WWE Champion Jinder Mahal recently spoke with Yahoo! Sports ahead of his title defense against Shinsuke Nakamura at this Sunday’s WWE SummerSlam pay-per-view at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
On how he walks the fine line between portraying a character and doing something that could be considered appropriation of Indian culture, and if that is something he thinks about: “Yeah, absolutely. I know that’s something that the WWE is very aware of. Not just India, but in any country. We don’t want to upset our fans because that’s not what we are here to do. We are here to entertain and ultimately put smiles on people’s faces. If a situation came about something that would offend someone culturally, I would definitely speak up. WWE would want us to speak up because negative press is not our goal. We are here to expand globally; I know that’s one of the goals of WWE. Getting negative media attention and offending people or a religion would not be good.”
On which would mean more for him — to defend his WWE Championship in India or his hometown of Calgary: “I would say that it would be more special in India. Both would be very, very special, but Calgary already has had a champion with Bret Hart and they already have a rich, established wrestling tradition. Whereas India, yet, isn’t.
“You know, I would love to take the WWE championship back to India. Nobody has ever taken a WWE championship to India so just to think about the power that I would have to motivate the youth and to inspire a tremendous amount of people there is amazing. Obviously, the WWE universe right now over there is very passionate and I know the response would just be electric. That atmosphere of performing there would be on a whole other level. When WWE went there last time, I wasn’t back with WWE so I missed that. All the WWE superstars tell me that it was one of their favorite events they ever worked. The crowd was just electric from beginning to end.”
Check out the complete Jinder Mahal interview at Sports.Yahoo.com.
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