This Canadian grappler was born Yuvraj “Raj” Singh Dhesi in Calgary, Alberta sharing a birthplace with WWE Superstar Bret “Hitman” Hart. The 30 year old was born July 19, 1986 and began his training at a Martial Arts Fitness Centre in his hometown. He had been a wrestling fan since the age of three (!) and never lost his passion for the business.
Dhesi’s uncle Gama Singh himself was a professional wrestler from Calgary training under the legendary Stu Hart in his dungeon. Singh was a jobber heel that appeared on WWF television back in the 1980’s.
Dhesi gained some early experience in Premier Martial Arts Wrestling (PMW) under the moniker of Raj Dhesi. He received training under the experienced eye of Olympic bronze medalist and former WWE superstar, the late Bad News Brown. He then joined the PWA (Prairie Wrestling Alliance) to some great success. All the while he was wrestling, he was also attending the University of Calgary where he completed an undergraduate degree in communications and culture.
By 2010, Dhesi was recruited to the WWE developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). Dhesi feels that while his in-ring talents are impressive, the real reason why he got signed to the WWE was due to the fact that he spoke fluent Punjabi and wore a turban as part of his ring attire. This is especially true in light of the fact that the WWE was contemplating a tour of India at the time.
His first great exposure was on Raw where he was wisely paired with fellow Punjabi-speakers the Great Khali and his manager Ranjon Singh. Dhesi had the stage name of Jinder Mahal and was touted as coming from Indian royalty. He immediately bonded with Khali and Singh.
He later became irritated with how Khali started getting involved in silly angles like the “Khali Kiss Cam” and Mahal confronted Singh about his mismanagement of Khali. Mahal established himself as a heel at this point and was so bold as to slap Khali twice during an episode of Khali Kiss Cam.
Khali and Mahal teamed up on Smackdown! to a losing effort against Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston. In a re-match against the two, Khali and Mahal lost again, prompting Khali to abandon Mahal.
With his sights set on revenge, Mahal attacked Khali the following week as Khali faced Heath Slater. The two faced each other the following week on Smackdown! With Khali emerging the victor.
When the feud with Khali died out, Mahal ignited various feuds with Ted DiBiase Jr. and later Sheamus, with Mahal on the losing end of things most of the time. Things didn’t fare any better when he lost a battle royal to receive a title shot for the WWE Intercontinental and US Championships.
Mahal then started a new gimmick whereby he would confront various WWE superstars and generally annoy them. His victims included Randy Orton, Kane and Ryback, all of whom taught the spoiled wrestler a lesson in pain.
He continued to feud with Ryback on and off thereafter with nothing really of any significance emerging for Mahal.
Mahal fared better when he was transferred to the NXT division and won a series of bouts and made it to the finals of the Gold Rush Tournament.
Upon his return to Smackdown!, success started to come Mahal’s way in an unexpected alliance. He and Drew McIntyre assisted Heath Slater in his match against Brodus Clay. This formed a bond between the trio and they christened themselves “3MB” (Three Man Band).
The unlikely trio had a considerable winning streak against the likes of Santino Marella and Zack Ryder and the Usos. Things started to go downhill as they so often do in professional wrestling with 3MB losing to the Miz, Alberto Del Rio and their partner of choice which ranged from career jobber Steve “Brooklyn Brawler” Lombardi to “The Innovator of Violence” Tommy Dreamer.
Things got worse for 3MB when they were attacked by the Shield and Brock Lesnar. They also lost a number one contenders match for the WWE Tag team Championship to Tons of Funk (Brodus Clay and Tensai).
Mahal lost a battle royal at WrestleMania XXX and unfortunately, Mahal was released from the WWE in 2014.
Mahal bopped around the independent circuit as Raj Singh for 2 years afterwards travelling to Japan, Qatar, Vancouver and Puerto Rico. He even did a stint of competition at his old nemesis The Great Khali’s academy in India, “Continental Wrestling Entertainment”.
In 2016, Singh re-signed with the WWE again as Jinder Mahal and defeated former partner Heath Slater and a later victory against Jack Swagger. He then formed a team with Rusev and the two together attacked Enzo Amore and defeated Cass in a handicap match.
While this young star may not have reached his career zenith, it seems like the future is bright and will prove lucrative form him as he gains momentum in the grandest of all stages, the WWE.
Special thanks to Dr. Stephen Balsky for contributing the above wrestler profile.
Dr. Stephen Balsky is a chiropractor currently in practice in his native Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has been a wrestling fan since age 13 and is very passionate about the product, especially the “old-school” 80’s – 90’s era. He completed his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 2015 and currently is also working part-time as a professor in both business and healthcare.