With the recent number one contenders match on Smackdown ending with what most people would consider a pretty shocking result I thought I would take the time to explain why I personally detested the finish. Let me start of by saying I have no problem with Jinder Mahal as a performer or the fact that WWE has chosen him to appeal to wrestling fans in India. The issue as I see it is how they chose to go about this. Jinder has only won 2 televised matches since August 2016. By simply giving him a victory and a title shot this does not make him an instant star. In theory if they were going this route this should have been a slow build. Much in the sense of how the WWE has protected Braun Strowman and helped build him into a top star.
What occurs with booking of this nature is you end up with two extremes. Fans that enjoyed the finish because of the element of surprise and fans who detest the finish because Jinder was a lower card talent who up until that point was used mostly to enhance other workers in the WWE. Even going back to two weeks ago on RAW he was basically used in a squash match to help elevate Finn Balor upon his return from injury.
The problem to me with this is that while it was quite surprising that Jinder Mahal is the new number one contender it essentially breaks kayfabe. The product should be presented as real. Even if everyone knows what they are watching is scripted the product itself should always act as if it isn’t. Professional wrestling in a sense is like a magic show in a way. Keeping the audience in disbelief during the show is crucial. Wins can be used as a tool to help elevate talent and have been used that way for years, so to sometimes decide that they do not matter at random times throughout the year seems very ignorant. A good example of this is Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak or Charlotte Flair’s recent Pay Per View streak or even to some extent Goldberg’s streak in WCW. The wins themselves helped build each of those performers up. While no one in wrestling should win every match every night, to lose over 50 matches in one year and only garner 2 victories in any other combat sport you would never be considered a star or a contender for a championship.
The fact that Daniel Bryan as a general manager or Shane McMahon would allow someone who has only won two matches in the past year to be part of a number one contenders match would make me think that they are incompetent at the jobs they portray on Smackdown. It makes you take a step back and look at the product if you decide to think about it. Why should the fans care if their favorite wrestler wins or loses if there are no repercussions on either side of the card? By booking finishes like the one on last week’s Smackdown you are indirectly saying wins and losses do not matter. It also hurts all the other talent in the match. For instance, now Sami Zayn and Luke Harper who are bigger stars then Jinder Mahal just lost to him. It hurts their credibility in the same sense as it hurts Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon’s credibility in their authority roles.
As fans, we do realize that Professional Wrestling is a scripted business, we do realize that a couple of losses doesn’t mean that a wrestler is all the sudden irrelevant. But it is important for both your performers and your titles that you try your best to make them important, to make them matter. It is strange that a company that once had Bruno Sanmamartino hold the World Heavyweight title from 1963-1971 and then again from 1973-1977 seem to have forgotten this. A company who promoted the Undertaker’s streak for years now seem to think that wins and losses do not matter. Wins and losses do matter. The way to build a star is to give them key wins in feuds and story lines that matter, not to decide on a whim that a they deserve a title shot.
By- Christopher Ray Patton @Christ_Nova , firstname.lastname@example.org