The Great Khali Biography

(Indian Professional Wrestler and Actor)

Birthday: August 27, 1972 (Virgo)

Born In: Dhiraina, Himachal Pradesh, India

The Great Khali is the ring name of Dalip Singh Rana, who is an Indian American professional wrestler, actor, and promoter. He is presently affiliated with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). In a career spanning 17 years, he has used several ring names, the most prominent of which is ‘The Great Khali. Coming from a humble background, Rana initially did some odd jobs to make the ends meet before becoming an officer with the ‘Punjab State Police’. He began to workout at the local gym in his leisure time and honed his wrestling skills. He travelled to the US for specialised wrestling training and for better opportunities. With a 2.16 m frame, he soon caught the attention of multiple promotions. He was initially trained by the California-based promotion ‘All Pro Wrestling’ (APW) and accumulated further experience by working for the ‘World Championship Wrestling’ (WCW) and ‘New Japan Pro-Wrestling’ (NJPW). His debut on WWE television came about in 2006, making him the first-ever Indian-born professional wrestler to do so. During his first run with the promotion that lasted till 2014, he wrestled and beat the likes of The Undertaker, Big Show, and John Cena. In 2017, he made his WWE return on the ‘SmackDown’ Pay-per-view event, ‘Battleground’.
Quick Facts

Indian Celebrities Born In August

Also Known As: Dalip Singh Rana

Age: 51 Years, 51 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Harminder Kaur (m. 2002)

father: Jwala Ram

mother: Tandi Devi

WWE Wrestlers Indian Men

Height: 7'1" (216 cm), 7'1" Males

Ancestry: Indian American

  • 1

    What is The Great Khali's finishing move?

    The Great Khali's finishing move is the devastating maneuver known as the Khali Vice Grip or Khali Claw.
  • 2

    Has The Great Khali ever won a world championship in WWE?

    Yes, The Great Khali won the World Heavyweight Championship in WWE in 2007.
  • 3

    What is The Great Khali's signature taunt or gesture in the wrestling ring?

    The Great Khali's signature taunt involves raising his massive hand in the air to intimidate his opponents.
  • 4

    How did The Great Khali get his start in professional wrestling?

    The Great Khali was discovered by WWE officials in India and was trained in their developmental system before making his debut on the main roster.
  • 5

    What notable feuds did The Great Khali have during his WWE career?

    The Great Khali had memorable feuds with wrestlers such as The Undertaker, John Cena, and Batista during his time in WWE.
Childhood & Early Life
Dalip Singh Rana was born on August 27, 1972, in Dhiraina, a small village in Sirmour district in Himachal Pradesh, India, to parents Jwala Ram and Tandi Devi. They have six other children beside him.
He grew up with little education and had to support his family from an early age. He worked as a roadside labourer for a time and then relocated to Shimla to serve as a security guard. Here he was noticed by Punjab’s former police chief Mahal Singh Bhullar, who is renowned for helping several players from Punjab Police attain international recognition. He offered Rana a job with the Punjab Police.
Though at first reluctant to leave his home state, Rana accepted the job in 1993 when his brother was also offered a similar one. They moved to Jalandhar together, and Rana took up wrestling which he practised at the local gym.
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Dalip Singh Rana immigrated to the US in 1999 and joined All Pro Wrestling (APW) boot camp as a trainee. Billed as Giant Singh, he made his wrestling debut on October 7, 2000, teaming up with Tony Jones in a match against ‘West Side Playaz’.
On May 28, 2001, Singh was training with Brian Ong. He performed a wrestling move called flapjack on Ong, and Ong, instead of pushing off Singh’s back as per the prior instruction, grabbed Singh’s shirt.
Ong landed on his coccyx or tailbone, violently whipping his head back against the mat. Coupled with the concussion he had suffered earlier that the APW trainers had underdiagnosed, the move resulted in Ong’s death. Ong’s family sued APW for liability and was rewarded $1.3 million for damages after a day of deliberation.
After moving to San Francisco, Rana was signed by WCW in 2001. His time there was cut short by Vince McMahon, the owner of WWE, buying out the promotion.
Rana used the Giant Singh gimmick in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) as well. Under the leadership of Masahiro Chono, he and Giant Silva formed ‘Club 7’, the tallest tag team in wrestling history. On October 8, 2001, they scored an easy victory over Yutaka Yoshie, Kenzo Suzuki, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Wataru Inoue in their debut match. The pair eventually split when Silva turned on Singh and defeated him in a singles match in August 2002.
In January 2006, he signed a developmental contract with the WWE and they sent him to the Georgia-based promotion, ‘Deep South Wrestling’ (DSW). Wrestling under his real name, Singh worked with Tommy Dreamer, ‘Slaughter Boys’, and Palmer Canon.
After much deliberation on what ring name to use, Singh and the WWE management finally settled on ‘The Great Khali’, inspired by the Hindu goddess Kali.
With Shawn Daivari serving as his manager, Khali debuted on the April 7 episode of ‘SmackDown’, interfering in a match between The Undertaker and Mark Henry. He caused a no contest ruling due to his interference. He also served in the ‘ECW’ brand briefly.
On May 21, 2006, Khali defeated The Undertaker comprehensively in his debut pay-per-view match at the ‘Judgment Day.’
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Over the next few years, he feuded with The Undertaker, John Cena, Shawn Michaels, Edge, Kane, and Randy Orton, to name a few and built up a menacing foreign-born heel persona for himself.
The year 2007 was arguably the most successful one of his career so far. He was drafted to the ‘Raw’ brand on June 11, 2007. He won the ‘WWE World Heavyweight Championship’ in a 20-person battle royal match, after eliminating Batista and Kane, the other two major contenders for the belt, together. He lost the belt to Batista on the September 16 ‘Unforgiven’ event in a triple threat match, which also involved Rey Mysterio.
From 2008 onwards, he took on the Punjabi Playboy persona. Along with his manager at the time, Ranjin Singh, he hosted the weekly ‘Khali Kiss Cam’, where they would call up some seemingly random woman from the crowd to kiss Khali.
In May 2011, the old menacing giant gimmick was back. He suffered a series of losses as his character was used to springboard the new, upcoming talents in WWE. He left the promotion when his contract expired on November 13, 2014.
Khali set up his own promotion and training academy, ‘Continental Wrestling Entertainment’ (CWE), in February 2015, in Jalandhar. They hosted their inaugural event on December 12, 2015.
He returned to WWE at the July 23, 2017 ‘SmackDown’ event ‘Battleground’ to assist the current WWE champion Jinder Mahal, who Khali had previously worked with, in a ‘Punjabi Prison’ match against Orton. It is quite evident that the promotion has long term plans for him as he was mentioned prominently on the following ‘SmackDown episode on July 25.
As a popular personality, he has made appearances on various films and TV shows, such as ‘The Longest Yard’ (2005), ‘Get Smart (2008), ‘Kushti’ (2010), ‘Outsourced’ (2011), and ‘Pair of Kings’(2012). In 2010, he became the season four runner-up of the Indian reality TV show ‘Bigg Boss’.
Awards & Achievements
The Great Khali is a one-time ‘WWE World Heavyweight Champion’. He received the belt on July 17, 2007, after winning the 20-man battle royal. The ‘SmackDown’ episode was aired on 20 July.
He won a ‘Slammy Award’ for the ‘“Damn!” Moment of the Year’ in 2008 for ‘Khali Kiss Cam’.
Personal Life & Legacy
The Great Khali married wife Harminder Kaur on February 27, 2002. Their daughter Avleen was born on February 26, 2014, twelve years after the marriage. On February 20, 2014, he was granted naturalised US citizenship alongside 1,614 others in a session of court held at the ‘M.O. Campbell Educational Center’ in Houston, Texas.
He underwent a surgery on July 26, 2012 to remove a tumour on his pituitary gland that caused his acromegaly. He displays some of the most obvious signs of the disorder, including prominent eyebrows, chin protrusion, and massive ears.
He is a devout Hindu and was an ardent follower of the Indian spiritual leader Ashutosh Maharaj. He neither smokes nor consumes alcohol.
Facts About The Great Khali
Despite his intimidating presence in the ring, Khali has shown his lighter side by appearing in several Bollywood movies and television shows, showcasing his versatility as an entertainer.
Khali is known for his philanthropic efforts in his home country of India, where he has worked to promote education and sports among underprivileged youth.
In addition to his wrestling career, Khali has also tried his hand at acting in Hollywood, appearing in films such as "The Longest Yard" alongside Adam Sandler and Chris Rock.

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