Who is The Great Khali?
Indian-American retired professional wrestler Dalip Singh Rana – aka The Great Khali – was born in Dhiraina, Himachal Pradesh, India, on 27 August 1972, making Virgo his zodiac sign. He’s probably known best for the time which he spent signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and for becoming the first WWE World Heavyweight Champion from India; The Great Khali became a legend in India after being crowned a WWE Champion, and was in 2021 inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Education and early life
The Great Khali was raised in a Rajput family in Sirmaur, by his mother Tandi Devi and father Jwala Ram; he has six siblings, and their parents struggled to provide for them all.
The Great Khali was born with acromegaly, which is a disorder that leads to overgrowth of certain body parts. He studied at a local high school, and was mostly into sports during his time there, playing cricket, soccer and wrestling.
The Great Khali matriculated in 1990 and then found work to financially support himself, rather than to pursue a college degree.
The Great Khali became a security guard in Shimla upon completing his high school education, and was noticed by a police officer who had previously aided several officers to become international athletes; he offered him a job, and The Great Khali thus joined the Punjab Police in 1993. He took wrestling lessons in the following three years, prior to moving to the US and training at a special gym for wrestlers.
It was in 2000 that The Great Khali signed a contract with All Pro Wrestling, and chose ‘Giant Singh’ as his ring name; his first match was in October 2000, when he and Tony Jones teamed up against the West Side Playaz.
The following year saw The Great Khali move to San Francisco, California and sign with World Championship Wrestling (WCW), spending close to a year there before the wrestling promotion was purchased by World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
He signed a contract with New Japan Pro-Wrestling in 2021, and was teamed up with Giant Silva, with them becoming the tallest tag team in the history of the sport, as their average height was 7ft 1ins (2.15m) and their combined weight 800lbs (360kgs). They called themselves ‘Club 7’, and defeated four wrestlers at their first match in October 2001; The Great Khali’s first tag team defeat was when he lost to Hiroyoshi Tenzan at the Wrestling World 2002 in January, while he lost again two months later, this time to Manabu Nakanishi.
From 2002 through 2006, The Great Khali was signed to Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (Mexican promotion) and All Japan Pro Wrestling.
He became the first Indian wrestler to sign a contract with WWE on 2 January 2006, and was assigned to their promotion Deep South Wrestling, wrestling under his real name for a while. Dara Shawn Daivari was The Great Khali’s manager, and he made his debut on the 7 April episode of SmackDown!, when he attacked The Undertaker and thus became a villain. It was a week later that ‘The Great Khali’ was revealed as his ring name, and he wrestled his first in-ring opponent on 21 April, defeating Funaki.
He defeated World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio on 12 May 2006, and then The Undertaker on 21 May; he lost his first match in August of the same year, to The Undertaker.
The Great Khali was then transferred to Extreme Championship Wrestling, defeating ‘The Reject’ Shannon Moore on 31 October 2006, and was signed to Raw on 8 January 2007.
He won his first Raw match against John Cena, as John was disqualified after hitting The Great Khali with a steel chair; he then lost to John on 20 May 2007, tapping out to his signature move STFU. He became the World Heavyweight Champion on 20 July 2007, after winning the 20-man Battle Royal.
Celebrate The @greatkhali's birthday with these photos of the towering #WWE Hall of Famer! #HappyBirthdayKhali
📸: https://t.co/xmJqX008j0 pic.twitter.com/nndfCMPhQG
— WWE India (@WWEIndia) August 27, 2021
The Great Khali lost to Dolph Ziggler in May 2009, and then again on 28 June; he then took some time off to spend with his family, and returned to India; he eventually entered the 2011 Royal Rumble, but lost to Mason Ryan. The Great Khali was then defeated by Kane on 27 May, while he won against Mahal on 23 September.
His contract with WWE expired on 13 November 2014, and The Great Khali chose not to re-sign; he’s since returned for two guest appearances on WWE, on 23 July 2017 and 27 April 2018.
Since February 2015, The Great Khali’s been running his own wrestling promotion Continental Wrestling Entertainment (CWE) in Jalandhar, Punjab, India; its first event was held on 12 December 2015, while he became its World Heavyweight Champion in February 2016. CWE is today the largest wrestling promotion in India.
Love life and wife
The Great Khali’s today a married man, but many people aren’t familiar with his wife and her career achievements. He and Indian non-celebrity Harminder Kaur exchanged vows on 27 February 2002, two years after their families had set them up on a blind date; she was born on 12 January 1972, and graduated from Delhi University with a Bachelor’s degree in 1994, while she earned her Master’s degree from the University of Alcala (Spain) in 1996.
Harminder gave birth to their daughter Avleen Rana in February 2014.
Neither has spoken of other people whom they’ve perhaps dated, The Great Khali’s married to Harminder Kaur as of April 2023, and they have a daughter together.
Interesting facts and hobbies
The Great Khali’s an Instagram star, as more than 5.2 million people are following him on the network today, while he’s posted close to 5,400 pictures and videos, with most being related to wrestling.
He exercises with weights for two hours, every morning and evening, every day; The Great Khali’s revealed that he loves to eat vegetarian food, but also eats chicken on a daily basis.
He underwent surgery on 26 July 2012, to remove a brain tumor.
The Great Khali became a US citizen on 20 February 2014.
Although it was initially believed that he chose his ring name after the Hindu goddess Kali, The Great Khali’s revealed that his ring name was chosen for him by WWE.
He’s deeply religious, as he meditates on a daily basis, doesn’t smoke tobacco nor drink alcohol.
The Great Khali’s favorite actor and wrestler is Hulk Hogan, while some of his favorite movies include “Mr. Nanny”, “Assault on Devil’s Island” and “Assault on Death Mountain”.
Height, eyes and wealth
The Great Khali’s age is 50. His hair and eyes are brown, he’s 7ft 1in (2.15m) tall and weighs around 350lbs (157kgs).
The Great Khali’s net worth’s been estimated at over $6 million, as of April 2023.