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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019

Rinku Singh, Saurav Gurjar eye WWE glory

Rinku Singh and Saurav Gurjar have earned fame in two different spheres of life but are now eyeing glory in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

other-sports Updated: Apr 29, 2017 21:37 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, Dubai
Actor Saurav Gurjar is trying to enter the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) universe.
Actor Saurav Gurjar is trying to enter the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) universe.(Saurav Gurjar/Twitter)

Rinku Singh and Saurav Gurjar are two familiar faces at the Dubai tryouts of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), but their fame came from completely different career paths.

Rinku was the first ever Indian to play professional baseball after he won the ‘Million Dollar Arm’ competition in 2008. On the other hand, Gurjar found success in the world of television as he was part of well-known shows like ‘Mahabharat’ and ‘ Sankat Mochan Mahabali Hanuman’.

However, both of them are willing to risk their established careers for a shot at the WWE dream and currently are sweating it out in Dubai to become the latest recruits of the pro-wrestling promotion.

When asked about the reason behind his decision to come for the tryouts, Gurjar said, “I have always wanted to be a pro-wrestler. I know that this is a big risk for me, but I am not willing to give up on my childhood dream of joining WWE.”

READ | Shadia Bseiso aims to become 1st female WWE professional from Middle East

The 31-year-old actor from Gwalior is a former national champion in kickboxing and has played a variety of sports like wrestling, basketball and boxing during his college days. He has been a regular on Indian television shows since 2013, but Gurjar believes that this is where he truly belongs.

“I have achieved a lot of fame and money by doing television. But, somewhere in my heart, I knew that this is what I want to do and that is why I am going to perform my heart out in the tryouts.”

Rinku, on the other hand, is a success story in a sport that has almost no recognition in India.

The 28-year-old from a rural village in Bhadohi was a junior national javelin throw medallist before he won the ‘Million Dollar Arm’ reality show. The win did wonders for him as he received a tryout in front of 20 Major League Baseball (MLB) team scouts and was eventually signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

READ | WWE trying to tap into popularity in India with tryouts, merchandise

He went on to become the first Indian to play in a professional baseball match and spent several seasons with Gulf Coast League Pirates. He made the World All-Star team for the 2011 Australian Baseball League All-Star Game and was also the subject of the 2015 movie ‘Million Dollar Arm’.

However, Rinku is on the verge of changing his career again as he vies for a spot in the WWE roster and believes that he is mentally ready for the new challenge.

“I have changed my career twice already and right now I am completely focused on fulfilling my dream of joining WWE. I know that this is a big change for me but I am just treating this as a new challenge,” he said.

“I was inspired a lot by The Great Khali (Dalip Singh Rana) and his success in the WWE which motivated me to work extra hard to make myself ready for the selection process.”

First Published: Apr 29, 2017 21:36 IST

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