WWE in India
WWE Logo.svg
Flag of India.svg
Created byVince McMahon
Promotion(s)WWE
Brand(s)Raw
SmackDown
First event1996 tour

WWE, an American professional wrestling promotion based in Stamford, Connecticut in the United States has been promoting events in India since 1996 when they were the World Wrestling Federation.

History

WWE first toured the country in 1996.[1][2] The next time WWE came to India was in November 2002, visiting New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.[3] The company returned to New Delhi in January 2016 for the two days event what was the first WWE event in India in 13 years.[4] On 9 December 2017, a house show titled WWE Live India Supershow was held at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.[5][6]

In January 2019, Triple H stated that the WWE will eventually open a performance center in India.[7][8] Two months later, the first ever WWE tryouts in India were held, in which approximately 60 men and 20 women were shortlisted.[9][10][11]

Beginning in 2019, an Indian edition of WWE Now, hosted in Hindi by Gaelyn Mendonca, was launched on WWE's YouTube channel and other social media platforms.[12]

On 9 January 2021, the official Instagram account for the WWE in India announced a new event named WWE Superstar Spectacle, which would air on Indian Republic Day on the Sony Sports Network.[13][14] Days later, on 12 January, it was further revealed that the event would be taped from the Capitol Wrestling Center in Orlando, Florida.[15][16][17]

A number of WWE superstars have also visited India as part of promotional tours.

Superstar Year
John Cena 2006[18][19]
Kane 2009[20]
Mark Henry 2015[21]
Alberto Del Rio 2016[22][23]
Kofi Kingston and Big E 2017[24]
Triple H 2017[25][26]
Braun Strowman 2018[27][28]
Matt Hardy 2018[29][30]
The New Day, Kavita Devi, Jeet Rama, Saurav Gurjar, Rinku Singh and Jinny 2019[31][32]
Charlotte Flair 2019[33][34]

Events in India

Raw-branded event
Date Name Venue City Main event
2 February 1996[2] WWF Tour of India Andheri Sports Complex Mumbai, Maharashtra Bret Hart vs. Tatanka for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship
22 November 2002[2][3] WWE Raw Tour of India Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium New Delhi Kane vs. Test
23 November 2002[2][3] MMRDA Grounds Mumbai, Maharashtra Chris Jericho & Christian vs. Rob Van Dam & Jeff Hardy
24 November 2002[2][3] Palace Grounds Bangalore, Karnataka Kane vs. Chris Jericho
15 January 2016[4] WWE Live Tour India 2016 Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium New Delhi Roman Reigns vs. Big Show
16 January 2016[4] Roman Reigns vs. Rusev
9 December 2017[35] WWE Live India Supershow Triple H vs. Jinder Mahal[36][37]

Television series

WWE have produced several television series for their Indian audience over the years. Since 27 February 2018, they have aired live telecasts of Raw and SmackDown in Hindi.[38][39]

On 7 May 2007, a new WWE show for children named WWE 24X7 premiered on Jetix in India, which shown matches from their archives.[40][41]

WWE started airing taped shows on Ten Sports in January 2015. Through this deal, an exclusive localised Raw recap show was made for the Indian market.[42] The localised Raw show would later be announced as Raw Sunday Dhamaal, a short-lived show which was replaced by WWE Sunday Dhamaal.[43][44] The show was perceived well with audiences, gaining an 'upward swing' of viewers after it had launched.[45]

From 2015 to 2017, a recap show produced by the WWE named Action Mania, aired on Zee Cinema in Hindi exclusively in India.[46]

In 2020 Sony Pictures launched two Studio shows Blockbusters and Dhamaal League.[47][48]

Other shows

Several WWE superstars made special appearances in various shows during their promotional tour in India. Kofi Kingston and Big E appeared on the 10 May 2017 episode of Extraaa Innings T20.[49][50] Months later, in October 2017, Jinder Mahal appeared in an episode of Sony SAB's sitcom Sajan Re Phir Jhooth Mat Bolo.[51][52] In 2018, Matt Hardy made a special appearance in singing reality show Indian Idol.[53][54]

Indian flag controversy

An episode of Sunday Night Heat was criticized for a segment featuring Kurt Angle and Tiger Ali Singh in which Angle blew his nose in the Indian national flag.[55][56] On 15 January 2016, days before the WWE arrived in India for their house show events in 2016, a group named Aadvanshi Veer Sena threatened to protest against the company's tour unless they apologised for Angle's incident.[57] Five days after their claims to protest if an apology was not given, WWE International's Executive Vice President, Gerrit Meier, apologised for the incident, saying: "This case is about 20-years-ago and we did not deliberately do that. We have a great respect for the country. We are sorry that it happened, but we had no intention of doing it. India is a reputable country and we apologise for this… We are extremely pleased that India is hosting the live events again. There are good number of fans and I am confident that they will enjoy it all. Nearly 14 years later, we are once again on the ground of India will play a WWE match."[58][59]

References

  1. ^ "World Wrestling Entertainment To Tour India for the First Time Since 1996". WWE. Mumbai, India. 10 October 2002. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e "WWE to tour India for first time since 1996". Indian Television Dot Com. October 11, 2002.
  3. ^ a b c d "The World Wrestling Entertainment- RAW Tour of India – Times of India". The Times of India.
  4. ^ a b c "WWE Live India tour 2016: Complete schedule, fixtures, dates, venue, TV listings and how to buy tickets online". International Business Times, India Edition. January 13, 2016.
  5. ^ "WWE India schedule: WWE Live India 'Supershow': Full Schedule, Live Streaming, Live Telecast - Jinder Mahal vs Triple H main event". The Times of India. 9 December 2017. Archived from the original on 10 December 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  6. ^ Sunder, Gautam (30 November 2019). "It's all about The Game: Triple H on WWE, India and more". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 30 November 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  7. ^ Ghosh, Sayan (12 January 2019). "Exclusive: WWE will open a performance center in India, confirms Triple H". Hindustan Times. London, England. Archived from the original on 13 January 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  8. ^ Thompson, Andrew (12 January 2019). "Triple H: "I Can Say With Certainty That There Will Be A Performance Center In India"". Fightful. Archived from the original on 3 May 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  9. ^ "WWE conduct first-ever talent tryouts in India, shortlist 80 wrestlers from across the country". The Indian Express. 7 March 2019. Archived from the original on 11 March 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  10. ^ India Today Sports Desk (6 March 2019). "WWE hold first-ever tryouts in India: 60 men and 20 women shortlisted". India Today. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  11. ^ Staff, WWE.com (4 March 2019). "WWE holds its first tryout in India". WWE. Archived from the original on 4 March 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  12. ^ Staff, WWE.com (5 March 2019). "WWE launches new WWE NOW INDIA series". WWE. Retrieved 13 April 2021.
  13. ^ Wilen, Jerome (9 January 2021). "WWE India announces first-ever "WWE Superstar Spectacle" is coming soon". WrestleView. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  14. ^ Currier, Joseph (9 January 2021). "WWE announces 'Superstar Spectacle' India special". The Wrestling Observer Newsletter and Figure Four Online. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  15. ^ Staff, WWE.com (13 January 2021). "WWE and Sony Pictures Network India announce WWE Superstar Spectacle". WWE. Retrieved 14 January 2021.
  16. ^ Johnson, Mike (12 January 2020). "WWE Superstar Spectacle updates". PWInsider. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  17. ^ Defelice, Robert (11 January 2021). "Report: Top Raw And SmackDown Superstars May Be Involved In WWE Superstar Spectacle Taping". Fightful. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  18. ^ "Wrestling superstar to visit India". Rediff. 7 February 2006. Archived from the original on 20 September 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  19. ^ Patwardhan, Deepti (9 February 2006). "Cena sets pulse racing in Mumbai". Rediff. Archived from the original on 10 March 2006. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  20. ^ Bhattacharya, Roshmila (11 June 2009). "Akki meets his match in Kane". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 6 July 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  21. ^ "There is definitely going to be Indian presence in the WWE: Mark Henry". Deccan Chronicle. 31 August 2015. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  22. ^ Press Trust of India (4 July 2016). "WWE superstar Alberto Del Rio to visit India". Business Standard. New Delhi, India. Archived from the original on 5 July 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  23. ^ Staff, CricketCountry (9 July 2016). "WWE Superstar Alberto Del Rio plays cricket during India visit". Cricket Country. Archived from the original on 14 July 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  24. ^ Dogra, Aditya (9 May 2017). "WWE superstars Kofi Kingston and Big E of The New Day coming to India". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 9 May 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  25. ^ Staff, WWE.com (3 October 2017). "India welcomes Triple H". WWE. Archived from the original on 3 October 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  26. ^ Sagar, Pratik (5 October 2017). "Triple H in India to Finalise WWE Tour; Fans Welcome Him in Style". News18. New Delhi, India. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  27. ^ Sports Desk (20 July 2018). "WWE Superstar Braun Strowman arrives in India, flexes muscle with Varun Dhawan; see pics". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 21 July 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  28. ^ Staff, WWE.com (21 July 2018). "Braun Strowman makes his monstrous presence felt in India". WWE. Archived from the original on 27 July 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  29. ^ Sports Desk (30 November 2018). "WWE Superstar Matt Hardy to visit India for the first time". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 1 December 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  30. ^ Ghosh, Sayan (28 November 2018). "WWE: Nine-time tag team champion Matt Hardy to visit India from December 4–7". Hindustan Times. New Delhi, India. Archived from the original on 29 November 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  31. ^ Sadhu, Rahal (6 March 2019). "WWE is finally listening to its fans: Kofi Kingston". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 11 March 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2021. Kingston, who along with the rest of The New Day was in Mumbai to support India’s first-ever WWE Tryouts, said that a lot has changed since the time he first came into the WWE.
  32. ^ India Today Sports Desk (6 March 2019). "WWE hold first-ever tryouts in India: 60 men and 20 women shortlisted". India Today. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2021. Five-time WWE tag team champions 'The New Day' along with local NXT talents like Kavita Devi, Jeet Rama, Saurav Gurjar, Rinku Singh and Jinny Sadhu were also in Mumbai for the event.
  33. ^ Shibasish, Nandi (16 November 2019). "Exclusive | WWE Star Charlotte Flair Opens Up on Rivalry-Friendship with Becky Lynch and Why She Can't Resist Indian Food". News18. Archived from the original on 16 November 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  34. ^ "WWE Superstar Charlotte Flair completes India tour promising to deliver on her goals". The Indian Express. 17 November 2019. Archived from the original on 18 November 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  35. ^ India Today Web Desk (9 December 2017). "WWE Live event in Delhi: Triple H beats Jinder Mahal in marquee clash". India Today. Archived from the original on 9 November 2020. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  36. ^ Staff, WWE.com (9 December 2017). "Triple H defeats Jinder Mahal in classic Supershow match in New Delhi". WWE. New Delhi, India. Archived from the original on 10 December 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  37. ^ "WWE India schedule: WWE Live India 'Supershow': Full Schedule, Live Streaming, Live Telecast - Jinder Mahal vs Triple H main event | WWE News". The Times of India. New Delhi, India. 9 December 2017. Archived from the original on 10 December 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  38. ^ Staff, WWE.com (26 February 2018). "Watch Raw, SmackDown LIVE in Hindi for the first time". WWE. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  39. ^ "Raw and Smackdown now available live in Hindi". Indian Television Dot Com. 27 February 2018. Archived from the original on 1 March 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  40. ^ "JETIX launches 'Action Vacation', Five lucky kids to win tickets to watch WWE Summer Slam 07 in USA" (PDF). The Walt Disney Company India. 2 May 2007. p. 2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 January 2021. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  41. ^ "Disney's Jetix launches 'Action Vacation' with WWE superstars". May 2, 2007. Archived from the original on May 17, 2007. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  42. ^ "Ten Sports and WWE® Expand Partnership in India". WWE. New Delhi, India and Stamford, Connecticut. Business Wire. 12 September 2014. Archived from the original on 3 May 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  43. ^ Staff, WWE.com (22 June 2017). "Sony Pictures Networks India, WWE announce exclusive new weekly Hindi show, "WWE Sunday Dhamaal," on Sony MAX". WWE. Mumbai, India and Stamford, Connecticut. Business Wire. Archived from the original on 17 January 2021. Retrieved 14 April 2021. WWE Sunday Dhamaal replaces Raw Sunday Dhamaal.
  44. ^ "Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN) and WWE® Announce Exclusive New Weekly Hindi Show, WWE Sunday Dhamaal". Bloomberg. Mumbai, India and Stamford, Connecticut. Business Wire. 22 June 2017. Archived from the original on 16 August 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  45. ^ Singh, Robin (12 March 2019). "A date with WWE stars". The Tribune. Retrieved 14 April 2021. Sunday Dhamal is no exception. Ever since it was launched, its viewership has seen an upward swing.
  46. ^ "Zee Cinema to telecast WWE in Hindi". Indian Television Dot Com. 29 August 2015. Archived from the original on 1 September 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  47. ^ Goyal, Shaily (April 2, 2020). "Sony Sports launches WWE Blockbusters @ 8:00 pm". Insider Sport. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  48. ^ "SPSN announces special programming 'WWE Dhamaal League'; also to broadcast NXT TakeOver 31 in India". October 3, 2020. Retrieved October 5, 2020.
  49. ^ Sports Desk (5 May 2017). "Former WWE tag team champions Kofi Kingston and Big E to appear on IPL Extraaa Innings". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 8 May 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  50. ^ Dogra, Aditya (9 May 2017). "WWE superstars Kofi Kingston and Big E of The New Day coming to India". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 9 May 2017. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  51. ^ @JinderMahal (13 October 2017). "Had a great time filming on the set of #SRPJMB on @sabtv . Cant wait to see the episode when it airs. Thanks to the entire cast and crew" (Tweet). Retrieved 14 April 2021 – via Twitter.
  52. ^ Abhimanyu, Mathur (22 October 2017). "WWE champ Jinder Mahal: I'd love to team up with Akshay Kumar in a tag team match". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 10 November 2020. Retrieved 14 April 2021. During his one-day Mumbai visit, Jinder shot for a guest appearance in the TV show 'Sajan Re Jhooth Mat Bolo'.
  53. ^ Sports Desk (6 December 2018). "WATCH: WWE superstar Matt Hardy appears on Indian Idol, leaves it woken". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 7 December 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  54. ^ "WWE Star Matt Hardy Strikes a Classical Note on Indian Idol, Stuns Desi Fans". News18. 6 December 2018. Archived from the original on 7 December 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  55. ^ Sports Desk (22 January 2016). "Hockey déjà vu? WWE asked to apologise to India". The Express Tribune. Archived from the original on 24 January 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2021. Nearly 17 years ago, on March 7, 1999 to be precise, former wrestler Kurt Angle made his debut on Saturday Night Heat and blew his nose on the Indian national flag.
  56. ^ Saraswat, Akshay (8 April 2019). "Throwback: When Kurt Angle insulted the Indian Flag". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 9 April 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  57. ^ News Desk, India.com (15 January 2016). "Aadvanshi Veer Sena to protest against WWE tour; demands apology for insulting Indian flag". India.com. New Delhi, India. Archived from the original on 24 January 2018. Retrieved 14 April 2021. While the fans are enthralled to watch their favorite heroes in reality for the first time, the Indian political scenario does not seem to be excited. A Hindu group, Aadvanshi Veer Sena has claimed to protest against their arrival in India.
  58. ^ Pradhan, Karan (20 January 2016). "WWE apologises for 1998 incident with Indian Flag: There's no way this isn't about profits". Firstpost. Archived from the original on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2021.
  59. ^ "WWE apologizes to India 17 years after Kurt Angle 'disrespected' the tricolour". Sify. Retrieved 14 April 2021. ((cite news)): Check |archive-url= value (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)