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Great Khali Announced as Inductee into 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Class

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2021

World Wrestling Entertainment wrestler The Great Khali waves an Indian flag in the backdrop of a portrait of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi as he arrives for an event to honor families of soldiers killed in a recent attack by Maoist in central India's Dantewada area, in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, May 11, 2010. The rebels, who have tapped into the rural poor's growing anger at being left out of the country's economic gains, are now present in 20 of the country's 28 states. About 2,000 people, including police, militants and civilians, have been killed over the past few years. (AP Photo/Gurinder Osan)
Gurinder Osan/Associated Press

Former World Heavyweight champion The Great Khali was revealed Wednesday as the latest member of the WWE Hall of Fame's class of 2021.

Khali was informed of the honor during WWE Now India by WWE writer Dave Kapoor, who previously served as Khali's on-screen manager under the name Ranjin Singh.

The Great Khali, 48, is arguably the biggest Indian wrestling star of all time thanks to his eight-year run in WWE from 2006-14.

Khali began his wrestling career in 2000 and first rose to prominence under the name Giant Singh in New Japan Pro-Wrestling from 2001-02.

After additional stints in Japan and Mexico, Khali was signed to a developmental contract by WWE in 2006. He spent some time in Deep South Wrestling before debuting on WWE's main roster in 2006 as a dominant heel.

Khali unsuccessfully challenged John Cena for the WWE Championship in 2007, but in July 2007, he won a battle royal on SmackDown to become World Heavyweight champion, just over one year after his main roster debut.

He would hold the title for about two months before dropping it to Batista at Unforgiven 2007 in a Triple Threat match that also included Rey Mysterio.

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The following month at No Mercy, Khali lost a title rematch against Batista in a Punjabi Prison match, which was a stipulation created especially for Khali.

While Khali never won another title in WWE, he remained a constant presence on WWE programming for several years after that and spent much of his stint in the company as a lovable babyface.

Khali was able to maintain a unique dichotomy in that he would dominate in the ring thanks to his 7'1", nearly 350-pound frame, but also entertain the fans by dancing around and living up to his "Punjabi Playboy" nickname and character.

Although Khali's full-time WWE run came to an end in 2014, he has made subsequent appearances, including helping Jinder Mahal beat Randy Orton to retain the WWE Championship in a Punjabi Prison match at Battleground 2017 and taking part in the Greatest Royal Rumble match in Saudi Arabia in 2018.

Khali joins a 2021 Hall of Fame class that already includes Molly Holly and Erich Bischoff.

Both the 2020 and 2021 WWE Hall of Fame classes will officially be enshrined on April 6 during a special that will stream on Peacock.

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

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