WWE invited Sportskeeda on ground for a glimpse of their largest ever international tryouts in Mumbai, India, where 60 men and 20 women attempted to follow their dreams to reach the topmost tier of sports entertainment.
Media interactions were arranged with some of the talents and I had a chance to speak to Shanky Singh and Sanjana George, two of the most promising stars. The very fact that these two were shortlisted and identified by WWE as spokespeople for the participants speaks volumes about how much WWE believes in them.
Shanky Singh, a superstar who hails from The Great Khali's promotion CWE, is already a viral sensation. His video, where he chokeslams a policeman has made the 7-foot tall athlete a household name.
I caught up with him and quizzed him about his journey:
People used to make fun of me for being 7 feet tall. That used to make me very upset. A friend of mine suggested that I use my height to my advantage. Someone suggested that I meet The Great Khali. Back then I didn't know that he had his own wrestling academy. I googled about him and went to meet him.
Singh recalls his first interaction with The Great Khali:
The Great Khali told me that he hailed from a middle class family just like I did. He asked me to become a wrestler. I spent all the money I'd saved to buy a house at The Great Khali's academy. I suffered many bumps and bruises along the way, but I didn't give up. I've been wrestling for 3 1/2 years now.
A huge fan of The Undertaker, Singh spoke about his video that went viral not long ago:
When my video went viral, people started recognising me. And that feeling was special. I came up short at the tryouts in Dubai but I'm very thrilled to be here at the tryouts in my very own country.
Even though she has no professional wrestling experience per se, Sanjana George has quite the profile already. Not only is she an obstacle course runner but also an MMA fighter. I had a chance to interact with her at the tryouts as well:
I've always been attracted to any sport that involves grit, guts and glory. WWE is a dream, something that most people can only dream of. I'm privileged to be here.
George has grown up watching WWE with her father, and currently idolises Ronda Rousey and Kacy Catanzaro, who has a similar background in obstacle course running to her. How difficult is the transition from something like that to what we call sports entertainment?
WWE is a lot more difficult. You need very good muscle memory to do well here. When you're taking a bump, literally you are falling on your back. When you see obstacles, you see and you plan how you're going to do it. This is basically believing in luck and hoping things work out.
Please wish these two contestants all the best as they follow their collective WWE dreams!
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