Dalip Singh Rana (born 27 August 1972), better known by his ring name The Great Khali, is an Indian professional wrestler, actor, and powerlifter, best known for his time with WWE.
He debuted in WWE alongside Daivari and had alliances with Ranjin Singh and Jinder Mahal. However, he spent most of his career as a singles superstar; in 2007, he became the World Heavyweight Champion. Before embarking on his professional wrestling career, he was an officer for the Punjab state police. He has appeared in four Hollywood films, two Bollywood films, and a handful of television shows.
Singh was born to a Rajput family in Dhiraina, Himachal Pradesh, the son of Jwala Ram (father) and Tandi Devi (mother). He has six siblings. Although his parents are of normal stature, his grandfather was well over 6Â ft 6 inches tall. Singh has acromegaly, a disease closely associated with gigantism that causes facial deformities, as evidenced by Singh's large brow, nose, chin, and ears.
Professional wrestling career
All Pro Wrestling (2000â"2001)
Under the ring name Giant Singh, Singh 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.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (2001â"2002)
In August 2001, Singh was brought into New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) by Team 2000 leader, Masahiro Chono, as Giant Singh, along with another big man, Giant Silva. They were the tallest tag team in professional wrestling history at an average height of 7 foot 2Â½ inches, and a combined weight of 805 pounds. The two teamed up for the first time at the Tokyo Dome in October, labeled Club 7 by Chono, and defeated Yutaka Yoshie, Kenzo Suzuki, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Wataru Inoue in a Handicap Match when Silva pinned Tanahashi and Inoue at the same time. Singh suffered his first loss in a tag match in January 2002 after Hiroyoshi Tenzan pinned him with a cradle. He suffered another big tag defeat during March, being pinned by Manabu Nakanishi after a German suplex pin. His most critical loss came in August at Tokyo Nippon Budokan when, after a falling out, he was pinned by Silva in a singles match.
Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (2002)
On 7 April 2002, Giant made his debut for the Mexican Promotion Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre Where he wrestled under the ring name Gigante Singh While teamed with Gigante Silva and were defeated by Black Tiger & Los Capos (Apolo Dantes, Cien Caras, Mascara Ano 2000 & Universo 2000) by DQ in a Five On Two Handicap Relevos Incredibles Match. On 12 April 2002, In Singh's Last Match for the Promotion where he teamed with El Puma Inoue & Shibata and they were defeated by Dr. Wagner Jr., Gigante Silva & Shocker.
All Japan Pro Wrestling (2003)
On 19 January 2003, Singh Made his debut for All Japan Pro Wrestling Where he teamed with Jan Nortje where they were defeated by Kevin Randleman & Mark Coleman in Giant First and Only Match for the Promotion also last Match Until 2006.
World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE
Deep South Wrestling (2006)
On 2 January 2006, Singh 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, where he wrestled under his real name.
Fued with The Undertaker (2006)
With Daivari as his manager, the unnamed Singh debuted on WWE television on the 7 April 2006 episode of SmackDown!, attacking The Undertaker and leaving him defenceless during his match with Mark Henry, and thus causing a no-contest ruling. The next week he was introduced as The Great Khali. Daivari explained that he finally had a client who would destroy The Undertaker (after Muhammed Hassan and Mark Henry had previously failed). Khali made his in-ring debut on the 21 April edition of SmackDown!, defeating Funaki.
On the 12 May edition 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 a weight advantage of 250 pounds, and defeated Mysterio in a squash match. In his match against The Undertaker at Judgment Day, 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 superstars up in a display of power, and mocking The Undertaker's signature pin and victory pose.
Khali then challenged The Undertaker to a Punjabi Prison match at The Great American Bash. However, Khali was not medically cleared to compete in the match, and was instead replaced by Big Show, who lost the match despite Khali's interference. After he was medically cleared, Khali was challenged by The Undertaker to a Last Man Standing match at SummerSlam. The match was moved to the SmackDown! just prior to SummerSlam and was won by The Undertaker, giving Khali his first definite loss in WWE.
Brand switches (2006â"2007)
Daivari and The Great Khali were moved to the ECW brand officially when they made their ECW debuts on the 31 October 2006 edition of ECW on Sci Fi. Daivari beat "The Reject" Shannon Moore in a very quick match. Daivari's original theme music was used as well as his Persian rants on the microphone. Afterwards, Moore was manhandled by The Great Khali. Daivari continued his ECW winning streak over the next several weeks with The Great Khali usually following up the contest with a chokebomb on Daivari's opponent. At December to Dismember, Daivari got a victory over Tommy Dreamer following a roll-up. Dreamer then chased Daivari backstage; The Great Khali appeared and caught Dreamer, planting him on the steel ramp with a chokebomb.
On the 8 January episode of Raw, Jonathan Coachman announced that Khali had signed with Raw (without his manager Daivari), and would wrestle John Cena in the main event. Khali won by disqualification after Cena took a steel chair held by Armando Estrada and hit Khali with it. After the match, Khali chokeslammed Cena to the mat and left the ringside area, leaving Cena prone to an attack by Umaga.
On the 19 February edition of Raw, Khali demanded better competition after easily defeating The Highlanders. Four days later on SmackDown!, Khali interfered in a Falls Count Anywhere Money In The Bank qualifying match between Kane and King Booker. Khali cost Kane the match, leading to a feud which culminated in a match at WrestleMania 23. In his first appearance at WrestleMania, Khali defeated Kane at WrestleMania 23 after slamming him with the Khali Bomb. Right after the match, Khali choked Kane with a hook and chain.
World Heavyweight Champion (2007â"2008)
On the 30 April edition of Raw, Khali attacked Shawn Michaels, Edge, and Randy Orton (all three top contenders to the WWE Championship at the time) backstage. He 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 No. 1 contender's match for the WWE Championship at Judgment Day. At the event, Khali lost via submission for the first time ever, tapping out to John Cena's STFU. However, at Judgment Day, Khali's foot was under the rope when he tapped out, which went unnoticed by the referee. The next night on Raw, Khali expressed his outrage over the outcome via his newly established translator and manager, Ranjin Singh. At One Night Stand, Khali lost to John Cena after he was FU'd off a crane bed. This was the first time Khali had been pinned in a singles match.
On the 11 June edition of Raw, as part of the 2007 WWE Draft, Khali was drafted from Raw to SmackDown! as SmackDown!'s first draft pick. He began a feud with Dave Batista in July. The two were scheduled for a match at The Great American Bash, however, because Edge vacated the World Heavyweight Championship due to an injury, a twenty-man Battle Royal was held for the title on the 20 July edition of SmackDown!. 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 that same week at The Great American Bash. Khali then debuted a new finisher called the "Khali Vise Grip" which he used to wear down Ric Flair, Batista, and Kane. At SummerSlam, 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" making Mysterio the No. 1 contender. On the 7 September edition of SmackDown!, after Mysterio defeated Chavo Guerrero in an "I Quit" match, Khali applied his Vice Grip on Mysterio until Batista came to the rescue. After the assault, General Manager Theodore Long informed Khali that he would defend his World Heavyweight Championship against Rey Mysterio and Batista in a Triple Threat Match at Unforgiven, which he lost to Batista after receiving a spinebuster. Khali challenged Batista to a rematch in a Punjabi Prison Match at No Mercy 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. Khali participated in an Elimination Chamber match at No Way Out, which was won by The Undertaker. At WrestleMania XXIV, Khali participated in a twenty-four man battle royal to determine a challenger for ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero later that evening. He then had a short feud with Big Show, culminating in a match at Backlash, which Big Show won.
In July, Khali feuded with Triple H over his WWE Championship. On the 25 July edition of SmackDown!, Khali won a battle royal also involving Big Show, Jeff Hardy, Mr. Kennedy, Umaga and Montel Vontavious Porter, to earn the right to face Triple H at SummerSlam. At the event, Khali lost to Triple H after receiving a Pedigree. Khali was given another opportunity to win the WWE Championship, when he faced Jeff Hardy to gain entry into the Championship Scramble at Unforgiven. Triple H interfered in the Scramble qualification match, and aided Jeff Hardy with a chair shot to Khali, helping Hardy win and eliminating Khali from title contention.
Punjabi Playboy (2008â"2011)
On 3 October, daredevil Johnny Knoxville aired an interview with Khali and his translator on his website, www.jackassworld.com. When Knoxville asked about Khali's "taliwacker" Khali became upset and threatened to tip the interview table onto Knoxville. Khali later invited Knoxville to attend the 13 October episode of Raw, where Knoxville was attacked by Khali, WWE Diva Beth Phoenix, and Hornswoggle.
Khali then took on a more "fun" persona. He and Ranjin Singh hosted the weekly "Khali Kiss Cam", where Singh would summon ostensibly random women from the audience to kiss Khali.
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, in attempt to gain revenge and to stop Ziggler from cheating. Over the next few weeks, Khali lost to Ziggler by countout and disqualification after Ziggler made it look like Khali hit him with a steel chair. At The Bash, Khali lost to Ziggler by pinfall, after Kane returned and attacked Khali. It was later revealed that Ranjin Singh was Khali's brother. The feud with Kane resulted in matches at SummerSlam and Breaking Point, both of which Khali lost.
Khali required knee surgery, so Kane "assaulted" Khali 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 edition of Raw, as a judge for the "Raw's Got Talent" segment. He made his official return on the 14 December edition of Raw teaming with Kane and Christian to defeat William Regal, Ezekiel Jackson and Vladimir Kozlov.
On the 2 April edition of SmackDown, it was announced that Khali would take time off to spend time with his family and regroup his thoughts back in India. However, on the 19 April Raw, he made an appearance by teaming up with special guest host Will Forte (as MacGruber) in a 2-on-1 handicap match against Vladimir Kozlov, as "Khaluber" (Khali dressed as MacGruber). They won by intentional countout.
As part of the 2010 WWE Supplemental Draft, Khali and Ranjin Singh were both 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 John Morrison, Chris Jericho, Edge, R-Truth and Bret Hart to face The Nexus at SummerSlam. On the 9 August episode of Raw however, Khali was assaulted and injured by The Nexus, thus removing him from the match. Following the attack, Khali then took another hiatus to compete in Bigg Boss, in which he was the runner up on. He made his return at the 2011 Royal Rumble though he was eliminated shortly by Mason Ryan. On the 14 March episode of Raw, after Khali defeated The Miz by disqualification, Miz assaulted Khali with a steel chair, injuring him. Khali won an interbrand dark match battle royal at WrestleMania XXVII.
On 26 April, Khali was drafted to back to SmackDown as part of the 2011 Supplemental Draft. Khali returned on the 29 April edition of SmackDown, talking backstage with Jinder Mahal, who made his WWE debut that night. On the 2 May episode of Raw, Khali dressed up as the Tooth Fairy at The Rock's birthday party.
On the 6 May edition of SmackDown, Mahal, unimpressed by how Khali and Ranjin Singh have been partaking in childish activities instead of winning matches, confronted Singh about his mismanagement of Khali. Mahal then interrupted a Khali Kiss Cam segment the following week, slapping Khali twice. On the 20 May edition of SmackDown, Mahal interrupted Khali's match against Jey Uso, which lead to Khali leaving the ring to confront Mahal. Mahal then slapped Khali again, which made Khali re-enter the ring and defeat Jey Uso, and then assault Jimmy Uso after the match.
On the 27 May edition of SmackDown, after being defeated by Kane, Mahal came out and shoved Ranjin Singh. Khali then used his vice-grip on Singh, turning heel in the process and forming an alliance with Mahal. Khali from then on acted as Mahal's bodyguard, assaulting Mahal's opponent's after his matches. On the 1 July edition of SmackDown, Ranjin Singh revealed that Mahal was their brother-in-law and that if Khali didn't obey Mahal, then he would divorce Khali's sister and put his family back into poverty. On the 9 September edition of SmackDown, Khali and Mahal went against WWE Tag Team Champions Air Boom (Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston) in a losing effort after Khali pushed Mahal, allowing Kingston to hit his Trouble in Paradise finishing move onto Mahal. After the match, Khali walked away from Mahal, thus turning face again. On the 23 September edition of SmackDown, Khali defeated Mahal. On the 30 September episode of SmackDown, Khali was defeated by World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry. After the match Henry (kayfabe) fractured Khali's fibula with a steel chair.
Various alliances and final feuds (2012â"2014)
On 29 January 2012, Khali returned to WWE at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view 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. He returned on the 3 February episode of SmackDown, saving Justin Gabriel from Rhodes, Hunico, and Hunico's bodyguard Camacho. Later the same night, Khali was announced as the replacement to Mark Henry in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. At Elimination Chamber, Khali failed to capture the World Heavyweight Championship after being eliminated first by Big Show. On the 23 March edition of SmackDown, The Great Khali was added to Theodore Long's WrestleMania XXVIII team, however they were defeated by John Laurinaitis' team at the pay-per-view. In July, it was announced that Khali was undergoing surgery for a benign tumor found in his pituitary gland due to acromegaly. Khali returned at the SmackDown tapings on 16 October, in a match taped for WWE Saturday Morning Slam.
On the 26 December episode of WWE Main Event, Khali won a 20-man battle royal to become the number one contender to the United States Championship. Khali received his title shot the following week on the 2 January 2013 episode of Main Event, but was defeated by defending champion Antonio Cesaro. In late 2013, he 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. At Battleground, they were defeated by Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger. The Great Khali participated in the Royal Rumble match but was eliminated by The Shield.
At WrestleMania XXX, he competed in the AndrÃ© the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, but failed to win as it was won by Cesaro. Khali participated in the WWE Intercontinental Championship Battle Royal at Battleground, but the match was won by The Miz. On the October 31 episode of SmackDown, Khali was defeated by Rusev in what would be his final match in WWE. On 13 November 2014, Khali's contract expired and he left WWE.
Brian Ong incident
On 28 May 2001, Brian Ong died after receiving a flapjack from Singh. Ong had suffered a previous concussion during the session, 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. This second concussion ultimately proved fatal for him. As Singh inadvertently caused his death, Ong's family brought a lawsuit against APW. APW was found liable for recklessness after less than a day of deliberations, awarding the Ong family for 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".
Khali is a Hindu, and 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.
Singh suggested the ring name "The Great Khali" after the Hindu goddess Kali, who is associated with eternal energy.
Singh's training schedule consists of two hours of weight training, morning and evening, every day. Singh's diet is unclear as in some interviews it is claimed he maintains his size on a vegetarian diet, and in other interviews it is claimed he consumes vast quantities of chicken. He has however clarified that he loves vegetarian food but also consumes meat.
On 26 July 2012, it was reported that Dalip underwent a brain surgery due to a tumor on his pituitary gland.
- Finishing moves
- Punjabi Plunge/Khali Bomb (Two-handed chokeslam) â" 2006â"2014
- Khali Chop (Brain chop)
- Vise Grip (Two-handed clawhold) â" 2007â"2012
- Signature moves
- Big boot, sometimes to an oncoming opponent
- Military press drop
- Nerve hold
- Repeated back elbow strikes to a cornered opponent
- Scoop slam
- Shortâ"arm clothesline
- Slap to a cornered opponent's chest, sometimes onto a charging or diving opponent
- Masahiro Chono
- Ranjin Singh
- Jinder Mahal
- Theodore Long
- "The Punjabi Monster"
- "The Punjabi Nightmare"
- "The Punjabi Playboy"
- "The Punjabi Titan"
- "The Prince of the Land of Five Rivers" (2009)
- Entrance themes
- "Da.ngr" by Jim Johnston (2006â"2008; 2011)
- "Land of Five Rivers" by Panjabi MC (2008â"2011; 2012â"2014)
- "Main Yash Hun V2" by Jim Johnston (2011; with Jinder Mahal)
Championships and accomplishments
- New Japan Pro Wrestling
- Teisen Hall Six-Man Tournament (2002) â" with Masahiro Chono and Giant Silva
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #83 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2008
- World Wrestling Entertainment
- World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Slammy Award for "Damn!" Moment of the Year (2008) Khali Kiss Cam
- Dave Meltzer#Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Most Overrated (2007)
- Worst Gimmick (2008)
- WWE Profile
- The Great Khali at the Internet Movie Database