Joining Kane in the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2021 will also be The Great Khali, becoming the first Indian to be inducted.
The news was announced by WWE Now India and delivered to Khali virtually by Dave Kapoor, the man better known to fans as Ranjin Singh, his former manager.
“You’re going into the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame class,” Kapoor said in a video call. “Yeeesss!” Khali replied as he raised his arms to celebrate. “It is very exciting, and Khali congratulations, you know I love you, we are like brothers, and I am so happy I was the one who was able to deliver the news to you,” Kapoor continued.
The Great Khali made his pro wrestling debut in 2000 and after a stint with All Pro Wrestling, he joined WCW in 2000 where he spent eight months there. His contract was not picked up by WWE after the purchase and he then moved to New Japan Pro Wrestling for a year. He eventually wrestled for CMLL and AJPW for a few years before in 2006, WWE came knocking on the door, becoming the first Indian pro wrestler signed to a WWE deal.
He made his debut on WWE television in 2006 by attacking The Undertaker and was managed by Daivari. He was drafted to the ECW brand that same year but was then moved to the Raw brand in 2007 where he was joined by Ranjin Singh as his manager. After another move, this time to Smackdown, Khali won the World Heavyweight title in a battle royal after eliminating both Kane and Batista at the same time. His title reign lasted only 61 days, losing the title to Batista.
His time on WWE television lasted until 2014 and eventually left the promotion in 2017 after his contract expired. He returned home in India after his WWE contract ran out and opened his own wrestling school titled Continental Wrestling Entertainment.
The 48-year-old made a surprise appearance at The Greatest Royal Rumble match in Saudi Arabia in 2018, but lasted less than a minute. That was his final time in a WWE ring.