It wasn’t Shinsuke Nakamura’s main roster debut or an epic United States championship match between Kevin Owens and AJ Styles that stole the headlines from Sunday’s WWE Backlash card. No, this one was all about Jinder Mahal.
In a finish that left a vocal and electric Chicago crowd at the Allstate Arena stunned in silence, Mahal completed his rapid rise from enhancement talent to WWE champion in what felt played out as a legitimate upset of Randy Orton in the main event.
Just months removed from his role as a glorified jobber, Mahal’s push to the top of the card culminated in a match that exceeded the low expectations coming in (thanks to help from his sidekicks, the Singh Brothers). Mahal also sold the surprise ending with perfect heel panache, posing with the belt in triumph for what seemed like forever atop the turnbuckle.