Professional wrestling. Truly a melting pot for different cultures, customs, ethnicities and nationalities. We’ve seen wrestlers from all around the world in our favorite wrestling promotions, we’ve also seen wrestling promotions from everywhere pop on on the independent circuit.
Cultures and customs have been represented in the world of pro wrestling from all around the world, in many ways, the business has brought the world together.
The culture of the Sikhs is one that goes very well with the general image of professional wrestling. Amateur wrestling as a sport has been popular in Punjab for a very long time and the state has produced many wrestling champions in the past. However, pro wrestling has seen very few Sikh competitors.
Today, however, we are going to try and shed some light on a few Sikh wrestlers from Canada that have made their mark in pro wrestling. We’re going to go back in history, take a look at the very beginnings and travel to the present to see which Canadian Sikhs are representing today.
#1 Paul Singh Dhaliwal
Paul Dhaliwal might very well have been the first professional wrestler of Indian/Sikh origin to wrestle in the United States. Paul came to Canada from Chananwal, Punjab in 1905 and played a key role in the local Sikh community.
He was working on his business with lumber camps until he was spotted by a promoter, he was then trained in pro wrestling (he was already trained as an amateur wrestler from his time in Hong Kong) and started to tour territories as a wrestler from there on. Here’s an interview of Paul in Punjabi, commemorating his legacy as a pioneer:
Even though Mr. Dhaliwal passed away in 2014 at the age of 100, he was certainly the man that paved way for future Indians/Sikhs to be a part of the spectacle of professional wrestling. Known and revered as a pillar of the local community, he's still fondly remembered by his friends and peers as a gentle giant.