Dalip Singh Rana (Punjabi: ਦਲੀਪ ਸਿੰਘ ਰਾਨਾ) better known by his ring name The Great Khali, is an Indian professional wrestler, actor, and former powerlifter who won Mr. India in 1995 and 1996. He is currently signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on its SmackDown brand. Before embarking on his professional wrestling career, he was a police officer in the Punjab state police.
In WWE, Singh is a one-time World Heavyweight Champion, and has appeared in the films The Longest Yard (2005) and Get Smart (2008).
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–present)
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 7 April 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 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 chokeslamed 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 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 via his translator over the outcome. 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! (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.
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–present)
On 3 October 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 the Ruthless Roundtable.
He would then form a tag team with Matt Hardy the two lost in a fatal 4 way number 1 contender match for the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship the would go on to defeat The Hart Dynasty the following week , On the January 29th edition of WWE Superstars Khali threw Hardy out of the ring to establish that it is every man for himself at Royal Rumble 2010.
Championships and accomplishments
New Japan Pro Wrestling
Teisen Hall Six-Man Tournament (2002)–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)
Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
Most Overrated (2007)
Worst Gimmick (2008)
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.
Singh was born to Jwala Ram (father) and Tandi Devi (mother); he is one of seven siblings–Inder Singh and Mangat Singh Rana. Singh married Harminder Kaur on 27 February 2002. He says he abhors tobacco and alcohol.
Singh suggested the ringname "The Great Khali" after the Hindu goddess Kali, who is associated with eternal energy. Although his parents are of normal stature, his grandfather was well over 6 ft 6 inches.
Singh’s training schedule consists of two hours of weight training, morning and evening, every day. Maintaining his size requires a strict daily dietary regimen: one gallon of milk, five chickens and two dozen eggs, along with chapatis, juice and fruit.