From Punjab Police to WWE Hall of Fame: The Great Khali’s Story

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Who is the Great Khali?

Indian-American retired professional wrestler Dalip Singh Rana – also known as The Great Khali – was born in Dhiraina, Himachal Pradesh, India, on August 27, 1972, making Virgo his zodiac sign. He is probably best known for the time spent signing with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and becoming the first WWE World Heavyweight Champion from India; The Great Khali became a legend in India after being crowned WWE Champion, and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2021.

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Education and early life

The Great Khali was brought up in a Rajput family in Sirmaur, by his mother Tandi Devi and father Jwala Ram; he has six siblings and their parents struggled to take care of all of them.

The Great Khali was born with acromegaly, a condition that leads to overgrowth of certain body parts. He attended a local high school and during his time there was mainly involved in sports, cricket, football and wrestling.

The Great Khali graduated in 1990 and then found work to support herself financially, instead of getting a college degree.

Wrestling career

The Great Khali became a security guard in Shimla after completing his high school education, and was noticed by a police officer who had previously helped several officers to become international athletes; he offered him a job, and The Great Khali thus joined the Punjab Police in 1993. He took wrestling lessons in the next three years, before moving to the US and training in a special gym for wrestlers.

It was in 2000 that The Great Khali signed a contract with All Pro Wrestling, and chose ‘Giant Singh’ as ​​his ring name; his first match was in October 2000 when he and Tony Jones teamed up against the West Side Playaz.

The following year, The Great Khali moved to San Francisco, California and signed with World Championship Wrestling (WCW), where he spent nearly a year before the wrestling promotion was purchased by World Wrestling Federation (WWF).

He signed a contract with New Japan Pro-Wrestling in 2021 and teamed up with Giant Silva making them the largest tag team in the history of the sport as their average height was 7ft 1ins (2.15m) and their combined weight 800 lb (360 kg). Calling themselves ‘Club 7’, they defeated four wrestlers in their first match in October 2001; The Great Khali’s first tag team defeat was when he lost to Hiroyoshi Tenzan at the 2002 Wrestling World in January, while losing again two months later, this time to Manabu Nakanishi.

From 2002 through 2006, The Great Khali was signed with Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (Mexican promotion) and All Japan Pro Wrestling.

He became the first Indian wrestler to sign a contract with WWE on January 2, 2006 and was assigned to their promotion Deep South Wrestling where he wrestled under his real name for a while. Dara Shawn Daivari was the manager of The Great Khali and he made his debut on the episode of SmackDown! of April 7, when he attacked The Undertaker and turned villain. It was a week later that ‘The Great Khali’ was revealed as his ring name, and he wrestled his first opponent in the ring on April 21, defeating Funaki.

He defeated World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio on May 12, 2006 and then The Undertaker on May 21; he lost his first match in August of the same year against The Undertaker.

The Great Khali then transferred to Extreme Championship Wrestling, defeated ‘The Reject’ Shannon Moore on October 31, 2006, and was signed to Raw on January 8, 2007.

He won his first Raw match against John Cena, as John was disqualified after hitting The Great Khali with a steel chair; he then lost to John on May 20, 2007, tapping his signature move STFU. He became the World Heavyweight Champion on July 20, 2007, after winning the 20-man Battle Royal.

The Great Khali lost to Dolph Ziggler in May 2009 and then again on June 28; he then took some time off to spend with his family and returned to India; he eventually entered the 2011 Royal Rumble but lost to Mason Ryan. The Great Khali was then defeated by Kane on May 27, while winning against Mahal on September 23.

His contract with WWE expired on November 13, 2014, and The Great Khali chose not to re-sign; he has since returned for two guest appearances on WWE, on July 23, 2017 and April 27, 2018.

Since February 2015, The Great Khali runs his own wrestling promotion Continental Wrestling Entertainment (CWE) in Jalandhar, Punjab, India; the first event took place on December 12, 2015, while he became the World Heavyweight Champion in February 2016. CWE is the largest wrestling promotion in India today.

Love life and wife

The Great Khali is a married man today, but many people are not familiar with his wife and her career achievements. He and Indian non-celebrity Harminder Kaur exchanged vows on February 27, 2002, two years after their families set them on a blind date; she was born on January 12, 1972 and graduated in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delhi, while she received her master’s degree from the University of Alcala (Spain) in 1996.

Harminder to suit their daughter Avleen Rana in February 2014.

Neither has spoken about other people they may have dated, The Great Khali has been married to Harminder Kaur since April 2023 and they have a daughter together.

Interesting facts and hobbies

The Great Khali is an Instagram star as more than 5.2 million people follow him on the network today, while he has posted nearly 5,400 photos and videos, most of which are wrestling related.

He works out with weights for two hours, morning and evening, every day; The Great Khali’s revealed that he likes to eat vegetarian, but also eats chicken daily.

He underwent surgery on July 26, 2012 to remove a brain tumor.

The Great Khali became an American citizen on February 20, 2014.

While it was initially believed that he chose his ring name after the Hindu goddess Kali, The Great Khali’s revealed that his ring name was chosen for him by WWE.

He is deeply religious as he meditates daily, does not smoke tobacco and does not drink alcohol.

The Great Khali’s favorite actor and wrestler is Hulk Hogan, while some of his favorite movies are ‘Mr. Nanny”, “Attack on Devil’s Island” and “Attack on Death Mountain”.

Height, eyes and wealth

The Great Khali is 50 years old. His hair and eyes are brown, he is 2.15 m tall and weighs about 157 kg.

The power of the Great Khali Estimated at over $6 million, as of April 2023.