Original Backlash Plans for Jinder Mahal: Fighting Rob Gronkowski

As we all know by now, the most controversial moment in all of pro wrestling in 2017 occured when Jinder Mahal defeated Randy Orton at Backlash to become the WWE Champion. Mahal overtook Baron Corbin and Rusev’s spots as a future title holder, and before winning the belt, he had a largely forgettable run in WWE before his surprise main event push began. Up until his big win, the only eventful moment Mahal had in WWE was when he was the last man eliminated from the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at Wrestlemania this year by Mojo Rawley and the Patriot’s star receiver Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski. It appears that Jinder may have been hindered for just a little while longer if it weren’t for one small problem WWE ran into.
Sportskeeda reported that Gronkowski’s involvement was a last-minute decision when he surprised his real-life friend Mojo Rawley by attending Wrestlemania. The original winner was apparently going to be Braun Strowman. However, it appears that the head of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, was not made aware of Rob’s involvement. He was said to be furious and he decided that Gronkowski would not involve himself with the company anymore from that moment on. Rob showed up one more time on Smackdown to confront Mahal again, this was reportedly done to setup a tag team match between Rawley and Gronkowski against Jinder and his own partner at Backlash. Regardless, the plans were scrapped after Belichick refused to let Rob wrestle.
It’s hard to feel too bad for Jinder though, because one thing led to another, plans changed, and he ended up winning the WWE Championship at the pay-per-view instead. Although, even Jinder’s victory was believed to be a last-minute decision. Meanwhile, Mojo Rawley was left off of the Backlash pay-per-view entirely, and has even publicly acknowledged his lack of screen time since his Wrestlemania win. Perhaps Gronkowski could return to WWE again one day to resume his feud with Mahal, but that doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon. It can’t be argued that WWE’s loss in using a major celebrity for a match was Jinder Mahal’s gain.

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