Yuvraj Raj Dhesi (July 19, 1986), better known by his ring name Jinder Mahal, is an Indo-Canadian professional wrestler currently signed with WWE, where he performs on the Smackdown brand and is the current WWE Champion in his first reign. He was a member of the Three Man Band (3MB).
Dhesi previously worked for WWE from 2010 until June of 2014 when he was released. He re-signed with WWE in 2016, returning as Jinder Mahal on the RAW brand.
Professional wrestling career
Dhesi began his wrestling career at the Martial Arts Fitness Center in Calgary, Alberta training with former WWE superstar "Razor" Rick Titan and Premier Martial Arts Wrestling (PMW) working as Raj "The Future" Dhesi. He then went on to train with "Champagne" Jerry Morrow and Bad News Allen at the New Japan Pro Wrestling dojo. In Canada's Stampede Wrestling, After working for a time with Hybrid Wrestling Coalition (HWC) Dhesi teamed with his cousin Gama Singh, Jr., as The Karachi Vice, and Sikh n' Destroy. In March 2005, the team won the Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship, holding it for eight months. They won the title for a second time in December of that year, holding it until November of the following year. He also worked for the Prairie Wrestling Alliance, where he was the PWA Champion from 2008 until January 2010, and also a three time tag team champion. Dhesi also competed for Great North Wrestling (GNW), where he feuded with such wrestlers as Samoa Joe and Hannibal. In December 2009, he traveled to Tampa, Florida, to try out for WWE's developmental promotion Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW).
World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE
Florida Championship Wrestling (2010–2011)
He decided to start training to become a WWE wrestler. He traveled to Tampa, Florida, to try out for WWE's developmental promotion Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). At the try out Steve Keirn, Pat Patterson and Mike Rotunda saw him wrestle but Dhesi thinks that what sold him to the WWE was his ability to speak Punjabi and his authentic costume like his turban. He remembers that, "I think they needed an Indian guy, they were looking for one." In early 2010, he was signed to a developmental contract with FCW.
Main roster and NXT (2011–2012)
Jinder Mahal made his televised WWE debut on the April 29, 2011 episode of SmackDown, greeting fellow Indian superstar The Great Khali and his brother, Ranjin Singh backstage. During the segment, Mahal spoke in Punjabi that he was really happy and excited that Khali and Ranjin were there. On their part, both of them were happy too. The next week, Mahal, unimpressed by how Khali and Singh have been partaking in childish activities instead of winning matches, confronted Singh about his mismanagement of Khali thus confirmed he was a heel. Mahal interrupted a Khali Kiss Cam segment the following week, slapping Khali twice to no response from the giant. On May 20, Mahal interrupted The Great Khali's match against Jey Uso leading Khali to leave the ring to confront Mahal. On the September 5 episode of Raw, he suffered his first loss, when he and The Great Khali lost to WWE Tag Team Champions Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston in a non-title match. In a rematch on SmackDown, they lost again to Kingston and Bourne, when Khali pushed Mahal, after he was slapped by Mahal. Kofi Kingston hit a Trouble in Paradise on Mahal thus turning Khali into a face once again. On the September 16 episode of SmackDown, Mahal attacked Khali during his match with Heath Slater which Khali won. On the September 23, 2011 episode of SmackDown, Khali defeated Mahal in a singles match, thus suffering his first loss in a singles match.
After the feud with Khali finished, Mahal targeted wrestlers whom he deemed as beneath him or embarrassing. In November, Mahal began a feud with Ted DiBiase. On the December 30 episode of Smackdown, Mahal broke DiBiase's winning streak via submission, ending their feud. In December, Mahal, trying to make a name for himself, went after Sheamus and constantly disrespected him. On December 13, Sheamus defeated Mahal and for several months, they were involved in multiple matches, with Sheamus always getting the best of Mahal. At Mahal's first Royal Rumble, he was eliminated by the Great Khali, rekindling their feud. On the next SmackDown, Khali again defeated Mahal. Mahal then mostly competed on Superstars and house shows for the start of 2012. At Over The Limit, Mahal participated in and lost a battle royal where the winner was to receive a shot at the WWE Intercontinental Championship or the WWE United States Championship.
Mahal began confronting several wrestlers, starting with Randy Orton, interrupting one of his promos. In retaliation, Orton hit the RKO on Mahal. On July 23 at Raw 1000, Mahal confronted Kane, leading a group consisting of Curt Hawkins, Tyler Reks, Hunico, Camacho and Drew McIntyre. Mahal claimed none of them had been given an opportunity within WWE, and would make one by taking down Kane. The Undertaker's sudden appearance halted their advance. The Brothers of Destruction attacked the group and took them out. He then began a feud with Ryback, winning by intentional count-out and disqualification. Mahal, to prove himself to Ryback, requested a match against two jobbers, in a match style similar to Ryback's, defeating them quickly by submission. In spite of this, Mahal continued his feud with Ryback, attacking the man during their matches and after Ryback's. Mahal finally was pinned by Ryback on the August 24 episode of SmackDown.
When WWE rebranded its developmental territory, FCW, into NXT Wrestling, Mahal began appearing on the rebooted WWE NXT, where he started a winning streak by defeating several wrestlers, including Derrick Bateman and Percy Watson. On the August 8 episode of NXT, Mahal was inserted into the Gold Rush Tournament to crown the first NXT Champion, where he defeated Bo Dallas in the first round. On the August 15 episode of NXT, Mahal defeated Richie Steamboat in the semi-finals of the Gold Rush Tournament. On the August 29 episode of NXT, Mahal was defeated by Seth Rollins in the finals of the Gold Rush Tournament, ending his NXT winning streak. On the November 7 episode of NXT, Mahal won a number one contender fatal four-way elimination match against Bo Dallas, Drew McIntyre and Justin Gabriel. The next week, Dallas goaded Mahal into facing him in a match with the title shot on the line, but Mahal prevailed once again. Mahal's title shot eventually came to naught when he lost again to NXT Champion Seth Rollins.
On the September 23 episode of SmackDown, Mahal and Drew McIntyre interfered in Heath Slater's match against Brodus Clay by attacking Clay. The alliance of Slater, Mahal and McIntyre were later named 3MB. From October 2012, 3MB racked up many wins against Team Co-Bro (Santino Marella and Zack Ryder), and The Usos, mostly due to illegal interference. At TLC, 3MB's winning streak was broken when they were defeated by the team of The Miz, Alberto Del Rio and the Brooklyn Brawler. The following night on Raw, Miz and Del Rio teamed with Tommy Dreamer to again defeat 3MB. On the New Year's Eve edition of RAW, 3MB received a shot at the WWE Tag Team Championships, but were defeated by Team Hell No. Over the course of a few months, 3MB's success waned. Their most recent victory was against Tons of Funk in a 3 on 2 match, but they generally almost always lose. In the episode of RAW November 11, 2013 3MB changed their name to The Union Jacks for the night.
He was released from the WWE on June 12, 2014.
Independent circuit (2014-present)
Dhesi wrestled for Reality of Wrestling at their summer iPPV, ROW Summer of Champions 2014 under the name Raj Singh, defeating Jasper Davis. It was reported that he will be appearing at All-Star Wrestling of Vancouver, Canada on 24 October at Fright night live. Teaming with his cousin Gama Singh Jr.
Return to WWE (2016–present)
On July 27, 2016, it was announced that Dhesi had re-signed with the WWE under the ring name Jinder Mahal. On the August 1 episode of Raw, Mahal and former partner Heath Slater "invaded" Raw, and demanded to be signed, but Raw General Manager Mick Foley stated that only one of them would be signed and they had to face each other in a match. While Slater kept arguing with Foley, Mahal ordered the referee to ring the bell, and quickly defeated Slater, (kayfabe) getting signed back to WWE as part of the Raw brand.
Dhesi speaks Punjabi language and English. He is the nephew of wrestler Gama Singh and has a business degree of communications and culture from the University of Calgary.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- "The Maharaja of Metal"
- "The Man Who Comes in Peace"
- "The Maharaja"
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- All Star Wrestling
- ASW Tag Team Championship (1 time, current) - with Gama Singh, Jr.
- Prairie Wrestling Alliance
- PWA Heavyweight Championship (2 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #148 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2013
- Stampede Wrestling
- Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Gama Singh, Jr.