I used to sit on the 21st floor. Now I am retired

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Gah Gah Gah Gooooooooo – How you say? I will eat you...

...were allegedly the first words spoken by Great Khali, Dalip Singh in WWE. Sad that the first real Indian wrestler in WWE is made to spew nonsense like "I stalked the jungles of India, killing and eating tigers". (check update)

For those of you not in the know, WWE is all scripted sports entertainment (and not really sports). I have been watching it since I was twelve or thirteen, and can't seem to stop. Nor do I want to. I have waited for an Indian wrestler to make his entry, but have seen nobodies like Tiger Ali Singh who was a son of the far more accomplished Tiger Jeet Singh, instead. He was a joker who didn't even move beyond dark matches (matches which are not publicised or televised but are held to warm up the crowd for the real show).

As far as I can see, Dalip is far larger than the other Indian wrestlers so far and thus, probably stands a better chance to make a mark. However, what might go against him are his mike skills. The ability to get people to root for him or get incensed against him during a promo, is an essential part of what makes or breaks a wrestler. Dalip, as of now, doesn't have good control over English. Also, he doesn't have the in-ring experience and expertise to become a solid performer (which is a bane of most really big men). However, he has time on his side and should be able to work on that.

Dalip Singh himself is starting with a feud with the Undertaker, and thus should be getting a Pay-per-view event soon. However, I am not happy that he's getting a savage tribal gimmick (it's been done to death and looks dated, going back to pre-Attitude era of comic book wrestlers). How about a call-centre worker instead? I guess Dalip doesn't have the English skills. How about his 'real' story packaged into an Indian-pahalwan-trying-to-make-big-in-world gimmick? He can be positioned as the descendant of Dara Singh or Great Gama, no? Let's wait and watch.

I will be watching this with interest. India and China are going to be extremely important in the future as every entertainment firm, including the rival TNA (Ritesh Bhalla), has already recognised. John Cena, the wrestling champion himself, had come down to India to promote WWE. In this light, he does stand a better chance than his predecessors. My sense is that Dalip Singh will end up being the first amongst many Indian and Chinese wrestlers who will wrestle in the WWE. That is not a bad legacy in itself.

Read about his first appearance here and here . And biography here, here and here. IMDB also has some bio here, since he acted as Turley, all brawn, small brain Turley, in an execrable movie called Longest Yard. Everywhere, it is mentioned that he won the Mr. India title in 1997 and 1998, which I couldn't verify elsewhere. However, I also found that one Vitender Singh Pawar had retained the Mr. India title in 1997. It is possible that the Dalip Singh story is a made-up one, like for other wrestlers.

Incidentally, check out the hilarious comments here and in Sepia Mutiny (1, 2).

"..As i see everybuddy taling about Wrestling. And i want to tell everybuddy that wrestling is not fake at all. If you don't beleive then go inside the ring & wrestler on time with any wrestler & then u will find what the truth is. Well it's my dream to become a wrestler & this year my study will be finish & then i will move to USA soon (for getting wrestling trainig). But now i m looking for sponsorship. For more info about sponsorship ple visit at: http://blog.myspace.com/6341821 ..."

"i met dalip twice as i was working at walmart supercenter in mcdounough georgia in feb of 2006 he was shopping with his wife and two other people buying groc.he was he staying in locust grove ga,for a week for a wrestling match he was very kind but his wife was a little rude she didnt like people talking to him"

"he is only a man and in the black neighbour hood every 2 man is like him and there is only 1 like him in hole india soo forget it... he is not wise and we need wise people and not people that think its smart to have a big arm.."

"He's a terrorist just like all you towel heads. Go hump a camel."

Update: Abhi's comment made me look for the video/ transcript of Great Khali's introduction. It's here. While he or Daivari don't actually say that they eat tigers as Pro Wrestling Insider claims, Daivari does mention jungles of India with pythons and Royal Bengal tigers. Great Khali says a lot of stuff which I can't comprehend. The only thing I heard was "Main Hoon Khaali."

Update 2: I noticed that some booker in WWE has bad punning skills. Also, Gaurav has blogged about it. He, like me, remains hopeful of success.

Update 3: Success...

31 Comments:

Blogger shrik said...

I have been watching it since I was twelve or thirteen, and can't seem to stop. Nor do I want to.

Very good. The first, and very often also the toughest, is admitting you have a problem.

Seriously though, same here.

Just FYI, Tiger Ali Singh was made out to be this big racist pig, who'd come on stage and badmouth America(ns) before his 'matches'.

And what about the commentators? ANYTIME they mouthed the words "Tiger Ali Singh", it was followed up by a "son of the legendary Tiger Jeet Singh". Those exact words. All the time. Kind of gets annoying after a bit.

Sunday, April 16, 2006 11:59:00 PM

 
Blogger dhoomketu said...

Shrik, :-). I remember that gimmick. Very unbelievable at that time.

Not very unlike Ludvig Borga, who at least got to fight Lex Luger. Commentators, anyway, didn't have much else to say about Tiger.

Monday, April 17, 2006 12:10:00 AM

 
Blogger RefleXtion said...

Must say it's probably more than 5-6 years since I last saw WWF (oops WWE!)
Think the alst match I saw was Stone Cold Vs Vince McMohan.....yep that was ages ago.

Monday, April 17, 2006 8:05:00 AM

 
Blogger dhoomketu said...

Never too late to restart, I guess. 10:30 every Monday and Tuesday, Ten Sports.

Monday, April 17, 2006 11:46:00 AM

 
Blogger TMB said...

Dhoomketu,
Do you have a transcript or anything of what Singh said when he made his debut (e.g. the part about eating tigers) or did you watch the event recapping it from memory? Thanks.
Abhi
sepiamutiny

Monday, April 17, 2006 12:17:00 PM

 
Blogger dhoomketu said...

Abhi, No, actually, we get delayed feed in India hence, haven't actually seen the show yet.
However, I have found a video link and updated the post with it. As you'd see, he doesn't make much sense, really.

Monday, April 17, 2006 8:24:00 PM

 
Blogger TMB said...

Nice find. I will write about this tomorrow on SM and link to you.
-Abhi

Monday, April 17, 2006 10:19:00 PM

 
Blogger dhoomketu said...

Thanks Abhi. Btw, did you realise that 'Main Hoon Khali' means I am empty and that the guy's name is the 'The Great Empty'.

I wonder if there's some Indian amongst the bookers, with a penchant for puns.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 2:17:00 AM

 
Blogger Gaurav said...

Hey, I just blogged about this too.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 3:32:00 AM

 
Anonymous Pratyush said...

Also, he doesn't have the in-ring experience and expertise to become a solid performer (which is a bane of most really big men).

Experience: He has got vital experience in the NJPW having performed there from 2000/01. So he hasn't come out of the blue and has developed over period.

Expertise: The expertise of the big men is jabbing and not technical skills. It is how you can play your part and sell a story in a match.

My fear regarding Daljit Singh is

1) Would he job to the Undertaker like many before him (Md. Hasan comes to mind immediately from the recent past)

2) Forget the gimmick, why are the WWE making him speak at all if his mic skills are poor. He has Daivari by his side which is a big plus as Daivari has one of the best mic skills around. Why not play Singh as a mute like Yokozuna was played for the larger part of his career.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 2:57:00 PM

 
Blogger dhoomketu said...

Pratyush, I disagree on the experience and expertise bit. His NJPW stint would be useful of course, but it is believed (in various wrestling discussion boards) that he is more like Kurrgan and Giant Gonzales than Andre the Giant!! From what I have seen, it might be. By the way, have you heard of the Ong incident (which mightn't be his fault) which might come in his way (remember Ahmed Johnson).

I agree with you on the fear. He can be made to keep his mouth shut (why yokozuna, even kane did that for a long time).

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 8:12:00 PM

 
Blogger Kapil said...

yup...i 2 hope hez not thr 2 job 4 the undertaker...anthr pedestal for the dead man 2 build his legacy upon...may b showin him as techie wud have have been a good gimmick...wid a catchphrase like 'I'l outsource ur A$$' wud b sumthin !

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 3:12:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

khali means anger, not empty

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 10:23:00 PM

 
Anonymous Rohit said...

Ofcourse Khali means empty in Hindi. But that is not he has been named after. He has been named after the Khali Desert which is somewhere in Oman.
He is gonna rock WWE for sure.

Saturday, April 29, 2006 9:41:00 AM

 
Anonymous Rohit said...

By the way, he said...

Mai Hoon Khali
You see me Last time in the ring...
Now i am here....
in your ring....
I am Great Khali.....

Saturday, April 29, 2006 9:44:00 AM

 
Anonymous sa said...

samw

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 7:11:00 AM

 
Anonymous sameer said...

the great khali rocks .i have been watching wwe for last 6 years from the time it was televised on star sports.i am big fan but i do not think he will become a champion that won't be liked by the americans they don't want indiams as their champions.moreover he is not as good as john cena lokk at viscera and mark henry they r big and useless.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 7:15:00 AM

 
Blogger webdir said...

any way the great khali has crushed world heavyweight champ rey mysterio link a toy and just one hnd on undertaker make him faint. Whatever Americans like or dislike is not a problem in wwe great khali has to prove himself best .. best wishes and luck for a true man

Saturday, May 13, 2006 1:07:00 AM

 
Blogger webdir said...

and stop saying gah gah gah goooooooooo he will shut all of your mouths and whatever is spoken in wwe is not always true o.k hi hi hi hi hi hi chirkuto bhag jao

Saturday, May 13, 2006 1:09:00 AM

 
Blogger sahil said...

hey the grt khali you are talkin abt is or should say was a body builder in jalandhar (punjab) he was nt frm the gr8 jungles as they r talkin abt at wwe .I hav met this man in personal in the gym myself abt a yr ago .he told me he had gone to wwe in 2002 but during the trial matches he won 1 out of two and and was eliminated .
but this time i wish good luck to him and hope he will not loose this time.
and by the way i said somone sayn that "wrestling is not fake its real"
well i jus wanna comment upon it that its fake and almost everything is preplanned.so everything u see is not real and u shouldn't believe it as sucht

Saturday, May 20, 2006 5:48:00 AM

 
Anonymous Dada said...

Dalip has been named The Great Khali as he often invokes Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction, during his fights.

I am also disappointed with Indian media not giving him deserving attention.

Friday, June 02, 2006 2:39:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Khali as far as im concerned, he and his manager Davari can go strait to HELL and Im willing to take you there you M.....F...... tall person from a damn third world nation where the best they can get as a life is being a telemarketer to call my house and act like an american while your trying to get me to buy something. Ill get strait to the point, Khali REST IN PEACE you piece of SHIT, Mother Fucken Ass Hole, Fuck You Khali

Saturday, June 24, 2006 6:52:00 AM

 
Anonymous vidit said...

dada has a point and sahil is absltly bang on target

Thursday, June 29, 2006 1:01:00 AM

 
Anonymous vidit said...

i wish the GREAT KHALI best wishes

Thursday, June 29, 2006 1:03:00 AM

 
Anonymous VIDIT said...

DHOOMKETU APNI SHAKAL DEKHI HAI KABHI BADA AAYA KHALI KA MAJAK UDANE APNA NAAM DEKH AISA LAGTA HAI KISI PATAKA COMPANY KA PHOOK BOMB HO

Thursday, June 29, 2006 1:09:00 AM

 
Blogger dhoomketu said...

Vidit, thanks! Since I can't even see your face, I am assuming that you look like the offspring of X-Pac and Chyna.

Thursday, June 29, 2006 4:44:00 AM

 
Anonymous vidit said...

dhoom ke kutte i dont show my face to stray dogs

Friday, June 30, 2006 1:33:00 AM

 
Anonymous Ray said...

Yo anonymous GO TO FUCKIN HELL YOU BITCH ASS MOTHER FUCKER......Racist Bastard Khali Rules and UNdertaker rules too THERE BBOTH GREAT SEE YA LATER BITCHES!!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 1:22:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi you motherfucker. the great khali is not a terroist.hes a skih not a fucken muslim terroist. skih and muslim are differnt religions

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 12:15:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dont be a fucken racist basturd.the khali is an indian(dirent from a muslim terroist).i hate muslim . u are a racist wanker you hate khali because he is black. he used to eat tigger in india as a figure of speech when he sais that you take it pure serious.the undertaker is not the dead man hes alive.he uses ias a figure of spech

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 12:21:00 PM

 
Blogger newkhali said...

I have been WWE Fan for long time and the Great Khali is a great wrestler which should be respected unfortunately WWE I read at a website didn´t give him a long chance and he is not longer there.
However like anonymous said it statments that he has eaten tiger are just for figure as speech and the stories at other sites that he wrestled white bengal tiger belong probably also to the sense of fantasy.

Friday, February 09, 2007 4:45:00 PM

 

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