Top 5 Pro Wrestlers With Indian Origin

When it comes to athletes and entertainers that India has exported to the world, most names that come to mind likely emulate from Bollywood or cricket. However, India has produced a number of professional wrestlers — the kind on WWE, specifically. Given the population of India (and how popular WWE is among them), it’s very likely these wrestlers have “paved the way” for future exports too. 

In this article, let’s acknowledge those Indians that first broke into mainstream wrestling. As early barrier-breakers, these five men had the “odds stacked against them” — like getting a bad hand while betting on online poker in Vegas — but still made it in the industry. Here are the five Indian names you should know:

The Great Khali
You have to begin with Khali, whose real name is Dalip Singh Rana. He’s an unforgettable wrestler in WWE lore — not necessarily because of his Indian origins (he hails from the Dhiraina village of Himachal Pradesh's Sirmaur district) but because of his size. Khali is over seven-feet tall and is legit, one of the taller competitors to ever step into the WWE ring.

While in WWE, Khali brought his culture with him. On multiple occasions, Khali participated in a Punjabi Prison match. It was a modified version of a cage match — but with bamboo rather than steel for the fencing. Moreover, two different fences surround the wrestling ring, with the object being the first wrestler to escape both winning. 

Khaki’s full-time WWE career would span from 2006 to 2014. During that time, Khali became the first Indian wrestler to win WWE’s main championship. In 2021, Khali was inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame. 

Jinder Mahal
Mahal is not born in India (he’s Canadian), but he certainly has ancestry in the country, more specifically, in Punjabi Sikh descent. Though, Mahal would embrace his Indian background during his WWE run, which is ongoing as he’s still a member of the roster.

Like Khali, Mahal is also a former WWE world champion. Ironically, Mahal would enlist Khali’s help in a 2017 title defense against Randy Orton, which was fought in a Punjabi Prison match. Mahal would win with Khali’s aid in a moment that’s a must-watch for Indian fans of wrestling.

Mahal is only 35 years old so much of his wrestling career remains unwritten. While not as tall as Khali, Mahal does have an imposing body in terms of muscle. Few WWE wrestlers have as chiseled as a body as he does. 

The Singh Brothers – Sunil and Sameer
Ok, we cheated here and included two wrestlers. That’s because these two go hand-in-hand as a tag team. The Singh Brothers were Mahal’s sidekicks during his WWE title run, helping him win matches on more than one occasion. Eventually, they would break away from Mahal and rename themselves The Bollywood Boys (there again, remains the great Indian export). 

In June 2021, the Hollywood Boys/Singh Brothers were let go from their WWE contract. They’ve bounced around independent wrestling promotions since then, but like Mahal, there’s plenty left in the gas tank for this duo so we’ll just have to wait and see where they go next.

Sonjay Dutt
Dutt was born in the United States but his family hails from New Delhi. He made a name himself outside of WWE, wrestling for TNA/Impact Wrestling on and off from 2003-2019. Here, he was an X-Division wrestler, which was what helped spur the promotion to become the second-most popular wrestling organization after WWE during the timeframe. 

Dutt would eventually sign with WWE — but not as a wrestler. Instead, he was a backstage producer, helping other wrestlers organize their matches. Dutt served in this producer role from 2019 to 2021. He holds the same position for All Elite Wrestling, which today is the new secondary wrestling promotion worldwide in terms of popularity. 

Tiger Ali Singh
Not to be confused with the aforementioned Singh brothers, Tiger Ali paved his own road in wrestling. He was a talent for WWE between 1997 and 2022 — back when it was still known as World Wrestling Federation. Popularity-wise, wrestling has never been more “mainstream” popular in the United States than during that five-year window. Tiger Ali’s biggest WWF highlight is winning the 1997 Kuwait Cup tournament, last beating the legendary Owen Hart. 

That’s our top-5 list, but like we said, it’ll likely change in the coming decade as more Indian talent makes a dent in the world of pro wrestling. 

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