The Great Khali

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The Great Khali
Khali.jpg
The Great Khali in 2008
Birth name Dalip Singh Rana
Born (1972-08-27) 27 August 1972 (age 42)
Dhiraina, Himachal Pradesh, India
Resides Punjab, India[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Giant Singh[2]
The Great Khali
Dalip Singh[3]
Billed height 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)[4]
Billed weight 347 lb (157 kg)[4]
Billed from Punjab, India
Trained by All Pro Wrestling[2]
Debut 7 October 2000[2][5]

Dalip Singh Rana[6] (born 27 August 1972), better known by his ring name The Great Khali, is a Punjabi professional wrestler, actor, and powerlifter. He is currently working for WWE.

He debuted alongside Daivari and had alliances with Ranjin Singh and Jinder Mahal. However he spent most of his career as a singles superstar and in 2007 he became the World Heavyweight Champion.

Before embarking on his professional wrestling career, he was a police officer in the Punjab state police.[7] He has appeared in four Hollywood films, two Bollywood films, and has guest-starred on television shows.

Early life

Dalip Singh Rana was born 27 August 1972[2] to a Rajput family[8] in Himachal Pradesh, India to Jwala Ram (father) and Tandi Devi (mother); he is one of seven siblings. Although his parents are of normal stature, his grandfather was well over 6 ft 6 inches.[9] Singh has acromegaly, a disease closely associated with gigantism that causes facial deformities, as evidenced by Singh's large brow, nose, chin protruding and ears.[10]

Professional wrestling career

All Pro Wrestling (2000-2001)

Under the ring name Giant Singh, Dalip Singh first became a professional wrestler for All Pro Wrestling (APW) in the United States, making his first appearance in October 2000, when teaming with Tony Jones against the West Side Playaz.[2]

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2001–2002)

In August 2001, Singh was brought into New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) by Team 2000 leader, Masahiro Chono, as Giant Singh, along with another big man, Giant Silva.[2] They were the tallest tag team in professional wrestling history at an average height of 7 foot 2½ inches, and a combined weight of 805 pounds. The two teamed up for the first time at the Tokyo Dome in October, labeled Club 7 by Chono, and defeated Yutaka Yoshie, Kenzo Suzuki, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Wataru Inoue in a Handicap Match when Silva pinned Tanahashi and Inoue at the same time.[11] Singh suffered his first loss in a tag match in January 2002 after Hiroyoshi Tenzan pinned him with a cradle.[12] He suffered another big tag defeat during March, being pinned by Manabu Nakanishi after a German suplex pin. His most critical loss came in August at Tokyo Nippon Budokan when, after a falling out, he was pinned by Silva in a singles match.[2]

World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE (2006–present)

Debut and feud with The Undertaker (2006)

The Great Khali in WWE.

On 2 January 2006, Singh became the first Indian professional wrestler to be signed to a contract by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE);[13] he was assigned to their developmental federation, Deep South Wrestling,[2] where he wrestled under his real name.[3]

With Daivari as his manager, the unnamed Singh debuted on WWE television on the 7 April 2006 episode of SmackDown!, attacking The Undertaker and leaving him defenceless during his match with Mark Henry, and thus causing a no-contest ruling.[14] The next week he was introduced as The Great Khali. Daivari explained that he finally had a client who would destroy The Undertaker (after Muhammed Hassan and Mark Henry had previously failed).[15] Khali made his in-ring debut on the 21 April edition of SmackDown!, defeating Funaki.[16]

On the 12 May edition of SmackDown!, Khali was John "Bradshaw" Layfield's hand-picked opponent against World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio. Khali had a height advantage of 21 inches and a weight advantage of 250 pounds, and defeated Mysterio in a squash match.[17] In his match against The Undertaker at Judgment Day, Khali defeated The Undertaker with a kick to the head after receiving some illegal help from Daivari.[18][19] Khali continued on a rampage for several weeks, winning handicap matches,[20] beating superstars up in a display of power,[21][22][23] and mocking The Undertaker's signature pin and victory pose.[23]

Khali then challenged The Undertaker to a Punjabi Prison match at The Great American Bash.[24] However, Khali was not medically cleared to compete in the match, and was instead replaced by Big Show, who lost the match despite Khali's interference. After he was medically cleared, Khali was challenged by The Undertaker to a Last Man Standing match at SummerSlam.[25] The match was moved to the SmackDown! just prior to SummerSlam and was won by The Undertaker, giving Khali his first definite loss in WWE.[26]

Brand switches (2006–2007)

Daivari and The Great Khali were moved to the ECW brand officially when they made their ECW debuts on the 31 October 2006 edition of ECW on Sci Fi. Daivari beat "The Reject" Shannon Moore in a very quick match.[27] Daivari's original theme music was used as well as his Persian rants on the microphone. Afterwards, Moore was manhandled by The Great Khali.[27] Daivari continued his ECW winning streak over the next several weeks with The Great Khali usually following up the contest with a chokebomb on Daivari's opponent. At December to Dismember, Daivari got a victory over Tommy Dreamer following a roll-up.[28] Dreamer then chased Daivari backstage; The Great Khali appeared and caught Dreamer, planting him on the steel ramp with a chokebomb.

Since 2007, Khali was accompanied by his translator and manager Ranjin Singh.

On the 8 January episode of Raw, Jonathan Coachman announced that Khali had signed with Raw (without his manager Daivari), and would wrestle John Cena in the main event. Khali won by disqualification after Cena took a steel chair held by Armando Estrada and hit Khali with it. After the match, Khali chokeslammed Cena to the mat and left the ringside area, leaving Cena prone to an attack by Umaga.[29]

On the 19 February edition of Raw, Khali demanded better competition after easily defeating The Highlanders.[30] Four days later on SmackDown!, Khali interfered in a Falls Count Anywhere Money In The Bank qualifying match between Kane and King Booker. Khali cost Kane the match,[31] leading to a feud which culminated in a match at WrestleMania 23. In his first appearance at WrestleMania, Khali defeated Kane at WrestleMania 23 after slamming him with the Khali Bomb. Right after the match, Khali choked Kane with a hook and chain.[32]

World Heavyweight Champion (2007–2008)

On the 30 April edition of Raw, Khali attacked Shawn Michaels, Edge, and Randy Orton (all three top contenders to the WWE Championship at the time) backstage.[33] He then attacked WWE Champion John Cena as well, sending a message that he wanted Cena's title.[33] The next week on Raw, Khali defeated Michaels in a No. 1 contender's match for the WWE Championship at Judgment Day.[34][35] At the event, Khali lost via submission for the first time ever, tapping out to John Cena's STFU. However, at Judgment Day, Khali's foot was under the rope when he tapped out, which went unnoticed by the referee.[36] The next night on Raw, Khali expressed his outrage over the outcome via his newly established translator and manager, Ranjin Singh.[37] At One Night Stand, Khali lost to John Cena after he was FU'd off a crane bed. This was the first time Khali had been pinned in a singles match.[38]

On the 11 June edition of Raw, as part of the 2007 WWE Draft, Khali was drafted from Raw to SmackDown! as SmackDown!'s first draft pick.[39] He began a feud with Dave Batista in July.[40] The two were scheduled for a match at The Great American Bash, however, because Edge vacated the World Heavyweight Championship due to an injury, a twenty man Battle Royal was held for the title on the 20 July edition of SmackDown!. Khali won after eliminating both Kane and Batista in one move, winning his first World Heavyweight Championship.[41] Khali dominated and defeated both Batista and Kane in a Triple Threat match that same week at The Great American Bash.[42] Khali then debuted a new finisher called the "Khali Vise Grip" which he used to wear down Ric Flair, Batista, and Kane. At SummerSlam, Khali lost by disqualification when he used a steel chair but retained the title.[43]

Khali in 2008.

Khali then began a feud with Rey Mysterio after Mysterio won a "Championship Competition" making Mysterio the No. 1 contender. On the 7 September edition of SmackDown!, after Mysterio defeated Chavo Guerrero in an "I Quit" match, Khali applied his Vice Grip on Mysterio until Batista came to the rescue. After the assault, General Manager Theodore Long informed Khali that he would defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Rey Mysterio and Batista in a Triple Threat Match at Unforgiven, which he lost to Batista after receiving a spinebuster.[44] Khali challenged Batista to a rematch in a Punjabi Prison Match at No Mercy in which Khali lost by failing to escape the Punjabi Prison before Batista.[45]

In late 2007 and early 2008, Khali was put in a program with Finlay usually trying to assault Hornswoggle but with Finlay stopping him. Khali participated in an Elimination Chamber match at No Way Out, which was won by The Undertaker. At WrestleMania XXIV, Khali participated in a twenty-four man battle royal to determine a challenger for ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero later that evening. He then had a short feud with Big Show, culminating in a match at Backlash, which Big Show won.[46]

In July, Khali feuded with Triple H over his WWE Championship. On the 25 July edition of SmackDown!, Khali won a battle royal also involving Big Show, Jeff Hardy, Mr. Kennedy, Umaga and Montel Vontavious Porter, to earn the right to face Triple H at SummerSlam.[47] At the event, Khali lost to Triple H after receiving a Pedigree. Khali was given another opportunity to win the WWE Championship, when he faced Jeff Hardy to gain entry into the Championship Scramble at Unforgiven. Triple H interfered in the Scramble qualification match, and aided Jeff Hardy with a chair shot to Khali, helping Hardy win and eliminating Khali from title contention.

Punjabi Playboy and various alliances (2008–present)

Khali in a match with Finlay against Kane and Mike Knox.

On 3 October, daredevil Johnny Knoxville aired an interview with Khali and his translator on his website, www.jackassworld.com. When Knoxville asked about Khali's "taliwacker" Khali became upset and threatened to tip the interview table onto Knoxville.[48] Khali later invited Knoxville to attend the 13 October episode of Raw, where Knoxville was attacked by Khali, WWE Diva Beth Phoenix, and Hornswoggle.[citation needed]

Khali then took on a more "fun" persona. He and Ranjin Singh hosted the weekly "Khali Kiss Cam", where Singh would summon ostensibly random women from the audience to kiss Khali.[citation needed]

The Great Khali feuded with Dolph Ziggler, winning by disqualification after Ziggler attacked him with a steel chair.[49] As a result, Khali began coming out to the ring during and after Ziggler's matches, in attempt to gain revenge and to stop Ziggler from cheating.[50][51] Over the next few weeks, Khali lost to Ziggler by countout and disqualification after Ziggler made it look like Khali hit him with a steel chair.[52][53] At The Bash, Khali lost to Ziggler by pinfall, after Kane returned and attacked Khali.[54] It was later revealed that Ranjin Singh was Khali's brother. The feud with Kane resulted in matches at SummerSlam and Breaking Point, both of which Khali lost.[55][56]

Khali required knee surgery, so Kane "assaulted" Khali with the ring steps during a match so Khali could have time off.[57] Whilst injured, Khali made a surprise appearance alongside Ranjin Singh, Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon on the 2 November edition of Raw, as a judge for the "Raw's Got Talent" segment.[58][59] He made his official return on the 14 December edition of Raw teaming with Kane and Christian to defeat William Regal, Ezekiel Jackson and Vladimir Kozlov.

On the 2 April edition of SmackDown, it was announced that Khali would take time off to spend time with his family and regroup his thoughts back in India. However, on the 19 April Raw, he made an appearance by teaming up with special guest host Will Forte (as MacGruber) in a 2-on-1 handicap match against Vladimir Kozlov, as "Khaluber" (Khali dressed as MacGruber). They won by intentional countout.[60][61]

As part of the 2010 WWE Supplemental Draft, Khali and Ranjin Singh were both drafted back to the Raw brand.[62] After returning from his hiatus the previous month, Khali was announced by John Cena to be a part of his team along with John Morrison, Chris Jericho, Edge, R-Truth and Bret Hart to face The Nexus at SummerSlam. On the 9 August episode of Raw however, Khali was assaulted and injured by The Nexus, thus removing him from the match. Following the attack, Khali then took another hiatus to compete in Bigg Boss, in which he was the runner up on. He made his return at the 2011 Royal Rumble though he was eliminated shortly by Mason Ryan. On the 14 March episode of Raw, after Khali defeated The Miz by disqualification, Miz assaulted Khali with a steel chair, injuring him. Khali won an interbrand dark match battle royal at WrestleMania XXVII.[63]

On 26 April, Khali was drafted to back to SmackDown as part of the 2011 Supplemental Draft. Khali returned on the 29 April edition of SmackDown, talking backstage with Jinder Mahal, who made his WWE debut that night. On the 2 May episode of Raw, Khali dressed up as the Tooth Fairy at The Rock's birthday party.

On the 6 May edition of SmackDown, Mahal, unimpressed by how Khali and Ranjin Singh have been partaking in childish activities instead of winning matches, confronted Singh about his mismanagement of Khali. Mahal then interrupted a Khali Kiss Cam segment the following week, slapping Khali twice. On the 20 May edition of SmackDown, Mahal interrupted Khali's match against Jey Uso, which lead to Khali leaving the ring to confront Mahal. Mahal then slapped Khali again, which made Khali re-enter the ring and defeat Jey Uso, and then assault Jimmy Uso after the match.

On the 27 May edition of SmackDown, after being defeated by Kane, Mahal came out and shoved Ranjin Singh. Khali then used his vice-grip on Singh, turning heel in the process and forming an alliance with Mahal. Khali from then on acted as Mahal's bodyguard, assaulting Mahal's opponent's after his matches. On the 1 July edition of SmackDown, Ranjin Singh revealed that Mahal was their brother-in-law and that if Khali didn't obey Mahal, then he would divorce Khali's sister and put his family back into poverty. On the 9 September edition of SmackDown, Khali and Mahal went against WWE Tag Team Champions Air Boom (Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston) in a losing effort after Khali pushed Mahal, allowing Kingston to hit his Trouble in Paradise finishing move onto Mahal. After the match, Khali walked away from Mahal, thus turning face again.[64] Khali defeated Mahal on the 23 SeptemberSmackDown.

On the 30 September episode of SmackDown, Khali was defeated by World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry. After the match Henry (kayfabe) fractured Khali's fibula with a steel chair.

On 29 January 2012, Khali returned to WWE at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view as the number 15 entrant in the Royal Rumble match, eliminating Ezekiel Jackson and Jinder Mahal before being eliminated by Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler.[65] He returned on the 3 February episode of SmackDown, saving Justin Gabriel from Rhodes, Hunico, and Hunico's bodyguard Camacho. Later the same night, Khali was announced as the replacement to Mark Henry in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.[66] On the 6 February edition of Raw, Khali teamed up with Randy Orton in a winning effort against Rhodes and Wade Barrett. After the match, Khali and Orton got into an argument which led to Khali being hit with an RKO.[67] On the 10 February edition of SmackDown, Khali defeated Jinder Mahal, winning his first singles match since returning. On the 17 February edition, Khali teamed up with the Big Show in a winning effort against Rhodes and Barrett. After the match, Big Show knocked out Khali with a W.M.D.[68] At Elimination Chamber, Khali failed to capture the World Heavyweight Championship after being eliminated first by Big Show.[69] On the 23 March edition of SmackDown, The Great Khali was added to Theodore Long's WrestleMania XXVIII team.[70] In July, it was announced that Khali was undergoing surgery for a benign tumor found in his pituitary gland due to acromegaly.[71][72] Khali returned at the SmackDown tapings on 16 October, in a match taped for WWE Saturday Morning Slam.[73] Khali finally returned to television on the 2 November episode of SmackDown, defeating David Otunga.[74] On the 16 November episode of SmackDown, Khali competed in his first main event in years, losing to World Heavyweight Champion Big Show in a non-title match.[75]

On the 7 December episode of Smackdown, Natalya accompied Khali and Hornswoggle in a winning effort over Primo and Epico. On the 26 December episode of WWE Main Event, Khali won a 20-man battle royal to become the number one contender to the United States Championship.[76] Khali received his title shot the following week on the 2 January 2013 episode of Main Event, but was defeated by defending champion Antonio Cesaro.[77] On the 11 January episode of Smackdown, Khali and Natalya accompied by Hornswoggle lost to Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee in a mixed tag team match, where after the match Khali and Hornswoggle were assaulted by Big E Langston. In late 2013, he began teaming with Santino Marella and resumed being managed by Hornswoggle after they defeated Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal on the 27 September episode of SmackDown. At WWE Battleground they were defeated by Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger. The Great Khali participated in the Royal Rumble match but was eliminated by The Shield. At WrestleMania XXX he competed in the Andre the Giant memorial battle royal but failed to win as it was won by Cesaro. On the 30 June episode of Raw Khali was announced as a participant of the WWE Intercontinental Championship battle royal at WWE Battleground and faced Damien Sandow dressed as Vince McMahon. At Battleground, he was eliminated by multiple participants and the match was won by The Miz.

Television and film

Great Khali during a Peace Rally in Mumbai on 20 November 2011

From October 2010 until the final in January 2011, Khali appeared on the television reality show Bigg Boss, on which he finished as first runner-up. The show made special arrangements only for Khali, including a custom-made bed to fit him.[78] In March 2011, Khali had a brief cameo in episode 18 of NBC's Outsourced, and appeared on the Disney Channel TV program Pair of Kings as Atog, a rock-smashing giant, in the episode "Fight School".[79]

Personal life

Khali, is a Hindu, and has been described as "extremely religious".[1][80] He meditates every day and "abhors" alcohol and tobacco.[81] Singh married Harminder Kaur on 27 February 2002.[13] Singh suggested the ringname "The Great Khali" after the Hindu goddess Kali, who is associated with eternal energy.[13] Singh's training schedule consists of two hours of weight training, morning and evening, every day. According to one source, he has indicated that he is vegetarian,[81] though another has indicated that he eats chicken as part of his diet.[82] On 26 July 2012, it was reported that Dalip underwent a brain surgery due to a tumor on his pituitary gland.[83]

Filmography

Film

Film
Year Film Role Notes
2005 The Longest Yard Turley
2008 Get Smart Dalip
2010 MacGruber Tug Phelps
2010 Kushti Ramakrishna
2010 Ramaa: The Saviour Vali
2012 Sur la piste du Marsupilami Bolo French film

Television

Year Title Role Channel Notes
2010
Bigg Boss
Himself
Colors
Reality TV series
Season 4 runner-up as Contestant
Evicted Day 96
2011
Outsourced
Fantasy Rajiv
NBC
Cameo (Season 1: Episode 18)
2012
Pair of Kings
Atog the Giant
Disney XD
Episode: "Fight School"

In wrestling

Khali with the WWE Championship.

Championships and accomplishments

The Great Khali as the World Heavyweight Champion.

References

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