The WWE Hall of Fame has gained a towering new member, as The Great Khali has been revealed as the latest inductee in the Class of 2021. Khali was surprised with the news by his brother and former manager, Ranjin Singh, in an exclusive edition of WWE Now India.
The Great Khali will take his place in sports-entertainment history during the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will stream Tuesday, April 6, exclusively on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network elsewhere.
The Great Khali to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2021 | Exclusive: WWE Now India02:07
Watch the Great Khali’s reaction as his manager and friend Ranjin Singh breaks the news of him becoming a part of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
Standing 7-foot-1 and tipping the scales at 347 pounds, Khali made his titanic presence felt from the moment he first entered the WWE Universe in 2006, standing toe-to-toe with the legendary Undertaker and bulldozing over The Deadman, a rare sight between the ropes.
The Great Khali went on to battle many of WWE’s most legendary Superstars, including John Cena, Batista, Shawn Michaels and fellow 2021 Inductee Kane, whom he defeated to pick up his first win on The Grandest Stage of Them All, WrestleMania.
The giant’s greatest success would come on the July 20, 2007, edition of SmackDown, when Khali outlasted 19 of SmackDown’s top Superstars, last eliminating Batista and Kane to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
After his reign came to an end, Khali embraced his inner heartthrob, turning into The Punjabi Playboy and urging the WWE Universe to get a little romantic on the Khali Kiss Cam.
Due to his success in WWE, The Great Khali has become a national hero in his home country of India and a star of the silver screen. Khali has appeared in films like “MacGruber,” “Get Smart,” and “The Longest Yard.” He’s also opened up a wrestling school in India, helping to get the next generation of Indian Superstar hopefuls ready for the ring.
Don’t miss The Great Khali taking his place in history during the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, streaming exclusively on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network elsewhere. The ceremony will feature the inductions of the 2020 class, which includes The nWo, The Bella Twins, JBL, British Bulldog and Jushin “Thunder” Liger, as well as the 2021 class, which features Khali, Kane, Molly Holly and Eric Bischoff.
Dalip Singh Rana Rana had been a member of the Punjab Police since 1993 when he started to train in the local gyms to become a wrestler. He soon got selected for specialised wrestling training in the United States. From 2000 to 2006, he appeared at Giant Singh in APW and worked eight months for WCW. As Giant Singh, he received an offer from New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) by Team 2000 leader, Masahiro Chono, along with another big man, Giant Silva. 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, teaming up for the first time at the Tokyo Dome in October when labelled as Club 7 by Chono defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kenzo Suzuki, Wataru Inoue and Yutaka Yoshie in a handicap Match when Silva pinned Tanahashi and Inoue at the same time. After a series of losses, Singh left NJPW in 2002 and worked with CMLL in Mexico and All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) until 2006, when he signed with WWE.
After just a few months in WWE’s developmental territory, with Daivari as his manager, he made his debut on SmackDown on April 7, 2006, attacking The Undertaker and leaving him defenceless during his match with Mark Henry. The following week, he was introduced as The Great Khali and Daivari explained that he finally had a client who would destroy The Undertaker (after Muhammad Hassan and Mark Henry had previously failed). Khali made his in-ring debut on the April 21 episode of SmackDown!, defeating Funaki. He would then defeat Rey Mysterio and target The Undertaker.
The Great Khali and Daivari were moved to the ECW brand where the winning streak continued. Back to RAW, Khali defeated John Cena by disqualification after Cena took a steel chair held by Armando Estrada and hit Khali with it, though after the match he performed a chokeslam on Cena and left the ringside area, leaving Cena prone to an attack by Umaga. After attacking Kane at WrestleMania 23, he targeted Edge, Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels, all three top contenders to the WWE Championship at the time). Khali then attacked WWE Champion John Cena as well, sending a message that he wanted Cena’s title. The next week on RAW, Khali defeated Michaels in a number one contender’s match for the WWE Championship at Judgment Day. He would fail to succeed in winning the title.
Drafted to SmackDown as the brand’s first draft pick, Khali began a feud with Batista and the two were scheduled for a match at The Great American Bash. However, because Edge vacated the World Heavyweight Championship due to a legitimate injury, a twenty-man battle royal was held for the title on 20 July edition of SmackDown! which Khali won after eliminating both Kane and Batista in one move, thus winning his first World Heavyweight Championship. Khali dominated and defeated both Batista and Kane in a triple threat match at The Great American Bash on 22 July. Batista would strip him of the belt 61 days after at Unforgiven. Khali challenged Batista to a rematch in a Punjabi Prison match at No Mercy on 7 October in which Khali lost by failing to escape the Punjabi Prison before Batista.
In late 2007 and early 2008, Khali was put in a program with Finlay usually trying to assault Hornswoggle, but with Finlay stopping him. He received multiple opportunities to regain the title, mostly against Triple H, but each time failed to. Khali then took on a more fun persona and became a fan favourite when he and Ranjin Singh hosted the weekly Khali Kiss Cam, where Singh would summon ostensibly random women from the audience to kiss Khali. In 2009, he would feud with Dolph Ziggler and Kane. Khali required knee surgery and Kane assaulted him with the ring steps during a match so Khali could have time off. He came back 3 months later but then took more time off to spend time with his family and regroup his thoughts back in India (he was in fact shooting a movie).
Back on RAW in 2010, Khali was announced by John Cena to be a part of his team along with Bret Hart, Chris Jericho, Edge, John Morrison and R-Truth to face The Nexus at SummerSlam on 15 August. He was assaulted by Nexus and had to take another hiatus to compete in Big Boss. Khali made his return at the 2011 Royal Rumble but was eliminated shortly by Mason Ryan. He feuded with The Miz, then Jinder Mahal when back on SmackDown. Mahal slapped Khali multiple times but they ended up forming an alliance, with Khali acting as Mahal’s bodyguard, assaulting Mahal’s opponent’s after his matches. It ended when Khali had once again to heal a knee injury.
From 2012 to 2014, Khali failed to capture the World Heavyweight Championship at Elimination Chamber. In July it was announced that Khali was undergoing surgery for a benign tumour found in his pituitary gland due to acromegaly. Khali returned at the SmackDown tapings on 16 October in a match taped for Saturday Morning Slam. He would fail to become WWE United States Champion and Intercontinental Champion. On the October 31, 2014, edition of SmackDown, Khali was defeated by Rusev in what would be his final match in WWE until 2017. On 13 November, his contract expired and he left WWE.
On 23 July 2017, Khali returned to WWE at Battleground as a heel to assist WWE Champion Jinder Mahal in a Punjabi Prison Match for the WWE Championship by preventing Randy Orton from escaping the structure, allowing Mahal to escape and retain the title. Khali returned on 27 April 2018 at The Greatest Royal Rumble match, entering at number 45, and lasted for less than a minute, before being eliminated by Braun Strowman and Bobby Lashley.
In February 2015, Khali opened his own wrestling school in Punjab, Continental Wrestling Entertainment, which held its first event on 12 December 2015. In February 2016, he won the CWE World Heavyweight Championship. His trainees can now be found in NXT or 205 Live. He may have not been successful in everything he had done in a ring, Khali was successful in making Punjab a place wrestling definitely have to remember.
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