Orton’s left shoulder absorbed the collision, and though he got his hits in where he could, Mahal took each of them and stayed the course, grinding away at The Viper’s injured arm to such a degree that Orton never truly recovered.
Orton did find daylight by sending Mahal shoulder-first into the ring post and executing a suplex, but the champion kept his left arm close to his body for the whole match, and each signature move he executed seemed to wear slowly away at his pain threshold. Mahal continued the punishment by throwing Orton twice into the ring post, but when The Singh Brothers saved the Maharaja from an RKO, The Apex Predator turned his attention to Sunil & Samir.
He may, ultimately, wish he hadn’t. Orton’s dismantling of Mahal’s acolytes was textbook (he even seemed a little guilty after sending one of them tumbling almost 360 degrees through the air), but when he executed a double hanging DDT on both brothers, Mahal ran up from behind and administered the Khallas to win the WWE Championship.
Seizing hold of the championship, Jinder Mahal celebrated in and among a shocked WWE Universe, the hopes of his nation fulfilled, his claims of superiority vindicated, and the confidence of a man who will never, ever be hindered again.