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Credit: WWE.com

The shocking move to make Jinder Mahal the No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship has to be just the start of a sustained rebuilding process.

Mahal entered the Six-Pack Challenge on Tuesday’s SmackDown as a long shot to win. He had previously been a pushover in the comedy stable 3MB. Defeat was a regular occurrence for him as WWE used him primarily as everyone else’s punching bag.

But Mahal stunned the SmackDown crowd by pinning Sami Zayn to earn a WWE title match at the Backlash pay-per-view on May 21. Even when WWE champion Randy Orton came out to confront him, the result didn’t feel real.

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