Sami Zayn vs. Luke Harper vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Erick Rowan vs. Mojo Rawley vs. Dolph Ziggler from WWE 2017

This was a number one contenders match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with using a six-pack challenge to determine a number one contender, this match was basically a showcase for how to use it poorly.

Sami Zayn was in the match despite just losing a United States Championship number one contender match the previous week.

Jinder Mahal lost his last three television matches.

Dolph had not worked a televised singles match in over a month (and he lost that one).

Rowan lost his only singles match since returning to television.

Harper lost his last televised singles match before this show and that had happened weeks ago.

The only person who had any momentum to justify an opportunity for a title shot was Mojo Rawley who won his last match and won the Andre match at Wrestlemania. The rub though was that Mojo felt like a total afterthought in this one and seemed to get the fewest moments to stand out here.

Then of course there was the (much talked-about) issue of Jinder Mahal actually winning the match. In the end, a random dude getting a sudden push out of nowhere is really not the end of the world and generally way preferable to something that we’ve seen a million times before.

With that being said, pushing a guy with no kayfabe momentum and no record of strong in-ring performances via cheating (Bollywood Boys attacked Zayn) to set up a match with Randy Orton (the laziest motherfucker around) is such a hilariously bad idea.

It is yet another reinforcement that wins and losses are meaningless in the company (though that is a battle that is probably not worth fighting) and it sets up Jinder to fail terribly.

If someone like AJ Styles was the champ, this would make a whole lot more sense. AJ would work his ass off, and it would probably be such a step above a typical Jinder match that he would have some momentum as a character in defeat. With Orton as champ, there is a next to zero chance this match is good in any way and Jinder might end up worse off for it.

If you’re going to push someone new just for the sake of it, fine. If you’re going to push someone new who has no track record of success, fine. At least put them in a position to succeed though as this will likely only prove to be a complete waste of time and energy from all involved. (The match itself was actually quite fun all things considered so call it…) (***)

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