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    Tuesday, April 25, 2017

    #ThemeSongTuesday: Don't Hinder Jinder

    It's been almost a week since Jinder Mahal became the #1 Contender for the WWE Championship. Admittedly, it's getting less and less weird to type it.

    With a month to go before his WWE Championship opportunity at Backlash, we're going to be getting a lot more Jinder on our monitors, whether we like it or not. That said, it's only fitting that we feature his entrance theme on this week's Theme Song Tuesday.

    Jinder's theme is entitled "Sher," which is the Persian word for "lion." Okay, that's amusing and weird at the same time. It's amusing because lions are a common symbol of strength in Indian culture. In fact, the Sanskrit word for "lion", Singh, is a common middle name, title, or surname for Indians, particularly Sikhs. Even Jinder Mahal himself has Singh as his shoot middle name. At the same time, using the Persian word for "lion" is obviously weird because Jinder isn't Persian, so why did Jim Johnston go for that as a title?

    But wait, Jim Johnston?

    Yes, "Sher" is actually a Jim Johnston composition, which is pretty refreshing because we at the Smark Henry offices have too much CFO$ on our Spotify playlists already. Good ol' Jim Johnston brought in North American Punjabi rapper Ali Kaz to do vocals on this track, which already sounds way better than Jinder's old theme before I even thought of breaking it down for this column.

    The song starts off with a majestic intro, befitting someone who fancies himself a "Maharaja." And then the beat drops and Ali Kaz starts telling us about how badass Punjabi people actually are. I wish I was making that last bit up, but some good samaritan on YouTube actually put a loose translation of the lyrics from Punjabi to English in the comments section of the above video.

    Look at our pride and how well respected we are
    Punjabi guys are tough like mountains
    When we step into that ring, our challengers get shocked
    Everybody fears us, nobody can stand against us
    We are hunters and hunting is all we think about
    Wherever we go, we win, wherever we go, we conquer  
    We are the nation of Lions
    We are the nation of Lions
    We are the nation of Lions  
    We break bones and destroy our enemies
    We can demolish our competition with just one attack
    I am strong like Hanuman (Hindu God) and I protect the Punjabi pride
    I have a message for all my enemies;
    Just remember that Punjabis can overcome all challenges
    We aren’t scared of anything, we don’t back down from a challenge
    I am a proper fighter and you’re a quitter
    You should learn how to live life like a lion from me
    I am Lion so I rule the kingdom, waiting on my prey to fall so I can tear it apart
    Once it is torn apart, I’ll eat out all the flesh and bones  
    We are the nation of Lions
    We are the nation of Lions
    We are the nation of Lions

    Damn, that's some Nation of Domination shit right there.

    Actually, those lyrics are gangsta. They can seriously give the lyrics of Mark Henry's theme a run for their money at this point. Ali Kaz raps about breaking bones the way Three 6 Mafia rapped about somebody getting their wig split. But whereas Juicy J, DJ Paul, and Crunchy Black only wanted to "beat him up" and "break his neck," Ali Kaz wants to eat out all your flesh and bones after you've fallen. Well, fuck.

    These guys want to beat you up and break your neck.

    This guy will eat your flesh and bones.

    As a whole, it's good that the song actually sounds fresh. We've had too many wrestlers in the past whose music was clearly just a reflection of whatever stereotypes they (or their ethnicity) seemed to give off. The Great Khali's theme immediately comes to mind.

    At least Jinder's theme still embodies the Punjabi culture while maintaining a contemporary feel through the Desi hip-hop stylings of Ali Kaz, along with the lyrics that give you a glimpse into how the Punjabi people see themselves. Hell, I'd pop for a badass rap song in Filipino that described us Pinoys the way Punjabs are described on "Sher." 

    Before closing this off, here's the last part I dig about this track. Unlike the lazy songwriting of CFO$, "Sher" actually has more than one verse. Even though I don't understand a single thing on the actual song, I have the satisfaction of knowing that the same verse isn't playing over and over again.

    We've got a month to see what Jinder Mahal (and the Sihra Singh Brothers) are made of, and it should make for an interesting journey! Since that means more screentime for the New American Dream, then I'm going to look forward to hearing more of his new entrance theme.

    Let us know what you think about it in the comments section!


    Stan Sy (@_StanSyis the Editor at Large of Smark Henry, and is also an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast and The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXT, Lucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. He dresses up in fancy suits from time to time to book matches as PWR's General Manager.

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    Item Reviewed: #ThemeSongTuesday: Don't Hinder Jinder Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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