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Why Indian-Canadian Arjan Bhullar Has A Soft Spot For Professional Wrestling

  • His father, himself an Indian Kushti stylist, instilled in Arjun Bhullar the love of locking limbs from a young age.
  • Bhullar went on to win local and national wrestling titles and a World Championship while in college.
Modified 05 Jun 2020, 12:33 IST
Arjan Bhullar at ONE Century
Arjan Bhullar at ONE Century

Arjan "Singh" Bhullar was raised on wrestling. His father, himself an Indian Kushti stylist, instilled in Bhullar the love of locking limbs from a young age.

Arjan Bhullar went on to win local and national wrestling titles and a World Championship while in college.

However, the man who is set to face ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera later this year has always loved another kind of wrestling – professional wrestling.

“I’m a big fan,” the ONE Championship heavyweight said.
“We had the Macho Man and [Ultimate] Warrior stuffed pillows. We still have them. My brother would walk around with a snake in a black bag pretending to be Jake 'The Snake' [Roberts]. We grew up on that stuff. Those were the top draws and guys you would want to copycat at the time.”

“Singh” imitated his childhood heroes well. He went on to become a Commonwealth Games Wrestling Gold Medalist in 2010. Two years later he represented Canada in the London Olympics. 

Although he transitioned to mixed martial arts, the Indian-Canadian athlete’s love for professional wrestling hasn’t faded. He recently became a fan of the sport’s newest promotion – All Elite Wrestling (AEW) – and he credits the success of AEW to the young charge who heads the company. 

“They’re doing something right, and I think it starts at the top with Tony Khan,” Bhullar said about the 37-year-old founder of the wrestling promotion that has just broke its first year.
“I think that’s the guy. He’s young, like a young Vince McMahon. He’s got fresh ideas and is hands-on. He’s up to date and been doing things differently. The angles are not so scripted, and not so Hollywood where everything has to be perfect."
“He has allowed the creativity to flow. People can call some of their own shots rather than the top-down corporate style, which is still working for the WWE – I don’t want to knock them, but I like the product that AEW is pushing out. It’s new and exciting. There is a reason people are tuning in.”

Arjan Bhullar himself tunes into to AEW to watch one wrestler in particular – Kenny Omega.

“He was a big name and one of the hottest free agents,” he said. “He made a decision not to go with the WWE. [That guy has] a tremendous amount of talent. I’ve been a fan of his ever since he got on my radar, and I think he is the future.”

Just last month, AEW held Double Or Nothing in Jacksonville, Florida. The pay-per-view event attracted over a hundred thousand buys and could become one of the most purchased events in the promotion’s history.

Numbers aside, the event went over well not just for Bhullar, but for other members of the combat sports community. ONE Championship’s Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort took in the action from ringside. “Iron” Mike Tyson presented a belt.

The week after Double Or Nothing Belfort found himself at another AEW event, where he had to back up “Iron” Mike after a scuffle took place between the boxing legend from Brownsville and Chris Jericho.

Excited about the two sporting icons in the ring, Bhullar now teases a potential run in professional wrestling after he challenges Vera for the ONE Heavyweight World Title.

“I’ll be honest,” Bhullar said, “my plan after getting this gold is to take over pro wrestling as well. I’m a big fan of that show and pro wrestling in general.”

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Published 05 Jun 2020, 12:33 IST
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