Before facing John Cena for the first time ever on SmackDown LIVE, WWE Champion Jinder Mahal took to Facebook Live to wish the people of India a Happy Independence Day and to notify the WWE Universe that he and The Singh Brothers would kick off SmackDown LIVE with "a huge celebration" in honor of the occasion.
Being WWE Champion "is not something I take lightly," The Modern-Day Maharaja assured in his message, adding that he wants to be "a proud, proud champion" who garners the continued support of more than 1.3 billion people back home.
Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers celebrate India Independence Day before SmackDown Live!Posted by WWE on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
As for the celebration on SmackDown LIVE ... well, it didn't quite go as Mahal had planned. Following a performance by Banghra dancers and a rendition of the Indian National Anthem, Mahal's verbal bashing of Cena and his SummerSlam challenger, Shinsuke Nakamura, was interrupted by The King of Strong Style, who insisted that he would take The Modern-Day Maharaja's title from him at The Biggest Event of the Summer.
The rest of the evening was a bag of mixed results for the champion. It appeared The Cenation Leader was about to defeat Mahal following a Super AA off the top rope in a non-title, main event clash. That is until Cena's SummerSlam opponent, Baron Corbin, interrupted the attempted pinfall and kayoed him with his Money in the Bank contract briefcase. Then, when The Lone Wolf opted to cash in his contract on a semiconscious Mahal, Cena's re-emergence distracted Corbin long enough for Mahal to roll him up for the three-count.
After the match, The Modern-Day Maharja spoke to the people of India in a WWE.com Exclusive, claiming that he continues to remain unfazed by Nakamura at SummerSlam and that his defeat of Mr. Money in the Bank had indeed capped off a very happy Indpedence Day. One could argue, however, that the events of the day also suggested that Jinder Mahal's reign as WWE Champion is in serious jeopardy of being liberated this Sunday.
What do you think? Was Jinder Mahal's Independence Day successful or disastrous? Watch Mahal's message below, go to www.twitter.com/WWEIndia, use the hashtag #ModernDayMaharaja and share your opinions with the rest of the WWE Universe.