The Great Khali’s arrival took WWE’s popularity in India to greater heights. He made his debut by manhandling The Undertaker – one of the greatest wrestlers ever.
He is no longer a WWE wrestler but people want to see him fight. Which is why we have ‘The Great Khali returns Series’, an event organised in India for wrestling fans at home.
So on Wednesday, Khali was inside a ring surrounded by three foreign fighters with the sole intention of ‘entertaining’ the audiences of Haldwani in Uttarakhand.
Then things got a bit too ‘real’ – if we may call it so. A video of the match shows the three foreign wrestlers pounding Khali with a chair.
Khali was injured; he was photographed being taken away on a stretcher with a bleeding wound on his head.
Six hours later, he was declared fit to compete in the next round to be held on February 28 at Dehradun. Which is why Some believe that the Khali’s injury was a part of the show to sensationalise it.
Die-hard fans know that such wrestling events are staged. But fans lap up all the action with a frenzy you might witness only at a cricket game between India and Pakistan.
In fact, WWE fans – which includes children – participate in the emotion with that same kind of frenzy an adult displays.
Everyone knows that the management pre-decides the outcome of the fight. It is because this is entertainment – it is run like a movie script. But unlike movies, the punches and throws are real and so are the injuries. In worst cases, wrestlers die.
Perro Aguayo Jr., a Mexican wrestler fighting in the country’s promotional wrestling circuit, died in a freak accident during a match in March 2015.
Aguayo Jr. suffered from a cervical spine trauma after he was hit by Rey Mysterio Jr.
His death was covered by the media the world over and raised questions on wrestling as sports entertainment.
Owen Hart, brother of Bret Hart, and one of the biggest names in the history of wrestling too died in the ring in a freak accident involving the malfunctioning of an equipment using which he was making an entrance to the ring.
Acclaimed professional wrestler Adam Copeland aka Edge was forced to retire from wrestling early because of injuries that doctors said might leave him paralyzed if he fought ever again.
Khali is back in action and so are the dangers.
While we talk of banning events such as Jallikattu because of cruelty towards animals can we even discuss the cruelty we subject humans to in the name of entertainment?