Every Current Wrestler Of Indian Heritage In WWE, Ranked Worst To Best

There is zero denying the fact that in recent years India has emerged as a major market for the WWE. Whether it is through massive TV deals, YouTube viewership, or high social media engagement, the south-Asian country with an enormous population of 1.4 billion people has become a substantial source of income for the promotion based in Stamford, Connecticut.


RELATED:13 Things Fans Should Know About The Great KhaliWhile for a major part of the last decade The Great Khali was by far WWE’s major Indian star, things have seemed to change in recent memory. In 2020, WWE held tryouts in India from which a few wrestlers ended up being signed to developmental deals and brought over to the company’s performance center in Florida. The company reportedly plans to launch NXT India now that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are at the helm of the empire. With every brand in WWE now having a star of Indian origin, let’s take a look who are some of the most impactful ones and those who unfortunately are not.

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6/6 Guru Raaj

Guru-Raaj

Guru Raaj, real name Laxmikant Rajpoot, was signed by WWE under a development deal in 2019 after taking part in the company’s tryouts. Raaj was trained by former World Heavyweight Champion the Great Khali, and was assigned to the NXT brand after he joined the promotion.

Even though Raaj is yet to become a featured character on NXT, he did face then NXT Champion Finn Balor at WWE Superstar Spectacle in what was an amazing showing for his inaugural WWE match. Raaj then started appearing on 205 Live, before the show got permanently canceled. While the younger high-flyer seems to be a bit green in the ring, his match against Balor definitely showed the untapped potential he has.

5/6 Sanga

Sanga

Saurav Gurjar signed with WWE in 2018. He made occasional appearances at NXT live events before debuting alongside Veer Mahan (then called Rinku) as “Indus Sher”, with Malcolm Bivens serving as their manager. However, following him mistakenly leaking the results of NXT Great American Bash in 2020, he was taken off TV while Rinku was called up to the main roster.

On the 18 January 2022 episode of NXT 2.0, Saurav, under the new ring name Sanga, was repackaged as the bodyguard of Grayson Waller. In his few squash matches, Sanga has shown signs of improvement in his in-ring work to the NXT fans. In 2022, Sanga also appeared in the Bollywood Sci-Fi movie Brahmastra.

4/6 Shanky

Shanky

Shanky, real name Gurvinder Singh Malhotra, had quite built up a name for himself due to him being in a prominent supporting role in the 2019 blockbuster Bollywood movie “Bharat”, starring Salman Khan. Shanky was officially signed by WWE in 2020 and was assigned to the NXT roster.

Rather than appearing on NXT, Shanky was brought up to the main roster in 2021, where he replaced Saurav as Veer’s partner and became a henchman for Jinder Mahal on Raw. Later that year in the WWE Draft, Shanky and Mahal were moved to the Smackdown roster. Since then Shanky has shown promising signs as a character, with him winning over the audience with a new dance-obsessed gimmick.

3/6 Veer Mahan

Veer-Mahaan

Veer Mahan, real name Rinku Singh, signed with WWE back in 2018. After spending time on the NXT Brand, he was brought over to the main roster alongside Shanky as Jinder Mahal’s new henchman. However, he was kept on Raw as a single’s in the 2021 Draft.

RELATED:Veer & 9 Other Wrestlers That Took Too Long To DebutIn the months to come, WWE aired promotional material for the Indian star which led to Veer gaining significant meme following on social media. However, WWE failed to utilize the star’s momentum and Veer was lost in the undercard as soon as he re-debuted. After being off television for a long time, Veer returned to NXT on the October 4, 2022, episode, teasing a reunion with Sanga. Veer has all the tools to be the next international star in WWE, and can easily flourish under the new creative regime.

2/6 Jinder Mahal

Jinder-Mahal

Jinder Mahal is by far the most achieved wrestler of Indian heritage in WWE today. Jinder signed with WWE in 2010 as a part of Florida Championship Wrestling, but after being on the main roster for 3 years was released in 2014. Jinder was then re-hired by the company in 2016.

RELATED:10 Backstage Stories About Jinder Mahal You Need To KnowMahal hit the high point of his career when he surprisingly defeated Randy Orton to win the WWE Championship at Backlash 2017. He held the title till November when he lost it to AJ Styles. Even though Mahal showed impactful character work during his reign, he failed to fully win fans over as a major part of them just saw him winning the title as a way for WWE to attract the Indian audience. Mahal, after losing the title, was immediately pushed back to the mid-card, a major reported reason for which was WWE failing to sell out its shows in India and being forced to shift to a smaller venue.

1/6 Mustafa Ali

Mustafa-Ali

Mustafa Ali being of Indian heritage is a trivia that many fans might not be aware of. While WWE has always built up the high-flyer from Chicago and briefly from Pakistan as well, his roots actually are also from India, with him being born to an Indian mother. Ali even discussed this in a recent tweet.

Ali is one of the most underutilized wrestlers in all of WWE today. Whether it’s his in-ring work or promo skills, the former leader of Retribution has always been phenomenal. Things looked promising for Ali after his return to the company after his request for release was denied, but he was again sent to the mid-card. With Triple H now in charge, one can hope Ali gets a major push considering he was one of Hunter’s favorite signings for 205 Live.

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