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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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Great Khali returns to the ring, draws a big crowd

On February 24 in Haldwani, India, at the International Sports Stadium former World Heavyweight champion The Great Khali made his return to the ring and wrestled his first match ever in India. The show ended up drawing what is bound to be one the biggest wrestling crowds of the year. 18 and 23 thousand are two numbers floating about. Not sure which one is closer to reality, but either way it was a pretty big crowd as seen in this clip:

This was a CWE (Continental Wrestling Entertainment) show, which is an Indian promotion/wrestling school The Great Khali has been involved in running for a while now. Other names who worked the show are: Mike Knox, Justin Gabriel, Jinder Mahal, Ricardo Rodriguez, Hernandez, Crimson, Brian Cage, Apolo, Chris Raaber, Brody Steele, Mike Hughes, Santana Garrett, Chelsea Green, Katie Forbes, Renee Michelle.

At the end of the show they did a big angle where Steele, Knox and Apolo attacked Khali and he was stretchered out. The angle got a lot of publicity in India, the press covering it as if it was a legitimate injury. Video of the angle:

And after the angle Khali went around doing interviews looking like this:

There's another show today in Dehradun.

Last edited by pgi86; 02-28-2016 at 11:37 AM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 05:07 AM
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Re: Great Khali returns to the ring, draws a big crowd

Is Great Khali now an indy darling then?

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 06:20 AM
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Re: Great Khali returns to the ring, draws a big crowd

Originally Posted by Drago View Post
Is Great Khali now an indy darling then?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 06:28 AM
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Re: Great Khali returns to the ring, draws a big crowd

Khali should have never left WWE. Look where he is at right now. I, mean, he ended up being punked out by Mike Knox and those two nobodys, and has a career threatening head injury. At least in the WWE, he would have been used as a jobber or a lowcarder at best, but he would have still received a way bigger paycheck.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 07:30 AM
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Re: Great Khali returns to the ring, draws a big crowd

Time to bust out those moonsaults.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 10:52 AM
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Re: Great Khali returns to the ring, draws a big crowd

20 thousands ? Seems weird.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Great Khali returns to the ring, draws a big crowd

Turns out today's show in Dehradun was airing live on TV in India. I stumbled across a live TV stream of it and was curious enough to stick around and watch it. Not sure if this was a national TV broadcast or a local one.

Hard to tell from the stream exactly how big the crowd was, but it appeared to be another big crowd. Some of the wrestlers who worked the show are claiming various numbers: Mike Hughes is saying today's show drew over 55,000, Brian Cage is claiming 50,000, Ricardo Rodriguez - over 50,000, and Chris Raaber says over 60,000, but obviously wrestler claims aren't very reliable sources so take them for what they're worth.

The very first thing I noticed is how Khali-centric everything was. As I was tuning in Khali, with a neck brace on and with a bandaged forehead, was being interviewed. The screen was split in two and there was a match being shown on the one side, but the audio was from the Khali interview being shown on the other side of the screen. Once the interview ended the match was the only video on the screen, but even then there was a big graphic at the bottom with Khali's face on it advertising his upcoming appearance. It remained there for as long as I was watching. Also, throughout the show they kept replaying this short Khali video package that was made up of WWE clips of his. Basically, it was quite evident who the star of the show was. This was very much The Great Khali show, featuring everyone else.

Some other random notes and observations:

The ring was a bit small.

The entrance stage looked big league. It reminded me of some of the New Japan Tokyo Dome stages.

The commentary was a mix of English and Hindi. It was live in the stadium as well and not only for the TV crowd.

The commercial breaks were rather badly placed, i.e. cutting off portions of pretty much every match. That was very annoying.

The crowd was extremely poorly mic'ed. The show being in an open-air stadium didn't help this either.

And now, the matches. I probably tuned in late and missed some matches. This is what I saw:

Chris "Bambikiller" Raaber and two CWE students beat "Kowboy" Mike Hughes and two CWE students. One of the babyface students teaming with Raaber scored an upset roll-up victory over the veteran Hughes, which got a good reaction from the crowd. Hughes threw a bit of a tantrum afterwards.

A tag team match with 4 CWE students. One was called Vikas. Can't really say more about this match, because there was a commercial break during most it.

Handicap match: "The Lion" Apolo beat two CWE students. Mike Knox and Brody Steele were in Apolo's corner. Solid little squash. Steele cut a promo afterwards, bragging about beating Khali on the 24th and demanded he be given the CWE Championship belt. He was given the belt and proclaimed himself the new king of India.

A Royal Rumble with 15 or so CWE students. It was billed as a "Royal Rumble", but it was a battle royal style match - everyone starting in the ring at the same time.

As soon as the battle royal started they cut to a commercial break and when they returned two Indian guys in a studio were talking about something completely unrelated, from what I could gather. Then there was a bunch of commercials, a news broadcast and some other stuff. No more wrestling, it seemed. I kept the stream running in the background for more than half an hour and just as I was about to close it the wrestling came back on. That was odd. No idea why they skipped such a large portion of the show.

Anyway, so I definitely missed some matches here. I know Brian Cage vs. PJ Black was a match that took place today.

No Disqualification Match for the CWE Title: The Great Khali beat Brody Steele to become the CWE champion. Knox and Apolo were with Steele. They were told they have to be chained to the ring post so as not to be able to interfere. They refused but were then threatened that if they do not do it Steele will have to forfeit the title so they finally agreed and were chained to the ring post. Khali then came out, surrounded by a large entourage and with his head all bandaged up like in the video above. The match was kind of Hogan-esque. They brawled a bit, then Khali sold for a bit, made a short comeback, was cut off. Knox and Apolo were interfering, even though they were chained to the ring post. Steele finally got the key to the chain from the referee and released Knox and Apolo. 3-on-1 beatdown, including some chair shots. Khali bled. Then Khali made a comeback, hit all three with a steel chair and won the match. Pyro started falling down around the ring. Khali celebrated his title win. His CWE students came ringside and celebrated with him. The end.

I believe there's another show on March 5th.

Last edited by pgi86; 02-28-2016 at 01:29 PM.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-29-2016, 12:57 PM
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Re: Great Khali returns to the ring, draws a big crowd

Is this the first India-based promotion or is there a mix of different shows based there? The roster sounds a great mix of power wrestlers & entertainers and understandably Khali gets all the hype.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-29-2016, 01:50 PM
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Re: Great Khali returns to the ring, draws a big crowd

Great Khali in India is like Hulk Hogan in America in the 90s. Perfectly understandable why he drew such a crowd.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 05:56 AM
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TNA has had a lot of connections to India. They had a tour planned for India, which fell through but I think they still intend to go back.

They also had the Ring Ka King spinoff promotion in India.

Going too far with injury angles is the thing in India. There was a guy in RKK that the commentators said had DIED in the ring and people were going around crying. About 2 or three weeks later, he showed up and attacked the guy he'd been wrestling.
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