Pro Wrestling gimmicks, storylines and fights are a part of the childhood of Indian kids, especially the 90s generation. The earliest memory of an Indian representation is Dalip Singh Rana also known as The Great Khali.
Since Khali’s time on the pro wrestling circuit, the Indian representation is slowly and steadily going up with wrestlers like Mahabali Shera, Saurav Singh, Veer Mahan making waves.
One such name is Bhupinder Gujjar of Impact Wrestling. Hailing from the city of Chandigarh, Punjab, Bhupinder started his pro wrestling career as a member of Desi Hit Squad on Impact Wrestling and later came back in 2022 to start his solo career under the name, Bhupinder Gujjar.
The Bridge interacted with Bhupinder about his wrestling journey and here are some excerpts from the interview:
How did the journey start for a boy from Punjab to the rings of professional wrestling?
I started at the Great Khali School. I went there as a curious kid to understand what is professional wrestling and how it works. I spent 5-6 months there clearing my basics, understanding how the ring presence works and what the professional wrestler looks like.
I knew if I have to do something big in professional wrestling, I have to move out of there. One of my friends and coach at the time, Daryl Sharma helped me through the process and then I moved to Canada. In Canada, I learned and started my wrestling career.
You moved away from your home. How were the early days of your journey?
Moving away from home is tough and I was all alone here. It was tough without family, and friends in an unknown country. I had to manage my studies, work, travelling and training together. I am glad I found Scott D’Amore who coached me and helped me in everything. From sponsoring my training to getting me into different promotions, he helped me personally and professionally.
I was alone at times but there were friends and family members who stayed with me and supported me through the ups and downs. As I mentioned before Scott D’Amore was always around to help me. So yeah, eventually it worked out.
Your career started with a faction named Desi Hit Squad. Tell us about your that stint as a member of the group.
I started in 2018 with Desi Hit Squad and I was young and a rookie. It took me some time to adjust to the screen. Starting with a stable helped me in a lot of things. When you are part of a team, you have more to stay around the ring and it eases the pressure as there are other members also there.
It helped me with my nervousness and made me more confident about my role as a professional wrestler. Now I am working alone and it is a different experience whole together.
How do you see the growth of Indian wrestlers in the Pro Wrestling Circuit?
We had some greats before such as Gama Singh and The Great Khali. There has been a growth of Indian wrestlers on the circuit. We are three of us, Me, Mahabali Shera and Raj Singh at Impact Wrestling. A lot of things have changed now, we used to be heels before but now we are having positive gimmicks also.
I am not a 7 feet guy but I have my wrestling skills and that is being appreciated here. I am happy that I can represent India in a new era. I have got so many messages across social media platforms supporting me and motivating me.
I hope I will be able to inspire kids and youngsters with my work and in near future, we can see more Indians representing in the international pro wrestling circuit.
What is next for you and any message for fans?
I am happy that representation of India is increasing and our wrestling skills are being recognized. It was bound to happen as wrestling is very natural for Indians. I will be fighting for the Digital Media championship soon on TV.
Apart from that, fans can expect some exciting things soon. We have a new show coming “Pahalwani Patakha” which is in Hindi and I will host it. I will explain all the storylines and how things work backstage. Kudos to Impact Wrestling which is working on such projects to break the language barrier and bring it up for Indian fans.