The Curious Case of Jinder Mahal and His Creative Direction
Creationist Capitalism is something not many people see when they spread ideas online. As Boellstorff points out in Coming of Age in Second Life, “Creationist capitalism is a mode of capitalism in which labor is understood in terms of creativity, so that production is understood as creation.” It is the labor in Boellstorff’s idea of a political economy. A notable example of this can be seen in fans of professional wrestling. I went onto the professional wrestling subreddit (Squared Circle) to pull some examples.
In professional wrestling, one thing that is constant is that fans love to plot out ideas of their own from the stories and characters presented to them. Fans go out of their way to share these ideas with each other, even though the ideas are unlikely to come to fruition. The ideas usually follow the same direction. They also will bring up the opinions of former successful wrestlers. Though, you can see in some instances that they are at least (in a board sense) considered in the creative process.
One of the biggest controversies in Professional Wrestling at the moment is that of Jinder Mahal. Mahal is an Indo-Canadian wrestler who is the current WWE Champion, however, had you told someone this even 3 months ago, they would have thought you to be crazy. The reason for this is that Mahal was skyrocketed from being a semi-comedic fodder that rarely won a match to winning the biggest prize in the company in the time span of 3 weeks. At the moment, Mahal’s Win–Loss–Draw ratio is approximately 19–80–1, which is unprecedentedly low. He also was not cared for much among fans up until about 2 months ago when they started pushing/promoting him. He also amassed a great physique.
The big theory as to why this was done contemplates that WWE did this to gain a larger following in India. This has been supported by the fact that WWE recently announced a television deal in India and their plan to start offering their streaming service there as well. Mahal’s character was also made to be anti-American and pro-Indian to the point where he has started doing promos (speeches) in Punjabi.
The ideas fans and wrestlers have presented are decent ideas overall and seem to be something to consider. All this does to the WWE is give them a greater political economy.