Jinder Mahal can inspire more Indians to become WWE stars, says The Great Khali
The main event of the WWE pay-per-view Battleground turned out to be an ‘Indian’ affair on Sunday as The Great Khali made a surprise comeback to help Jinder Mahal retain his WWE Championship.
Jinder Mahal was facing Randy Orton in a Punjab Prison match – a stipulation made famous by The Great Khali himself – and the two-time WWE heavyweight champion played a major role in deciding the outcome of the fight.
When asked about his comeback, The Great Khali told Hindustan Times, “The company told me that the Punjabi Prison match is happening after such a long time and I was extremely happy that they wanted me to be a part of the match”
“It is a proud moment for India that Jinder Mahal has made it big in this company and this can be an inspiration for the youngsters to aspire to be a WWE superstar,” he added.
This was the third successful title defense for Jinder Mahal after winning the championship in May and the ‘Modern Day Maharaja’ was all praise for his mentor – The Great Khali.
“I have a great relationship with Khali. He is like an older brother. He was my role model in WWE; he was a great champion and put India on the map and I want to do the same and hopefully he was happy with my performance in the match,” Mahal told HT minutes after his victory.
The Great Khali was the first Indian superstar to compete in the WWE and during his time with the promotion, he was involved in high-profile feuds with almost all the big names of the company. However, a lackluster run resulted in his departure from the company and since then, he has dedicated his time to promoting pro-wrestling in India.
Currently, The Great Khali runs a wrestling school in Haryana and his promotion Continental Wrestling Entertainment (CWE) has produced a number of wrestlers who took part in WWE’s Dubai tryouts earlier this year. The most well-known among his students is Kavita Devi who competed in the Mae Young Classic, a women-centric WWE tournament. In the process, she became the first woman wrestler from India to be a part of the WWE.
“I don’t want to be the last Great Khali to come out of India. My wish is to create more superstars from my country. I was here to support Jinder (Mahal) and I will be there if he needs my help again.”
“There is a perception that pro-wrestling and especially WWE is for the Americans and the Europeans. But, I disagree with that kind of thinking completely and the students of my wrestling school are living examples of what Indians can do in this field,” he added.
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