Jinder Mahal became number one contender to Randy Orton's WWE Championship on April 18th, 2017.
It seemed like a cruel joke at the time; 'The Maharaja' had been booked like an enhancement talent for the bulk his career, yet here we are, five months later. Not only is Mahal still in the main event scene, but he's now 123 days into a title reign that seemed implausible at the start of the year, and has already surpassed Chris Jericho, The Rock, and Ric Flair's longest runs as champion.
When his reign ends, Mahal will likely go down as one of the most divisive WWE Champions of all time. His coronation was a cynical move designed to pop the Indian market, his title defences have been weak, and his character work is outdated at best, and xenophobic at worst. He's the opposite of what fans want from a top champion in 2017, and WWE have shown no sign of changing course, despite the backlash.
Jinder's run has exposed him as a performer and taught a number of depressing lessons on WWE's current state, as well as reaffirming some old complaints - none of which can subside before this destructive reign's conclusion.