The Great Khali is a retired professional wrestler, promoter, actor, ex-Punjab Police official, bodybuilder, and trainer. He is the first Indian-origin wrestler to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2021.
- 1 Wiki/Biography
- 2 Physical Appearance
- 3 Family
- 4 Religion
- 5 Caste/Community
- 6 Citizenship/Nationality
- 7 Signature
- 8 Career
- 8.1 Wrestler
- 8.1.1 All Pro Wrestling (APW)
- 8.1.2 World Championship Wrestling (WCW)
- 8.1.3 New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW)
- 8.1.4 Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) & All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW)
- 8.1.5 World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
- 8.1.6 Continental Wrestling Entertainment (CWE)
- 8.1.7 Signature/Finishing Moves
- 8.2 Actor
- 8.1 Wrestler
- 9 Controversies
- 10 Awards, Honours, Achievements
- 11 Bike Collection
- 12 Car Collection
- 13 Salary/Income
- 14 Net Worth
- 15 Assets/Properties
- 16 Favourites
- 17 Facts/Trivia
The Great Khali aka Dalip Singh Rana was born on Sunday, 27 August 1972 (age 51 years; as of 2024) in Dhiraina village of Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh, India. His zodiac sign is Virgo. He used to attend the local village school and faced problems studying the alphabet, particularly the Hindi alphabet. In 1979, when he was studying in second standard, his parents were unable to pay the annual school fee, Rs 2.50, his class teacher abused him in front of the class after which he dropped out of school and never pursued any sort of formal education again. When he was eight, he got his first job which included carrying a bag of plant saplings from a downhill location to the village located on the top of the village for which he earned his first salary of Rs 5. He was 5 feet tall at the age of 8 years.
He later got a contract job with the help of a distant relative named Gyar Singh (whom Khali called Tau meaning elder paternal uncle) in which he earned Rs 7 per day; the job was picking soft pebbles (Rohdi in Himachali dialect) from a nearby river and carrying them to the market. In 1981, he got a 3-months contract job at a road construction company outside his village where he earned Rs 15 per day. He also worked as a stone crusher and later got a job as a bodyguard of a businessman who owned many restaurants in Shimla and earned a salary of Rs 1500.
Mehal Singh Bhullar, a retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer who also served as the Director General of the Punjab Police, spotted him in Shimla and helped him to get a job in the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) in 1993 where he was initially posted in Jalandhar.
He later tried his hands in different sports such as basketball, shotput throw, discus throw, and bodybuilding; however, he could not play any sports for long due to physical complications. He later started training in wrestling and became a wrestler.
Height (approx.): 7′ 1″
Weight (approx.): 150 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Body Measurements (approx.): Chest 63″, Waist 47″, Biceps 25″
He belonged to a middle-class family of Himachali origin.
Parents & Siblings
His father, Jwala Ram, was a farmer, and his mother, Tundi Devi, was a housewife who died at a hospital in Ludhiana due to multi-organ failure on 20 June 2021. He is third among seven siblings and has two younger brothers named Inder Singh and Mangat Singh Rana.
Wife & Children
He married, Harminder Kaur (named Harpinder in Khali’s autobiography), a graduate of Delhi University, on 27 February 2002; theirs was an arranged marriage fixed by their families. His daughter, Avleen Rana, was born on 25 February 2014, and his son, Samrat Rana, was born on 13 November 2023.
He has a brother-in-law (his wife’s brother) named Harkirat Harry who works in Punjab Police and is married to Karina Kainth.
He follows Hinduism. Reportedly, he was a disciple of Ashutosh Maharaj and also visited ISKCON temples.
He belongs to the Rajput community.
He became a US citizen on 20 February 2014.
All Pro Wrestling (APW)
In October 2000, he started competing as a professional wrestler in the All Pro Wrestling based in Hayward, California under the ring name Giant Singh. He competed in the promotion till 2001.
World Championship Wrestling (WCW)
He trained at World Championship Wrestling for eight months in 2001 after moving to San Francisco.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW)
In 2001, he started competing in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and wrestled in various tournaments till 2002.
Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) & All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW)
He competed in the Mexican promotion Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre and the Japanese promotion All Japan Pro Wrestling between 2002 and 2006.
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
He signed a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment on 2 January 2006 after which he wrestled in Deep South Wrestling (DSW) for an initial couple of months. He first appeared on SmackDown on 7 April 2006 with his manager Daivari and attacked The Undertaker during his match against Mark Henry.
On 14 April 2006, Daivari introduced him to WWE fans as The Great Khali, and he fought his first WWE match on 21 April 2006 against Funaki which he won. He later defeated Rey Mysterio in a squash match and won many matches against several other wrestlers.
He lost his first WWE match on 18 August 2006 against The Undertaker. In January 2007, he moved to RAW where he fought against several popular wrestlers such as John Cena and Shawn Michaels. In May 2007, he introduced his new manager Ranjin Singh.
World Heavyweight Champion
On 20 July 2007, he won his first World Heavyweight Championship after winning the 20-man Battle Royal.
On 16 September 2007, he lost in a triple-threat match against Batista and Rey Mysterio after remaining the Champion for 61 days. He later tried to win the Championship during the Punjabi Prison match against Batista but failed.
During Wrestlemania 24 on 30 March 2008, he competed in a 24-man Battle Royal but failed to emerge as the winner. In October 2008, he started hosting the Khali Kiss Cam, particularly a kiss with the WWE wrestler Beth Phoenix, which helped him to become a fan favourite who gave him the nickname The Punjabi Playboy. He later fought in many matches against Dolph Ziggler, Jinder Mahal, Edge, and Kofi Kingston.
In Royal Rumble 25 in January 2012, he fought in the Royal Rumble, and he was eliminated by Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler. Khali was defeated by Cesaro during the United States Championship match on 2 January 2013.
He lost the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal in Wrestlemania 30 on 6 April 2014. When his contract expired on 30 November 2014, he left WWE and returned to India; however, he has continued making occasional appearances in WWE such as The Greatest Royal Rumble Match in 2018.
Continental Wrestling Entertainment (CWE)
He opened his own wrestling promotion and school in Jalandhar, Punjab in February 2015 and named it Continental Wrestling Entertainment. He won the CWE World Heavyweight Championship in February 2016. At CWE, he produced many popular wrestlers such as Shanky and Kavita Devi who later fought in WWE as well. Reportedly, CWE is the largest professional wrestling promotion in India and has more than 4 million (40 Lakh) YouTube subscribers with around 1.5 billion views.
His signature moves include Big Boot, Head butt, Brain chop, Nerve hold, Short-arm clothesline, Forehand chop, and Spin kick. His finishing moves are Punjabi Plunge (also known as Khali Bomb) and Vice Grip.
He made his Hollywood debut with the role of Turley in The Longest Yard in 2005 which featured Adam Sandler and Chris Rock and other WWE wrestlers such as Bill Goldberg, Steve Austin ‘Stone Cold’, and Kevin Nash. He appeared in Get Smart (2008) and MacGruber (2010).
In 2010, he made his Bollywood debut by playing the role of a wrestler named Dalip Singh Rana in Kushti which also starred Rajpal Yadav, Nargis Bagheri, and Sharat Saxena in the lead roles. He also appeared in Ramaa: The Saviour in 2010.
He appeared as Bolo/Petite Voix in the Franco-Belgian CGI animated/live-action comedy film Houba! On the Trail of the Marsupilami (Original title: Sur la piste du Marsupilami) in 2012. In 2021, he appeared in the trailer of the Malayalam film Minnal Murali. He appeared in the Bangladeshi film MR-9: Do or Die in 2023.
He made his Hindi TV debut with the 4th season of the reality show Bigg Boss in 2010 which was broadcast on Colors TV; a special custom bed was made for him due to his huge size, and he reportedly earned around Rs 50 lakh per week. He has also appeared as a guest in several TV shows such as Aap Ki Adalat and The Kapil Sharma Show.
He made his debut in the English TV industry with the role of Rajiv in Outsourced in 2011 which was aired on NBC network. He appeared as Atog The Giant in Pair of Kings in 2012, broadcast on Disney XD.
Causing a wrestler’s death
Khali trained in All Pro Wrestling (APW) in 2001 under his ring name Giant Singh. When he was training with a wrestler named Brian Ong on 28 May 2001, he hit him with a flapjack wrestling move due to which Ong died. Ong’s family filed a case against APW and was given a compensation of around $1.3 million.
Involved in a shooting
In January 2011, he visited the house of the Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Satpal Gosain, when people gathered outside Gosain’s house to click selfies. According to one source, when the group of people started asking Khali for selfies, he got angry after which his bodyguards fired several rounds of bullets due to which a few people got injured, and as per police inspector Surinder Mohan, an unknown person fired an aerial shot due to which two people got injured. Some people from the crowd also pelted stones at his car.
Land Grab Case
Khali bought a 16-acre piece of land in Gujjar Colony near Badripur, Poanta Sahib, Himachal Pradesh in January 2011 to construct a wrestling academy. In October 2011, a local person named Rakesh Kumar filed a complaint against Khali for land encroachment and said that his 2.5 bigha land also fell in the land bought by Khali.
Admitted to ICU
In February 2016, two wrestlers named Mike Knox and Brody Steel beat Khali up with chairs during a match in the Continental Wrestling Entertainment (CWE) at Haldwani due to which he had to be airlifted to a hospital in Dehradun where he had 7 stitches to his head.
Dispute over biography royalty
In March 2018, Vinit Kumar Bansal, co-writer of Khali’s autobiography, filed a case against him and accused of selling his autobiography rights to a film producer without informing or giving Bansal a 30% royalty as per his contract. Khali denied Bansal’s claims and said that Bansal owed him money from the sales of his autobiography.
Complaint in Election Commission
Before the 2019 General Elections, Khali campaigned for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate for the Jadavpur constituency, Anupam Hazra, after which Trinamool Congress (TMC) complained against him in the Election Commission of India (ECI) and wrote in its letter that Khali was not an Indian citizen and BJP was using him to misguide Indian voters. Khali replied that he was an old friend of Hazra and would campaign for him anywhere in India.
Slapping a toll booth employee
On 11 July 2022, Khali was going from Jalandhar, Punjab to Karnal, Haryana when he got into a fight with toll booth operators of the Ladhowal Toll Plaza in Phillaur. The toll booth staff alleged that Khali slapped one of the operators when he asked for the ID card and also tried to forcibly remove the barricades.
Khali took to Instagram to share his side of the story and claimed that the toll booth operator asked him for a selfie in a rude manner and when Khali denied it, he started abusing him. A police case was filed against Khali by the toll booth staff after which Khali also filed a complaint against the toll booth staff.
Stones pelted at his car
On 27 September 2022, The Great Khali went to the Ice Cream market in the Nilokheri near Karnal with his family as he was in Karnal at his academy. His driver brought ice cream for him which he was eating with his family in his Toyota Fortuner SUV when a few men started asking him for a selfie; however, he ignored their requests. Those men got angry and started hitting the windows of Khali’s Fortuner and also pelted stones at his SUV.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- Teisen Hall Six-Man Tournament (Masahiro Chono and Giant Silva) in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) in 2002
- Ranked No. 83 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 in 2008
- Named ‘Most Overrated Wrestler’ in 2007 and ‘Worst Gimmick by a Wrestler’ in 2008 in Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- World Heavyweight Championship & Royal Rumble Winner in 2007
- Slammy Award for Damn! Moment of the Year in 2008
- Pride in World Wrestling Champion Award at Stardust Achievers Award 2017 Dubai
- Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2021) in 2021
- Continental Wrestling Entertainment (CWE) Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
He owns several bikes such as Royal Enfield Bullet 350 and Hero Splendor motorcycles.
He owns many cars including the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Ford Endeavour SUV, Toyota Fortuner SUV, and Toyota Land Cruiser 300 SUV.
In 2023, The Great Khali earned around $2.2 million from various advertisements for brands such as Ambuja cement.
Khali’s net worth in 2023 was reported around $6 million (Rs 49 crore).
The Great Khali owns several properties in India and other countries. He owns a house in Atlanta, USA and a house in his village Dhiraina in Himachal Pradesh and Jalandhar in Punjab.
- IPL Team: Punjab Kings (previously Kings XI Punjab)
- Hollywood Actor: Adam Sandler
- The Great Khali has often called childhood an unusual one as he did several odd jobs, starting at the age of 8. When he used to pick pebbles from the river as an 8-year-old child, he only had one kurta and one underwear (he wore Kacha, a type of underwear worn with a thread to hold it). One day, the thread broke off due to which his underwear came off, and his colleagues started making fun of him. He could not afford any other underwear and paid 50 paise to get the thread sewn off.
- When Khali worked in a road construction company in Shimla at the age of 10, he was promised a daily salary of Rs 15 for the 3-month contract period. At the end of 3 months, he was paid only Rs 460 instead of Rs 1250, hence he felt cheated and went to the contractor the next day along with his father and two other people from his village. Initially, the contractor refused to pay any money and started abusing them; however, he later paid Rs 600 after Khali and other people threatened to beat him up. According to Khali, this incident taught him that one should stand up for himself when things go wrong.
- The Great Khali joined the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) as a constable in 1993 and later became a sub-inspector.
- He won the bodybuilding competition Mr India twice in 1995 and 1996. His first bodybuilding coach was Dr Randhir Hastir who died in February 2016.
- When the Great Khali entered WWE, he was suggested many names which included Big Bheema from the Bheem of Mahabharata and Shiva which were rejected to not offend Hindu sentiments. Later, The Great Khali name was finalised for him based on the Hindu Goddess Kali.
- Khali’s enormous growth has been attributed to a condition named Acromegaly which is responsible for his size and chin. The famous WWE wrestler Andre The Giant also suffered from Acromegaly; however, he died young at the age of 46 due to the complications caused due to this condition. In July 2012, the growth-inducing tumour on Khali’s pituitary gland was removed in surgery to stop from developing any complications.
- Reportedly, Khali once had a real fight with the WWE wrestler Big Show backstage as Big Show was unhappy with Khali for using his move. They had a short fight before other wrestlers separated them.
- In February 2017, he released his autobiography The Man Who Became Khali which he co-wrote with Vinit Kumar Bansal.
- He has been associated with several social projects of different state governments of India. In May 2018, he became the brand ambassador of Plastic-free Himachal Pradesh which aimed to reduce the use of plastic bags.
- It has been reported that Khali eats around 60-70 eggs (only egg whites) every day which he divides into 3 meals during the day. He also eats 2 kg chicken and drinks 2 kg milk daily to maintain his physique. He likes eating a lot of fruits such as figs and drinking juices to fulfil protein requirements. He avoids fast food such as tea, coffee, bread, and biscuits. He also likes Indian home-cooked food such as dal with rice and sarso ka saag with makki ki roti.
- He has a very strict workout routine as he exercises in the gym for 6 days with a rest day on Saturday. He does traditional exercises such as squats, leg presses, shoulder presses, and bench presses to tone his chest, shoulders, abs, and legs.
- On 10 February 2022, he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said that he joined BJP as he liked the policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and considered them nationalistic.
- In October 2022, he opened a roadside hotel named The Great Khali Dhaba in Karnal, Haryana. The restaurant is situated inside the ‘Great Khali Academy’ in Karnal which is spread over an area of 10 acres and has a fitness Centre, gymnasium, sports complex, and wrestling enclave.
- He is famous for his videos on social media, particularly Instagram. His fans also comment very hilarious things on his pots which have made him quite viral from time to time.
- Although his parents were not very tall, his father once said in an interview that Khali’s grandfather was very tall with a height of more than 6′ 6″.
- In an interview, Khali said that he is a very good cook and can cook almost any Indian dish.
- He claimed in an interview that he lives a very spiritual life, does meditation every day, and does not consume tobacco or alcohol.
- He has talked about instances of racism faced during his time in WWE and other wrestling promotions and said that initially, he used to get bothered; however, he later developed a tough skin to such comments.
- His entrance theme song during WWE was Land of Five Rivers, composed by Panjabi MC and music by Jim Johnston.
- The Great Khali often faces difficulty in travelling and with the clothes and shoes of his size. He said in an interview that he always has to fly business class as he could not fit into economy class. He has a special tailor and shoemaker as his shoe size is 18.
- He has been featured in many WWE video games, most of them as a downloadable character. His toys have also been sold by WWE.