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The Great Khali Biography – An Indian Professional Wrestler becomes an Actor

Dalip Singh Rana is an Indian professional wrestler, wrestling promoter, and actor. He is best known for his time in WWE under the ring name The Great Khali. He made his professional wrestling debut in 2000. Before embarking on his professional wrestling career, he was an Assistant Sub-Inspector of Punjab Police.

Quick Info→
Real Name: Dalip Singh Rana
Profession: Indian professional wrestler, wrestling promoter, and actor
Birthplace: Dhiraina, Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh, India
Spouse: Harminder Kaur
Age: 49

Dalip Singh Rana (born 27 August 1972) is an Indian professional wrestler, promoter, and actor. He is best known for his time in WWE under the ring name The Great Khali.

He made his professional wrestling debut in 2000. Before his professional wrestling career, he was an Assistant Sub-Inspector of the Punjab Police. He has appeared in four Hollywood films, two Bollywood films, and several television shows. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 class.

The Great Khali Biography
The Great Khali Biography
The Great Khali Biography
Birth name Dalip Singh Rana
Born 27 August 1972 (age 49)
Dhiraina, Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh, India
Spouse(s)
Harminder Kaur (m. 2002)
Children 1
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Dalip Singh
Giant Singh
The Great Khali
Billed height 2.16 m (7 ft 1 in)
Billed weight 157 kg (347 lb)
Billed from Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Trained by All-Pro Wrestling
Debut 7 October 2000
Political party Bharatiya Janata Party (since 2022)

Early life (The Great Khali Biography)

Rana was born to Jwala Ram and his wife Tandi Devi in a Punjabi Hindu Rajput family of the Dhiraina village of Himachal Pradesh’s Sirmaur district.

Being one of the seven siblings of a poor family, he had to do odd jobs to make ends meet and suffered from acromegaly, which caused gigantism and chin protrusion. When Rana was serving as a security guard in Shimla, he caught the eye of a police officer from the neighboring State of Punjab whohaving previously helped several employees of Punjab Police to become international sportspersonsgot him inducted into the Punjab Police in 1993, and (though Rana was reluctant to leave Himachal Pradesh, his brother was also offered a job in the Punjab Police) once he landed in Punjab’s Jalandhar, Rana trained in the local gyms to become a wrestler. Soon he got selected for specialized wrestling training in the United States.

Professional wrestling career (The Great Khali Biography)

All-Pro Wrestling (2000–2001)

Under the ring name Giant Singh he 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.

The Great Khali Biography
The Great Khali Biography

World Championship Wrestling (2001)

When Rana came to San Francisco, he signed a contract with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and spent eight months there until WCW was bought by their rival promotion, World Wrestling Federation (WWF).

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2001–2002)

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 212 inches and a combined weight of 805 pounds, teaming up for the first time at the Tokyo Dome in October when labeled 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. Singh suffered his first loss in a tag team match at Wrestling World 2002 in January 2002 after Hiroyoshi Tenzan pinned him with a cradle. Singh suffered another big tag defeat during March, being pinned by Manabu Nakanishi after a German suplex pin. However, his most critical loss came in August at Tokyo Nippon Budokan, when he was pinned by Silva in a singles match after a falling out.

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Various promotions (2002–2006)

Starting in 2002, he also wrestled in the Mexican promotion Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) and the Japanese promotion All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) until 2006, when he signed with WWE.

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE (The Great Khali Biography)

Undefeated streak (2006–2007)

On 2 January 2006, Rana became the first Indian professional wrestler to be signed to a contract by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). He was assigned to their developmental federation, Deep South Wrestling,[1] where he wrestled under his real name.

With Daivari as his manager, the unnamed Singh debuted on WWE television as a villain on the 7 April episode of SmackDown!, attacking The Undertaker and leaving him defenseless during his match with Mark Henry, thus causing a no-contest ruling. The following week on SmackDown! 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 21 April episode of SmackDown!, defeating Funaki.

On the 12 May episode 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 weight advantage of 250 pounds) and defeated Mysterio in a squash match. In his match against The Undertaker at Judgment Day on 21 May, Khali defeated The Undertaker with a kick to the head after receiving some illegal help from Daivari. Khali continued on a rampage for several weeks, winning handicap matches, beating wrestlers up in a display of power, and mocking The Undertaker’s signature pin and victory pose.

World Heavyweight Champion (2007–2008)

On the 11 June episode of Raw, as part of the 2007 WWE draft, Khali was drafted to the SmackDown! Brand as the brand’s first draft pick. In July, 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 20-man battle royal was held for the title on the 20 July edition of SmackDown!, which Khali won after eliminating both Kane and Batista in one move, 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. Khali debuted a new finisher called the Khali Vise Grip (a two-handed clawhold), which he used to wear down Batista, Kane, and Ric Flair.

At SummerSlam on 26 August, Khali lost by disqualification when he used a steel chair but retained the title. Khali then began a feud with Rey Mysterio after Mysterio won a Championship Competition to become the number-one contender, leading Khali to apply his Visa Grip on Mysterio on the 7 September episode of SmackDown! until Batista came to the rescue, with SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long informing Khali that he would have to defend the World Heavyweight Championship also against Batista in a triple threat match at Unforgiven on 16 September, where Khali’s 61-day reign ended after receiving a spinebuster. Khali challenged Batista to a rematch in a Punjabi Prison match at No Mercy on 7 October, which Khali lost by failing to escape the Punjabi Prison before Batista.

The Great Khali Biography
The Great Khali Biography

Punjabi Playboy (2008–2011)

On 3 October, daredevil Johnny Knoxville aired an interview with Khali and his translator on his website, jackassworld.com. Still, when Knoxville asked about Khali’s “taliwacker” he became upset and threatened to tip the interview table onto Knoxville. Khali later invited Knoxville to attend the 13 October episode of Raw, where Khali attacked Knoxville, WWE Diva Beth Phoenix, and Hornswoggle. Khali then took on a more fun persona and became a fan favorite 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 May 2009, The Great Khali feuded with Dolph Ziggler, winning by disqualification after Ziggler attacked him with a steel chair. As a result, Khali began coming out to the ring during and after Ziggler’s matches to gain revenge and stop Ziggler from cheating. Over the next few weeks, Khali lost to Ziggler by count-out and disqualification after Ziggler made it look like Khali hit him with a steel chair. At The Bash on 28 June, Khali lost to Ziggler by pinfall after Kane returned and attacked Khali. It was later revealed that Ranjin Singh was Khali’s brother, while the feud with Kane resulted in matches at SummerSlam on 23 August and Breaking Point on 13 September, both of which Khali lost.

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Khali required knee surgery, and Kane assaulted him with the ring steps during a match so Khali could have time off. Whilst injured, Khali made a surprise appearance alongside Ranjin Singh, Ozzy Osbourne, and his wife Sharon on the 2 November episode of Raw as a judge for the Raw’s Got Talent segment, in which he hit Chavo Guerrero with a chop. Khali made his official return on the 14 December episode of Raw, teaming with Christian and Kane to defeat Ezekiel Jackson, Vladimir Kozlov, and William Regal.

On the 2 April episode of SmackDown, it was announced that Khali would take time off to spend with his family and regroup his thoughts back in India. Still, he made an appearance as Khaluber (Khali dressed as MacGruber) on 19 April Raw by teaming up with special guest host Will Forte (as MacGruber) in a handicap match against Vladimir Kozlov, which they won by intentional count-out. As part of the 2010 WWE supplemental draft, Khali and Ranjin Singh were drafted back to the Raw brand. After returning from his hiatus the previous month, 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. Still, on the 9 August episode of Raw, he was assaulted and injured by The Nexus, thus removing him from the match. Following the attack, Khali took another hiatus to compete in Big Boss, where he was the runner-up.

Various alliances and final feuds (2012–2014)

On 29 January 2012, Khali returned to WWE at the Royal Rumble 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. Khali returned on the 3 February episode of SmackDown, saving Justin Gabriel from Rhodes, Hunico, and Hunico’s bodyguard Camacho, then being announced as the replacement to Mark Henry in the Elimination Chamber match of the World Heavyweight Championship at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view event. At Elimination Chamber on 19 February, Khali failed to capture the World Heavyweight Championship after being eliminated first by Big Show. On the 23 March episode of SmackDown, Khali was added to Theodore Long’s WrestleMania XXVII team, but John Laurinaitis’ team defeated them on 1 April. In July, it was announced that Khali was undergoing surgery for a benign tumor in his pituitary gland due to acromegaly. Khali returned at the SmackDown tapings on 16 October in a match taped for Saturday Morning Slam.

On the 26 December episode of Main Event, Khali won a 20-man battle royal to become the number one contender for the United States Championship. Khali received his title shot on the 2 January 2013 episode of Main Event but was defeated by defending champion Antonio Cesaro. On 27 January, Khali competed in the 2013 Royal Rumble match but was eliminated by Daniel Bryan and Kane. In late 2013, Khali 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. Still, at Battleground on 6 October, they were defeated by Cesaro and Jack Swagger. On 26 January 2014, Khali participated in the 2014 Royal Rumble match but was eliminated by The Shield.

Sporadic appearances (2017–2021)

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.

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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. This would be his final match for WWE.

It was confirmed on 24 March 2021 that Khali would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Continental Wrestling Entertainment (2015–present)

In February 2015, Khali opened his wrestling school in Punjab, Continental Wrestling Entertainment, which held its first event on December 12, 2015. In February 2016, he won the CWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Death of Brian Ong (The Great Khali Biography)

On 28 May 2001, Brian Ong died after receiving a flapjack wrestling move from Singh. During the session, Ong suffered a previous concussion, but the trainers gave him a lower evaluation for not avoiding injuries and told him to continue training. In addition, it was proven that Ong did not receive protective gear or supervision by All Pro Wrestling (APW) staff, and this second concussion ultimately proved fatal. As Singh inadvertently caused his death, Ong’s family brought a lawsuit against APW. APW was liable for recklessness after less than a day of deliberations, awarding the Ong family damages of over $1.3 million.

Television and film

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. 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.”

Personal life (The Great Khali Biography)

Rana has been described as “extremely religious.” He meditates every day and “abhors” alcohol and tobacco. He was a disciple of Indian spiritual guru Ashutosh Maharaj.

It is said that Rana suggested the ring name The Great Khali after the Hindu goddess Kali, who is associated with eternal energy. However, he himself rejected the fact and said that the name was given to him randomly by WWE in an interview given to India TV for their show Aap Ki Adalat.

Rana’s training schedule consists of two hours of weight training, morning and evening, every day, but his diet is unclear; in some interviews, it was claimed he maintains his size on a vegetarian diet, and in other interviews, it was claimed he consumes vast quantities of chicken. He has since clarified that he loves vegetarian food but also consumes meat.

The Great Khali with his Family
The Great Khali with his Family

On 26 July 2012, it was reported that Rana underwent brain surgery due to a tumor on his pituitary gland.

Rana became a naturalized U.S. citizen on 20 February 2014.

He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on 10 February 2022.

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role
2005 The Longest Yard Turley
2008 Get Smart Dalip
2010 MacGruber Tug Phelps
2010 Kushti Ramakrishna
2010 Ramaa: The Saviour Vali
2012 HOUBA! On the Trail of the Marsupilami Bolo

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Bigg Boss Himself Season 4 runner-up
2011 Outsourced Fantasy Rajiv Season 1, Episode 18
2012 Pair of Kings Atog the Giant Episode: “Fight School”

Championships and accomplishments (The Great Khali Biography)

  • Continental Wrestling Entertainment
    • CWE Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
  • New Japan Pro-Wrestling
    • Teisen Hall Six-Man Tournament (2002) – with Masahiro Chono and Giant Silva
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • Ranked No. 83 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2008
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter
    • Most Overrated (2007)
    • Worst Gimmick (2008)
  • World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE
    • World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
    • WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2021)
    • 7-man Royal Rumble (2007)
    • Slammy Award (1 time)
    • “Damn!” Moment of the Year (2008) Khali hosts the Kiss Cam on SmackDown on 7 November.

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