The Great Khali Accidentally Killed a Man! – Did You Know Wrestling

(air whooshing)
– [Zach] Did you know?
The Great Khali performed a move
that accidentally took
another wrestler’s life.
In 2001, Khali was training
at the California based
organization, All Pro Wrestling.
During one particular
session, Khali was practicing
with a man named Brian Ong.
The two were practicing the spine buster,
with the Great Khali being
the one executing it.
Khali’s opponent landed incorrectly,
and hit his head on the mat.
Brian Ong had already
suffered a concussion earlier,
and the two injuries
combined caused damage
to his spine and skull.
Eventually, an ambulance was called,
but Ong was pronounced dead on arrival.
Khali was not found guilty, but he chose
to never perform the spine buster again.
While he’s most well
known for his time in WWE,
Khali was a part of WCW for a short while.
Only six months after he
begun is wrestling training
in the United States, The
Great Khali was signed
by World Championship Wrestling.
He continued training with
WCW, but the company closed
before he made his debut, he
is now picked up by the WWE.
The Great Khali never had any
dreams of becoming a wrestler.
But an interaction with an
police officer changed that.
Khali grew up in Himachal Pradesh, India.
Where he worked as a stone cutter.
Because of his size, Khali needed more
food than the average person.
So he often worked later
than his colleagues.
One day a Punjabi police
officer spotted him.
And after learning the reason
why the Great Khali worked so hard.
The officer landed him
a job with the police.
With the higher salary, Khali
was able to afford a TV.
And this allowed him to watch wrestling.
He was so amazed by what he
saw, that the Great Khali
decided he wanted to make
a career as a wrestler.
In 1999, Khali moved to the United States
to pursue wrestling.
What’s interesting to
note, is that in 2008
well into Khali’s WWE run,
he was still employed
by the Punjabi police.
He was listed in the records
as on leave without pay
and sick and indisposed.
The reason for keeping the Great Khali
employed with the Punjabi police
was that he was seen as such a huge asset.
An article from the Times of India
also know that there was
a strong support for Khali
across all of the police departments.
The name Khali comes from the Hindu
goddess with the same name.
Kali is known as the goddess of time,
creation, power and destruction.
Which of course fits well with
the Great Khali character.
Interesting to note that the goddess Kali
is often pictured dancing
on the Hindu god Shiva.
This could of been the
inspiration behind the
Great Khali’s Punjabi playboy character.
Where one of his traits was dancing.
Before the name Great Khali was chosen,
several other names were
up for consideration.
Some of the names included Big Bhima,
which was a character from
the Indian epic Mahabharata,
Lord Shiva was another potential name.
But it was rejected out of
fear that it may be offensive.
The reason being that Shiva is one of the
principle deities of Hinduism.
In 2007, Khali was given a
manager named Ranjin Singh
who acted as an interpreter.
Singh stopped managing Khali in 2011.
But he is still employed by WWE.
Currently, he acts as the
Senior Vice President
of WWE’s creative team.
Fans know that the
Great Khali went through
radical character change during his run.
From his debut in 2006 up till 2008
Khali was shown to be a
powerful, violent monster.
However roughly two years after his debut.
He got the nickname the Punjabi Playboy.
And became more goofy and light hearted.
This character change actually had
malicious intent behind it.
Khali’s contract was set to
expire in 2008 and during
negotiations WWE felt that
he had become too demanding
and was planning on not re-signing him.
To make him less appealing before he left,
WWE changed his character
to a silly comic relief.
You would think this
would make Khali upset.
But in an interview he
said he had no issues with
the Punjabi playboy character.
While Khali was fine with it
his wife wasn’t as comfortable.
After leaving WWE, the
Great Khali revealed that
after he starting doing
the kiss cam segments,
his wife wanted him to leave
wrestling and return home.
According to Khali the Punjabi playboy
wasn’t the only an attempt
to try to damage his appeal.
In 2011 Jinder Mahal debuted in WWE
as the husband of Khali’s sister.
Mahal would force the Great
Khali to do his bidding.
If Khali didn’t obey
then Jinder would divorce Khali’s sister.
And their family would
go back into poverty.
The storyline was seen as
regressive by some Indian viewers.
And in an interview with Youth Ki Awaaz
Khali said that it was done on purpose
to leave his fans from India
scandalized, and alienated.
While there have been attempts
to hurt the Great Khali’s appeal,
he’s still very popular
in his home country.
In India there’s a street named after him
in the city of Delhi.
On top of that in the state of Haryana,
Khali had an ATM machine
that also beared his name.
Additionally after debuting in the WWE,
fans from India were
so supportive of Khali
that they would pray for
him to win his matches.
Khali’s popularity extends
even beyond India though.
On August 13th, 2009, The Great Khali day
was celebrated in Mexico.
Outside of wrestling, Khali
has opened his own business.
While living in Houston, Texas.
The Great Khali opened a liquor store
in the town of Humble, called GK liquor.
While not confirmed it
seems likely that GK
is an abbreviation for Great Khali.
The store has since shut down,
but Khali still owns his own business.
In 2015, Khali started
his own wrestling school
in the Indian village of Karnal
called Continental Wrestling Entertainment or CWE.
The school’s done very well,
so well in fact that in 2017
WWE hosted try outs at
the training facility.
What might be even more impressive is that
the CWE YouTube channel currently has over
two million subscribers
and over 732 million views.
Did you also know that Triple
H wasn’t allowed to look weak
in promotional material
for WWE video game?
Check out the video to the
left to learn more about that.
Also, this show is inspired
by Did You Know Gaming
so be sure to check out their channel.

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