HARTFORD, Conn. — The roster has been shaken, to say nothing of the WWE Universe: No sooner did United States Champion Jinder Mahal reveal himself as the first Superstar to hop the divide from SmackDown LIVE to Raw in the Superstar Shake-up than he found himself dethroned by Jeff Hardy in an impromptu title defense that left The Modern Day Maharaja sputtering with anger.
The compromising position Mahal found himself in can partially be attributed to his own imperious attitude, which provoked Raw General Manager Kurt Angle to give an open call for a title challenger. Even after The Charismatic Enigma answered, The Modern Day Maharaja looked good in the early goings, and this Superstar Shake-up seemed that it may lead Mahal to the same career-making heights as the last one. But Hardy slowly crawled back from the deficit, thwarting Sunil Singh’s attempted interference before catching Mahal in the Twist of Fate. One epic Swanton Bomb later and Jeff was U.S. Champion for the first time and the newest Superstar to complete the Grand Slam.
Adding insult to injury, a fuming Mahal ran afoul of No Way Jose, who advised Mahal to stay positive and assimilated Renee Young into his conga line in the middle of The Maharaja’s backstage interview following the match. The result of his evoked rematch at the Greatest Royal Rumble could very well soothe Mahal’s wounds, but for now, he arrives to his new “kingdom” down a title, down an interviewer, and for tonight, at least, down for the count.