WWE is planning a big foray into India. Ten Sports is already talking about showing the house shows on the same day, as well as the PPVs on the same day. WWE merchandise is a mild revenue generator in India, and with the population burgeoning, it is only correct to WWE to give a full on push to WWE transmission in India. However, this is not the first foray of WWE in India. They have been in India since forever, and they even had a house show in India back in the nineties. Here are five facts you need to know about WWE and India.
#5 We Have Had 10 Hour Marathons of WWE Programming in India
This might be hard to believe for many, but back in the eighties and very early nineties, we have had marathons of WWE programming, the house shows as well as the PPVs. Back in those days, we had private cable broadcasters, and anything that they could get their hands on would be broadcast. Soon, the cable channels started understanding how entertaining WWE was for the kids, and we have had full Saturdays and Sundays of the cable channels dedicated to WWE. We have also had an entire Sunday or Saturday running PPVs and house shows.
#4 We have collected WWE Postcards, Stickers and Trump Card Games
WWE has a big money spinner in India in the eighties and the nineties. It might not the millions and billions, but a newly liberalised India was getting a taste of the campy and brash attitude that the WWE had, and the kids as well as some adults sucked it up. In the nineties, we had WWE merchandise like trump cards, postcards, stickers, and tattoos. It was only somewhere later that someone actually had a contract with WWE and we got the official merchandise, things like tiffin boxes, compass boxes and the stuff.
#3 Khali Got Mainstream Coverage
Khali had got mainstream coverage right from the time he was drafted into the WWE. The kids were in awe of the big man, and the marks were happy that someone was making a mark in a business that they enjoyed as children. Again, you might not believe this, but Khali got some mainstream coverage when he was about to face one of his feud partners in a PPV. The journalists even went to Khali’s village, interviewed his brother and his wife. The television channels actually showed the villages celebrating with drums and cymbals.
The fact that WWE did not use Khali much proves either of these two things, Khali is a bad wrestler or that India still doesn’t matter to WWE, or at least doesn’t matter quite so much to write in Khali in the major feuds. All our mark lives, we have been told that WWE craves mainstream publicity. If the WWE guys could see how Khali conquered the news channel that day, he’d be hoisted right up there.
#2 The Indian Marks Don’t Enjoy Khali
The Indian public is crazy, but there are still those people who know talent and give it a pop when they see it. When Khali defeated The Undertaker, most Indians were confused about whether to go all patriotic or cry at the fact that the Phenom was defeated. Today, when Khali has gone from the active roster, you will find many Indians say that he was never a good in ring performer and it had to happen.
#1 The First Indian House Show Was Not a Success
The first Indian house show was not a success. It was held in the late nineties and it got mainstream coverage. Macho Man Randy Savage was the headliner of that show, and the tickets were quite pricey, but people still went ahead and bought the tickets worth something like 500 INR, 3500 INR and 5000 INR.
There are also rumour that someone from the crowd threw a foreign object on a performer in ring, and there was a genuine fear of performer safety, something that the WWE will never risk. So, that was the end of the house shows.