Dalip Singh Rana (August 27, 1972) better known by his ring name The Great Khali, is an Indian professional wrestler, actor, and former powerlifter. Khali was born in Himachal Pradesh, India on 27 August 1972. He won the Mr. India title in both 1995 and 1996. He is best known for his time in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Before embarking on his professional wrestling career, he was a police officer in the Punjab state police.
Under the ring name Giant Singh, Dalip 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 (2001–2002)
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 2½ 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.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2006–2014)
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.
Feud with The Undertaker (2006)
With Daivari as his manager, the unnamed Singh debuted on WWE television on the April 7, 2006 episode of SmackDown!, attacking The Undertaker and leaving defenseless during his match with Mark Henry, and thus causing a no-contest. The next week he was introduced as The Great Khali. Daivari explained that he now finally had a client that would destroy The Undertaker (after Muhammed Hassan and Mark Henry had previously failed). Khali made his in-ring debut on the April 21 edition of SmackDown!, defeating Funaki.
On the May 12 edition of SmackDown!, Khali was John "Bradshaw" Layfield's hand-picked opponent against World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio. Khali had a height advantage of two feet 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 would end up losing to The Undertaker despite interference from Khali. After he was medically cleared, Khali would be 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.
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 January 8 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 February 19 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 would culminate with 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.
On the April 30 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 May 20 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 would be the first time that The Great Khali had ever been pinned in a singles match.
Return to Smackdown!, and World Heavyweight Title Reign (2007–2008)
On the June 11 edition of Raw, as part of the 2007 WWE Draft, Khali was drafted from Raw to SmackDown! as SmackDown!'s first draft pick. He would soon enter 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 July 20 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 September 7 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 be defending his World Heavyweight Championship against both Rey Mysterio and Batista in a Triple Threat Match at Unforgiven, which Khali 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 a 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 in which the winner would receive a title match against the ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero later that evening. Kane won the battle royal and went on to win the title. Khali then began a short feud with Big Show. The feud culminated with a match at Backlash where Big Show emerged victorious.
In July, Khali feuded with Triple H over his WWE Championship. On the July 25 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.
Face turn (2008–2014)
On October 3, daredevil Johnny Knoxville aired a segment on www.jackassworld.com interviewing Khali with his translator. When Knoxville asked about Khali's "taliwacker" Khali was upset and threatened to tip the interview table onto Knoxville. Khali later invited Knoxville to attend the October 13 episode of Raw, where Knoxville was attacked by both Khali and WWE Diva Beth Phoenix.
Khali grew to take on a more "fun" persona; he and Ranjin Singh began hosting 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. In 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. Shortly there after, it was revealed that, in the context of a storyline, Ranjin Singh is Khali's (kayfabe) brother. The feud with Kane resulted in a match at SummerSlam, where Kane defeated Khali after Kane used Singh as a distraction, and performed a running DDT to Khali. Then Khali lost to Kane again at the first ever WWE Breaking Point event.
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 November 2 edition of Raw, as a judge for the "Raw's Got Talent" segment. He made his official return on the December 14th edition of Raw teaming with Kane and Christian to defeat William Regal, Ezekiel Jackson and Vladimir Kozlov.
On the April 2 edition on SmackDown he announced that he would be out of wrestling for an undefined amount of time as he needed to spend time with his family and regroup his thoughts back in India. On the April 19 edition on Raw, he made an appearance by teaming up with special guest host MacGruber in a 2-on-1 handicap match against Vladimir Kozlov as "Khaluber" (Khali dressed as MacGruber) which they won by intentional count-out.
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 August 9th edition 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 India's show Bigg Boss in which he was the 1st runner up. He made his return at the 2011 Royal Rumble though he was eliminated shortly by Mason Ryan. On the March 14 episode of Raw, after Khali defeated The Miz by disqualification, Miz would assault Khali with a steel chair, which resulted in Khali suffering an injury. Khali won an interbrand dark match battle royal at WrestleMania XXVII.
Heel Run with Jinder Mahal and departure (2011)
On April 26, Khali was drafted to back to SmackDown as part of the 2011 Supplemental Draft. Khali returned on the April 29 edition of SmackDown, talking backstage with Jinder Mahal, who made his WWE debut that night. On the May 2 episode of Raw, Khali dressed up as the Tooth Fairy at The Rock's birthday party.
On the May 6 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 May 20 edition of SmackDown, Mahal interrupted Khali's match against Jey Uso, which lead to Khali leaving the ring to confront Mahal. Mahal would then slap Khali again, which made Khali re-enter the ring and defeat Jey Uso, and then assault Jimmy Uso after the match.
On the May 27 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 July 1 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 September 9 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 would walk away from Mahal, thus, turning face again. Khali would face Mahal on the September 23 edition of SmackDown, in which he successfully beat Mahal.
On the September 30 episode of SmackDown, Khali faced World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry, but kayfabe suffered a fractured fibula. A few days later, following his contract with WWE is set to expire, Khali left WWE and returned to India to continue his career as an actor.
On January 29, 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. Khali would then face 5 other competitors in an Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at the WWE Elimination Chamber 2012 pay-per-view but would be eliminated first by Big Show. Sources within WWE are thinking of turning Khali into a monster heel again like his debut in 2006 and have him battle Kane in a rematch from Wrestlemania 23 and Summerslam 2009. Khali would later be added in "Team Teddy" with Ryder and mascot Hornswoggle and would be facing "Team Johnny" at Wrestlemania 28.
Punjabi Playboy (2012–2014)
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. Khali finally returned to television on the 2 November episode of SmackDown, defeating David Otunga. On the 16 November episode of SmackDown, Khali competed in his first main event in years, losing to World Heavyweight Champion Big Show in a non-title match.
On the December 7 episode of Smackdown, Natalya accompanied Khali and Hornswoggle in a winning effort over Primo and Epico . On the 26 December episode of WWE Main Event, Khali won a 20-man battle royal to become the number one contender to the WWE 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. On the 11 January episode of Smackdown, Khali and Natalya accompanied by Hornswoggle lost to Dolph Ziggler, AJ Lee in a mixed tag team match, where after the match Khali and Hornswoggle were assaulted by Big E. Langston.
On the August 21 episode of Main Event, Khali and Hornswoggle wrestled a winning match against the team of Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro. During the opening half-hour of the September 13 episode of Smackdown, Khali made an impromptu appearance, joining a dance contest between The Miz, R-Truth and Fandango, ultimately won by The Miz.
On November 13, 2014, Khali's contract expired and WWE didn't renew it.
Second Return (2017-Present)
On July 23, 2017, The Great Khali returned to the WWE at SmackDown's Battleground Pay Per View in the last moments of the Punjabi prison main event match between Randy Orton and defending WWE Champion Jinder Mahal where he climbed it, choking Orton who was about to escape, allowed Jinder Mahal to climb up the prison and win the match, in the process, retaining his WWE Championship.
Due to Mahal being a heel, Khali's new affiliation with him made him one as well.
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. It was confirmed by WWE.com mid April that Khali would appear on Disney Channel TV program Pair of Kings as Atog, a rock smashing giant who appears in the episode "Fight School".
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.
Khali is an extremely religious person. He meditates every day and does not consume alcohol, drugs, tobacco, caffeine or meat. Contrary to popular belief, Singh has not suffered from gigantism or acromegaly. He trains four hours a day, and says he is grateful for the opportunities life has given him. Singh married Harminder Kaur on 27 February 2002. Singh suggested the ringname "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 his diet constantly changes. He owns a hummer, due to his size.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Big boot, sometimes to an oncoming opponent
- Delayed scoop slam
- Khali Chop (Brain chop
- Leg drop
- Nerve hold
- Repeated back elbow strikes to a cornered opponent
- Short–arm clothesline
- Slap to a cornered opponent's chest, sometimes onto a charging or diving opponent
- Spin kick to an oncoming opponent
- "The Punjabi Nightmare"
- "The Punjabi Playboy"
- "The Punjabi Titan"
- "The Prince of the Land of Five Rivers"
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- New Japan Pro Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #83 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2008
- World Wrestling Entertainment
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- The Longest Yard (2005) as Turley
- Get Smart (2008) as Dalip
- MacGruber (2010) as Tug Phelps
- Kushti (2010) as Himself
- Ramaa: The Saviour (2010) as Vali
- The A-Team (2010) as Chop Shop Guy (scene cut from theatrical release)
- Detonation (2012) as Gatling Gunner