How India became the WWE’s biggest fanbase outside USA

Just when King Kong thought that Dara Singh had given up, the latter picked Kong from his neck and dramatically choke-held him in the air, eventually making him scream for the referee to intervene. Upon the referee’s interference, Dara literally threw Kong out of the ring and claimed the title. The audience was left in awe and admiration of Dara’s strength and skills and he shot to worldwide fame overnight.

The above passage is from a Men’s XP article on one of the most iconic matches featuring legendary Indian wrestler Dara Singh. For a generation or two of Indians growing up in the latter half of the 20th century, Singh, who died in 2012 at the age of 83, was synonymous with strength. There was no one in the world who was stronger than him. If you read any article on Singh’s career, it would tell you that he was undefeated in over 500 professional fights.

What most of those articles won’t tell you, however, is that those fights had predetermined results. Singh was in the business of professional wrestling, which combines athletics and theater. Professional wrestlers execute their moves with the full cooperation of their opponents and fight in a manner that reduces the possibility of getting injured.

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About Jaideep Vaidya

I am a freelance journalist based in Mumbai, India. I focus on the business of sport. I have written for publications such as Forbes India, Mint Lounge,, Quartz, Firstpost, Bleacher Report and The Guardian. I have eight years of experience in sports writing, reporting, sub-editing, social media management, news curation and production (print and online). You can get in touch with me at