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Wrestling / The Great Khali

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Dalip Singh Rana (born 27 August 1972), better known as The Great Khali, is an Indian-American professional wrestler and actor.

While working as a security guard, and later, a police officer in his home country of India, he fell in with the Professional Wrestling crowd, and soon headed to the United States for more training.

Making his debut in 2000, he initially wrestled for a number of small promotions, the most notable of them being All Pro Wrestling. He later worked with larger companies such as WCW, CMLL and New Japan Pro-Wrestling. In 2006, he signed on to WWE. In July 2007, he became the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and the first Indian WWE champion. He left WWE in 2014 to found his own wrestling school in Punjab, before returning part-time in 2017.

Beyond wrestling, he's also an actor, having appeared in a couple Hollywood and Bollywood films.

"Punjabi Nightmare Tropes":

  • Acrofatic: Subverted and downplayed. While quite heavy, he is not fat, only massive and muscled, but he could slinghot the ropes with both legs in Japan back when his knee health allowed it.
  • All Asians Know Martial Arts: Khali is an interesting version, as while he checks many points of the professional wrestling version of the trope (he is Asian, a Foreign Wrestling Heel, and has martial arts techniques in his moveset, namely a karate chop, a reverse kick and a couple Pressure Point holds), he was never referred as a martial artist onscreen, just as a very big guy.
  • Anti-Villain: He only worked with Jinder Mahal to protect his sister's honor.
  • Achilles' Heel/Real Life Writes the Plot: He started off a force to be reckoned with, but in real life his knees began to deteriorate, and smaller wrestlers like Cody Rhodes began to take advantage of this, being able to defeat Khali within minutes just by going after his knees.
  • Arch-Enemy: In NJPW, Chris Candido and eventually Giant Silva. In WWE, The Undertaker, Kane and Batista.
  • Bash Brothers: With Silva in NJPW at least until their falling out.
  • The Big Guy: As a face.
  • Bollywood: He's from India.
  • Boring, but Practical: He had a relatively rounded moveset when he wrestled in Japan, but in WWE, he had no moves that weren't strikes, slams of some kind and clawholds. Given his size and muscle mass, however, they were quite credible.
  • The Brute: As a heel.
  • The Dog Bites Back: He eventually got tired of Jinder and punched him.
  • Demoted to Extra: He was a force to be reckoned with when he debuted, but these days he is remembered as more of a comic relief character.
  • Dumb Muscle: For Jinder Mahal. During his heel run in 2011, he was cured when he had enough of Jinder's bullshit.
  • Evil Is Bigger: With his height, long hair, black attire, scary face and chokeslam finisher, he looked somewhat like a bigger, nastier version of The Undertaker, which was invoked by Khali himself during their feud by imitating Undertaker's signature pinfall pose as well.
  • Expy: Of the villainous first version of Kurrgan, another roaring, evil giant clad in black with incredibly strong hands who was handled around by an eccentric manager.
  • Finishing Move:
    • In NJPW, Giant Bomb (a powerbomb) and chokeslam.
    • In WWE, Khali Bomb/Punjabi Plunge (a two-handed chokeslam or standing chokebomb), Khali Vise Grip (a two-handed skull clawhold).
  • Foreign Wrestling Heel: When he debuted, he was a heel.
  • Funny Foreigner: After his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Gentle Giant: When he's a face and in real life.
  • The Giant: Dude is 7 feet tall and 400 pounds! Like André the Giant and Big Show, he suffers from acromegaly, and had surgery to remove the tumor in his pituitary gland.
  • Gimmick Matches: Introduced the Punjabi Prison match.
  • Hard Head: One of his signature moves was a simple but hard headbutt.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door
  • A Hero to His Hometown: More popular in India than probably anywhere else by several magnitudes. He's absolutely despised everywhere else, regardless of whether he's a face or heel.
  • Hero Killer: He and Silva dedicated their NJPW careers to destroy established veterans like Yutaka Yoshie, Wataru Inoue and Hiroshi Tanahashi, among others.
  • Mighty Glacier: Compared to his partner Silva or other superheavyweights like Mark Henry or Big Show, Khali isn't capable of running and doesn't have any Lightning Bruiser qualities: his moveset is focused on standing on his two feet and being immovable.
  • Mystical India: He has a Mowgli haircut and his entrance video has been filled with all the requisite iconography.
  • Power Stable: Masahiro Chono's Team 2000, in New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
  • Pressure Point: He had a wicked shoulder clawhold aside from his more known Vise Grip, which evokes this trope. Bonus points for Khali being oriental.
  • Praetorian Guard: To Masahiro Chono in Team 2000 with Giant Silva.
  • Put on a Bus: Courtesy of Mark Henry.
  • The Bus Came Back/Commuting on a Bus: Returned at Battleground in July 2017 after almost three years away.
  • The Unintelligible: He only speaks Hindi onscreen, and even in that language his speech is rather muddled, needing either Daivari or his brother Ranjin to translate him. Also, for some reason, Natalya could understand him when she was his valet.
  • Start My Own: Continental Wrestling Entertainment is mostly propped up by showcasing students from the school he trains wrestlers in, the school he started after leaving WWE.
  • Tag Team: Club 7, with Giant Silva.
  • Unrelated Brothers: with Ranjin Singh, his manager.
  • Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object: Subverted - meeting an unstoppable force is one of the few things which make Khali stop being an immovable object. He had clashes with Giant Silva, Mark Henry and Big Show, all massive superheavyweights like him, but he actually lost to all of them every time they faced off.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: He got sick of Mahal's threats and bullying, broke away from him, and then kicked his ass. Between the sudden end to the feud, as well as either Mahal's inability or his unwillingness to speak English when on camera, we never found out whether Mahal was bluffing or whether he did indeed divorce Khali's sister. And looked like it wouldn't be addressed as he started a feud with Ted DiBiase Jr., and Khali was out with an injury thanks to Mark Henry. However, when Khali returned at the Royal Rumble, he was referred to as Mahal's brother-in-law. Eventually, the entire angle was dropped, as when he reappeared in WWE in the summer of 2017, it was solely as Mahal's role model and friend.
  • The Worf Effect: For one reason or another, Khali frequently gets injured in-storyline to be prevented from participating in multi-man matches.