From Jinder Mahal to the Great Khali, wrestlers from India have made a huge splash in the WWE, and throughout the wrestling industry.
Whilst not commonly thought as as a great wrestling nation, the country of India has produced a number of high profile WWE Superstars over the years. Some of the greatest Indian wrestlers in WWE history include former World Heavyweight Champions, WWE Champions and WWE Tag Team Champions.
With the world becoming more globalized, Indian wrestling has grown its reach in recent years. More and more Indians are making it in American wrestling in big companies like WWE, TNA and AEW. Here are a list of the best Indian Wrestlers in WWE history.
Shanky is an Indian wrestler who joined up with Jinder Mahal on Monday Night Raw. His imposing figure intrigued the audience, although his in-ring work still left a lot to be desired.
He was moved to Smackdown in the WWE Draft alongside Jinder Mahal but has failed to make any impact, However, he is still young and has a lot of time left to make a name for himself, and move up the ranks on the list of the best Indian wrestlers of all time.
Sadly, Shanky was released by the WWE in September 2023, so will have to continue his career outside of the company in the future.
Veer’s career in WWE is young but he shows much potential in the ring. He joined up with fellow Indian star Jinder Mahal and Shanky in 2021, helping Mahal to win matches by cheating and interference.
He became famous after winning a pitching contest and going on to play in the MLB, despite never having played baseball before. He was the subject of a movie, Million Dollar Arm, and is currently a member of the Raw roster in WWE. He has shown promise to be a star in the future and could be a champion in WWE one day in the future.
As one half of The Authors of Pain, Akam was one of the most feared tag team wrestlers in WWE. Along with partner Rezar, the pair were former NXT Tag Team Champions and Dusty Rhodes Classic winners in NXT. There, they were led by the legendary manager Paul Ellering. Ellering had previously managed The Road Warriors, so his involvement made the duo look legitimate straight off the bat.
Once Akam and Rezar were called up the main roster, the Indian star’s celebrity would only grow. They soon won the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship and alligned themselves with Seth Rollins as part of his faction. However, Rezar would suffer a hip injury and the pair would be pulled off TV indefinitely.
Sadly both Akam and Rezar were released from their WWE contracts in September 2021. However, with his three championship wins, Akam became one of the most decorated Indian wrestlers in WWE history.
4. Tiger Ali Singh
Tiger Ali Singh was one of the first Indian wrestlers ever in the WWE. The Indo-Canadian wrestler was a star in the WWE in the Attitude Era, the most popular era of the WWE. He competed in many big matches, including wrestling Edge at Capital Carnage 1999 and competing in the main event of Royal Rumble 1999.
He is also the son of wrestling legend Tiger Jeet Singh, another of the all-time great Indian wrestlers from wrestling history.
3. The Singh Brothers
While not the most successful championship-wise themselves in WWE, The Singh Brothers made a huge mark on the WWE landscape during their time in the company. As the lackeys for Jinder Mahal, they helped the Maharaja win the WWE Championship and featured prominently in his feud with Randy Orton.
They were recently released but look to make another mark on the independent scene as their former name, The Bollywood Boys. Under that name they won multiple championships, including the GFW Tag Team Championship.
2. Jinder Mahal
The first man of Indian descent to hold the prestigious WWE Championship was Jinder Mahal. The Maharaja went from being a comedy jobber to being the top star on Smackdown Live when, in 2017, he defeated Randy Orton to win his first and so far only WWE Championship.
Prior to his title victory, he was part of the comedy trio Three Man Band. Along with Heath Slater and future WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal was constantly on the losing end of multiple six man tag team matches up until his WWE release in 2015. However, he was part of one of the most fun WWE matches of all time, when Hornswoggle took on El Torito in the WeeLC match.
Jinder Mahal is the only Indian wrestler to win the WWE Championship, taking just weeks to turn from Jobber to Champion, on Smackdown in 2017.
1. The Great Khali
Who else could top the list of the greatest Indian wrestlers in WWE apart from The Great Khali. Khali is famous in his home country of India and worldwide. Making his WWE debut in 2006, he went on to become the World Heavyweight Champion that year, and challenged John Cena for the WWE Championship the following year.
Whilst he was unsuccessful in defeated John Cena, their feud is one still remembered to this day. John Cena vs The Great Khali was a brilliant match which showcased both man’s strengths tremendously. While he never really reached the highs of this match, he did feature in other high profile matches and wrestled in multiple Wrestlemania matches.
As he grew in age, The Great Khali’s mobility faulted, but his sheer presence made him an important part of WWE TV. As one of the tallest WWE wrestlers ever, his menace and height proved invaluable, with whoever managed to pin The Great Khali coming across as a huge star.
After he was released by WWE in 2015, The Great Khali wrestled sporadically before he retired from wrestling. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2021, being the first Indian-born wrestler to ever achieve this honour. This puts him among the greatest wrestlers of all time, and bar far the best and most famous Indian wrestler in the history of the WWE.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.