In what has become one of the more negatively criticized championship wins since David Arquette hoisted the WCW title aloft back in 2000, Jinder Mahal walked out of Backlash as the WWE world champion, defeating Randy Orton in a main event that failed to stir up many emotions beyond apathy and bewilderment.
While Mahal's out-of-nowhere, rapid fire push has been heavily panned - by many of the same people who constantly bash WWE for their frequent unwillingness to make new stars - there's no doubt that putting the title on him has created a buzz within the industry. SmackDown has branded itself "The Land of Opportunity" and with this decision, has gone out of its way to reaffirm and test the limits of such a slogan.
Despite what seems to be near-universal disapproval for the title change, Vince McMahon is one man who is reportedly quite pleased with SmackDown's new world champ. In an interview with Sportskeeda.com, when asked about the backstage response to his win, Jinder had this to say:
"The backstage reaction has been very good. Vince was very happy. He was really proud of me because Vince knows how much work I’ve put in. And, I told Vince, “Hey Vince, my goal is to come back every week and improve. Every time you see me perform I’m going to get better on the mic, going to get better in the ring and I’ll be in better shape every week. I think Vince really appreciates that and WWE is a place where they reward hard work and I’m an example of that."
Obviously Vince would be supportive of the decision to put the belt on Jinder considering all booking ultimately requires his stamp of approval, but it's a bit surprising that he would be so positive considering the reaction it garnered, with crowd shots immediately following the pinfall revealing just as many fans laughing in exasperation as there were those that appeared genuinely shocked.
It remains to be seen if Jinder will draw the type of heat desired for top heels or if he'll remain a victim to legitimate distaste for his position as champ, one which many fans feel is "undeserved". This could be a star-making turn that proves the WWE Chairman right and all his detractors wrong, or just as easily end up a massive flop.
Other highlights of the interview include Mahal calling Backlash the greatest night of his life, him only finding out that he'd be winning the title the day of the show, his thoughts on Brock Lesnar, and The Singh Brothers plans to compete as a tag team.
Are your surprised that Vince McMahon was so pleased with his new champion? Let us know in the comments.