Is WWE Famous In India? Well, currently, the WWE is one of the largest entertainment corporations in the world. Wrestling has always enjoyed a significant amount of success and popularity in Asia, particularly in India. Many spectators love both the traditional Dangal form of wrestling as well as contemporary professional wrestling. In recent years, WWE has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity that has taken it to previously unimaginable levels.
Millions of fans tune in to watch the monthly PPVs as well as the weekly Raw and SmackDown programs. What, then, is the formula that has helped WWE gain such a following in India? Well, in this article, we’ll talk about this frequently asked question of readers, so read on.
Since 1996, when they were still known as the World Wrestling Federation, the American professional wrestling organization known as WWE has been holding events in India. WWE is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, in the United States. And there’s no denying that WWE’s expansion into India has had a significant influence in recent years. The WWE Network has been a significant contributor to the success of this endeavour.
Fans can effortlessly watch live PPVs on the network. The Undertaker, The Rock, and Stone Cold Steve Austin are just a few of the famous wrestlers whose classic matches may be viewed by fans. Fans attending live games also have the opportunity to place bets on the action, and the popularity of online sports betting continues to grow.
Additionally, Vince McMahon’s organization has always felt forced to pay more attention to India because of the nation’s sizable population and love of professional wrestling. Read on to learn more.
Is WWE Famous In India?
Yes, WWE is very famous in India. With 335 million new television viewers every year, India is now the country with the largest viewership for the WWE outside of the United States. Even more than the United States, India is the most active market for WWE on Facebook and has the most viewers on YouTube. This makes India the largest market in the world for WWE. There are three different subgroups of Indian WWE fans.
The first category includes those individuals who are under the impression that the show is not scripted. Such a fan is referred to as a “Mark” in the WWE universe. The second type is someone who is aware that the show is scripted but doesn’t give it much thought and just takes it all in. The third type is someone who routinely discusses plotlines on social media and internet forums and is aware that it is scripted. The term “Smark” refers to this kind of fan and stands for “smart Mark.”
This reality show has a staggering amount of television viewers. A survey by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry and Ernst & Young claims that wrestling surpassed cricket in 2018 as the “sport” that Indians watched the most on television.
All of these data demonstrate how well-liked WWE is in India. WWE is aware that the country’s enormous population will help the market there expand and bring in a lot of money. Thus, if there is any place in the world other than the United States that WWE is particularly interested in, then it is India.
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Indian Wrestling Stars Open The Door For WWE’s Increased Popularity In India
There have been a lot of superstars from India who have helped pave the road for other Indians who want to make it big in the WWE. The Great Khali, who made his WWE debut in 2006, was the first well-known figure to establish himself with the company. The Great Khali, who stands 7 feet 1 inch tall, competed in matches among some of the WWE’s top names.
The Undertaker, Batista, and Ric Flair are examples of names that are well-known. In a 20-man fight, he took home his first World Heavyweight Championship. In the final phases, he was successful in eliminating Batista and Kane. He was also inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, honouring his WWE career.
Jinder Mahal is another important Indian WWE superstar who has contributed to the sport’s explosion in popularity. He surprised everyone by winning the WWE Championship. It was the first time in the history of the company that a celebrity of Indian heritage had taken home the most prestigious position. Mahal entered the contest as the underdog. He defeated Randy Orton, to the surprise of many onlookers.
He successfully defended his championship on two separate occasions. He faced off against the Viper on both occasions. During the second fight, The Great Khali intervened to assist Mahal in winning. With victories over Baron Corbin and Shinsuke Nakamura, he extended his tenure as champion. Later on, he was unsuccessful in defending his championship during the Survivor Series. On an English SmackDown broadcast, AJ Styles defeated him.
History Of WWE In India
In 1996, WWE embarked on its very first tour throughout the country. The following time WWE visited India was in November 2002, when they made stops in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. In January 2016, the company returned to New Delhi for a two-day event that marked the first WWE event in India in 13 years. A house show called WWE Live India Supershow took place in the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on December 9, 2017.
The WWE will eventually construct a performance centre in India, according to Triple H’s declaration in January 2019. The first WWE tryouts in India were held two months later, with roughly 60 men and 20 women making the final cut. On WWE’s YouTube channel and other social media platforms, an Indian version of WWE Now was introduced in 2019 and is hosted in Hindi by Gaelyn Mendonca.
The WWE Superstar Spectacle, a brand-new event, was announced on January 9, 2021, by the WWE’s official Instagram account for India. The WWE Superstar Spectacle aired on the Sony Sports Network on January 26, the Indian Republic Day. It was also reported a few days later, on January 12, that the event would be recorded at the Capitol Wrestling Center in Orlando, Florida. In addition, some WWE stars have made promotional tour visits to India.
Television Series Of WWE In India
Over the years, WWE has created a number of television shows for its Indian audience. They began broadcasting live telecasts of Raw and SmackDown in Hindi on February 27, 2018, and they continue to do so today. WWE 24X7, a new program for kids that aired matches from the company’s archives, debuted on Jetix in India on May 7, 2007.
Ten Sports began showing WWE recorded events in January 2015. This agreement allowed for the creation of a unique localized Raw recap show for the Indian market. Later known as Raw Sunday Dhamaal, the regionalized Raw program had a brief run before being replaced by WWE Sunday Dhamaal. The program received positive reviews from viewers and experienced an “upward swing” in viewers when it premiered. Action Mania, a WWE recap program, aired exclusively on Zee Cinema in Hindi in India from 2015 to 2017. Blockbusters and Dhamaal League were two studio series that Sony Pictures debuted in 2020.
Additionally, during their promotional trip to India, some WWE superstars made special appearances at a variety of shows. On the Extraaa Innings T20 episode on May 10, 2017, Kofi Kingston and Big E made an appearance. Later, in October 2017, Jinder Mahal made an appearance in an episode of the comedy Sajan Re Phir Jhooth Mat Bolo from Sony SAB. Matt Hardy made a noteworthy performance on the singing competition show Indian Idol in 2018.
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Top Famous WWE Wrestlers From India
While WWE has amassed millions of fans throughout the world over the past few decades, the Organization still seems to be thriving, given its enormous appeal to a global audience. And after cricket, its impact on the Indian Territory makes it one of the most watched sporting events in the nation. So, here is a list of the best Indian WWE wrestlers. Let’s look at some of the most well-known Indian names to have competed in WWE matches in recent years.
1. Jinder Mahal
Jinder Mahal, arguably the most well-known superstar of Indian heritage, has been associated with Vince McMahon’s promotion for a very long time. He was born and raised in Canada, but he has Indian ancestors, and the business claims to be contacting him from Punjab, India.
He first appeared in the WWE back in 2010. Mahal was presented as The Great Khali’s brother-in-law. The Modern-Day Maharaja has accomplished a great deal over his protracted time with the business, including holding the WWE Championship for a while. He is the sole person of Indian heritage to hold this title.
2. Veer Mahaan
Rinku made his debut in NXT alongside Sourav, who is perhaps the superstar for whom WWE has the most aspirations. He was immediately given the new name Veer and invited to join RAW, where he began forming ties with Mahal and Shanky. The team was broken up after the 2021 WWE Draft when Veer was sent to RAW, and Mahal & Shanky were transferred to SmackDown. Since then, Veer hasn’t visited RAW again. However, WWE has been advertising his comeback with a weekly vignette of his coming for several months now. Veer Mahaan is predicted to receive a significant push whenever he returns.
3. Gama Singh
He can, without a doubt, be credited as the first Indian-origin wrestler to ever enter the WWE ring in the 1980s. Gama Singh was one of the well-known figures in the Stampede wrestling company at the time, which was run by Vince McMahon, the current CEO of the WWE. Although he didn’t last around the WWE for very long, he claimed to be Jinder Mahal’s uncle and former trainer, and she was primarily brought on board to compete in house events. Gama Singh was originally from India but largely spent his time in Canada, where he competed in wrestling.
4. Guru Raaj
During a talent audition, Guru Raaj was chosen for WWE. Fantastic, high-flying superstar Raaj now appears on 205 Live and NXT. He competed against Finn Balor at the Superstar Spectacle. Although he lost the match, the Indian superstar challenged Balor’s dominance. The fact that it was Raaj’s first match was what most shocked the former Universal Champion. Guru Raaj has since made multiple appearances at 205 Live and NXT. He is also referred to as the country’s first aerial wrestler.
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5. Tiger Ali Singh
Tiger Ali Singh may undoubtedly be referred to as the first wrestler to create a significant impression with his presence in the history of the WWE, even though we have previously mentioned Gama Singh as the first Indian wrestler to record his presence in the WWE arena. Ali Singh made his mark on the WWE platform between 1997 and 2002, even though he is also an Indo-Canadian by birth and the son of renowned Indian wrestler Tiger Jeet Singh.
Despite boasting about being the greatest wrestler ever and having enormous wealth surrounding him, Singh primarily appeared in WWE shows and didn’t find the level of popularity he was hoping for. He was terminated from his contract by WWE in 2002 as a result of this.
6. The Great Khali
The Great Khali is the only person who has ever represented India in WWE while also being of Indian descent. The Undertaker, Batista, Triple H, and The Big Show were just a few of the biggest names in WWE history that Khali has defeated on his way to winning the WWE heavyweight championship. Khali also entered the WWE ring as a big giant from India.
He entered the WWE arena for the first time in 2006 and hasn’t looked back since. His fame was not confined to his supporters in India; rather, it extended to fans all over the world. Even though Khali hasn’t been seen much in the WWE arena over the past few months, with the exception of his most recent appearance in the middle of a bout between Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal, he has appeared at a number of other wrestling shows that have been held in Indian Territory in recent times.
7. Kavita Devi
Few women wrestlers have ever had the chance to achieve major success in WWE history, despite the fact that the company has historically been dominated by men. Furthermore, in recent years, there hasn’t been a name to mention when it comes to Indian women wrestlers and their involvement in the WWE. With her participation in the renowned MAE Young Classic tournament last year alone, Kavita Devi not only established herself as one of the most talented women wrestlers in WWE history but also paved the way for long-term success.
Kavita Devi is claimed to be coached and managed by Famous Great Khali from India solely. Despite the fact that she has not been able to compete in the majority of the WWE main event fights as of now, she has resumed her training at the WWE Performance Center this year and is expected to be featured in the main event in the near future.
8. Saurav Gurjar
Known for obtaining a contract with WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), Bollywood actor and professional wrestler Saurav Gurjar will begin training at the Orlando, Florida, performance facility. The 6 feet 8-inch Gurjar, who is on the verge of becoming a WWE superstar, had competed with 40 other male and female athletes, including Shadia Bseiso of Jordan, Nasser Alruwayeh of Kuwait, and Rinku Nagar of India. The 298-pound athlete tried his hand at a number of sports in college, including basketball, kickboxing, and even national-level wrestling.
9. Jeet Rama
Professional WWE wrestler Satendar Dagar fights for his development zone NXT under the ring name Jeet Rama. On January 15, 2016, at a live event in New Delhi, he made his WWE debut, winning the match against Chad Gable. Since then, he has competed for WWE NXT, where he has won matches by teaming with wrestlers like Kishan Raftar and Kassius Ohno.
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