Should the Great Khali be in the Hall of Fame? The Punjabi Nightmare has a career few can rival, dominating superstars like John Cena and the Undertaker since his debut, he was one of the most terrifying wrestlers on the planet.
Khali vs Undertaker
The Great Khali
Punjabi Prison match
Feud with John Cena
Cena vs Khali
Kane vs Khali
One Night Stand 2007
World Heavyweight Champion…No, Really
Later, Khali moved back to Smackdown and the unthinkable happened. He became, and you are reading this correctly, the World Heavyweight Champion. Edge was the World Heavyweight Champion when Khali was drafted to Smackdown in June, as the Blue Brand’s first draft pick overall, and immediately started in a feud with the former World Heavyweight Champion, Batista. However, Edge unfortunately had to relinquish the title due to injury, and the Championship was held in abeyance (God, remember when they kept saying that?) until a new Champion could be crowned.
In stepped the size 14000 boot of the Humungous Khali. A Battle Royal was held on Smackdown following the vacancy, where 20 Smackdown superstars faced off in an over the top rope match to decide who would be crowned the new World Champion. There were some huge, former World Championship names vying for the Championship, such as the Animal Batista, The Big Red Machine Kane, The Big Show and even former ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero (My money is on Chavito). After a grueling bout, it came down to three men – Kane, Batista and The Great Khali. In the end, the former pair tussled on the ropes, leaving the always opportunistic and sneaky 7 foot tall Indian man to push them out, winning the World Title for the first time in his career.
The match itself is one of WWE’s most viewed matches on youtube, with a total of 137 million people watching the Punjabi Nightmare claim his rightful place at the top of WWE’s Smackdown division, and to rule over all that come across him.
Khali’s reign, if you could say anything, was at least dominant. And the Big Gold belt look fitting when held, albeit upside down, by such an awesome, imposing superstar. The Punjabi Nightmare dominated both Kane and Batista at the Great American Bash to retain the championship, before starting a feud in which the biggest mismatch between wrestlers occurred – The Great Khali vs Rey Mysterio.
Rey Mysterio became number one contender for the World Heavyweight Champion on Sept. 7, 2007. He defeated Chavo Guerrero to become first in line to face Khali, and Khali put him in his place as soon as he could. Mysterio’s diminutive stature, standing at around 5 foot 5 according to WWE, compared to Khali’s 7ft 3 was absolutely laughable. It looked like he was wrestling a child.
At this time, Khali had begun trying out a new finisher – The “Khali Vice Grip”. Khali’s hands were so huge, he could engulf a man’s head with them with ease. Using this special talent of his, he would do just that, and squeeze the life out of any opponents he faced. And none were more gruesome and memorable than the tiny, poppable head of the masked Lucha Legend, Rey Mysterio.
After Rey defeated Chavo in an I Quit match, the same match type that forced Rey out of action against Chavo a year prior, Khali hit the ring, attacking Rey. Then he applied the Vice Grip, enveloping Rey’s head with his hands, blocking out all lights and shrouding him in darkness. Rey flailed and battled but he could not escape out of the hold, and Khali’s squeeze became so intense that blood began to spirt out of Mysterio’s mouth. Blood poured down his body, but Khali did not release the hold until Mysterio’s friend Batista entered the fray and saved the superstar. The image alone is enough to put Khali in the hall of fame.
Batista would win the World Heavyweight Championship off Khali in a triple threat match featuring Mysterio at Unforgiven that month, ending his reign at 61 days, but the image of Khali crushing Mysterio’s skull like a baseball bat to a pumpkin at Halloween will live on forever.
The Great Khali’s run at the top really ended there. He faced Batista in a rematch for the title inside the Punjabi Prison match, which the Animal won. In hindsight, asking a man his size to climb up and down some bamboo was not a good decision, and especially stupid considering he invented the match type.
He went on to challenge Triple H for the WWE Championship at Summerslam the next year, losing to The Game’s pedigree in a poor match and costing him another chance at holding the WWE Championship, the bigges title in the company. This was the closest the big man would come to tasting gold again, not winning any more Championships in his career and not doing anything of note beside the infamous “Khali Kiss Cam”.
The Khali Kiss Cam was really stupid and pointless, but they were paying him a lot of money so he did what he was told. Khali, now a face dubbed “The Punjabi Playboy” came out and watched people in the crowd kiss. It wasn’t quite as voyeuristic as it sounds but I refuse to change it. It was pointless and never lead to anything yet I still remember it vividly to this day.
He never really had a proper feud and never did anything of note, and thus ends this section of the Great Khali’s career.
Also that time he sang a Christmas song (Watch it, it’s incredible). This is why the Great Khali is in the hall of fame.
Khali was a polarising figure: Ok that’s a lie, everyone agrees he was terrible.
But I think what I’ve shown here is despite his inability in the ring, he still had some great moments, such as when he killed Rey Mysterio, and some really great matches (Such as the John Cena match that I reviewed here).
He may not have the portfolio of work other wrestlers in the Hall of Fame may have, but few have been as memorable as The Great Khali from India. He won over the hearts and minds of the WWE universe by crushing them between his giant fists. That is what the Great Khali in in the Hall of Fame.