Olympic medalist Indian wrestler Sushil Kumar is not joining the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) after its vice-president Canyon Ceman revealed that things didn’t work with him despite extensive talks.
In 2016, iconic wrestler Sushil admitted that WWE has approached him for a contract but things didn’t materialise.
“I was happy to meet with him. This clearly is a guy who commands respect. He is a national icon. But it was hard for us to convince him, from being a national icon of India to come to America where there are no guarantees that he is going to make it through this very competitive system,” Ceman, WWE vice president (talent), told PTI. Also read: Rooney confirms WrestleMania cameo and WWE summer move
“So it was hard for us to tell him that ‘you leave this amazing life in India and come and risk it all in America where we are not sure of anything’. The conversation was definitely of mutual interest but it did not work out eventually,” he added.
WWE is still very much interested in signing the Indian amateur wrestler as it will help them to woo the Indian market.
There is no one to represent India in the WWE since The Great Khali left the event.
“Absolutely. It has to be at the right time in their lives. It has to be the right time in our system. Look we want to serve our Indian audience and out India audience is large and passionate. So we know we need to find that guy or those three guys or women who can make it big.
“There is a female wrestler Kavita, who is coming to Dubai for the WWE tryouts. We are going to have future Indian stars, I can guarantee that but it is hard to say where they are going to come from,” said Ceman. Also read: ‘Sambo wrestling on right track to join Olympic programme’
He has expected that Lovepreet Singh Sangha and Satendar Yadav would perform for India, but the two Indians failed to earn a single major fight.
“They both (Lovepreet and Satendar) are world class athletes. They have been here for two years. They have got a long way to go. They have got to love this to succeed at it. They have natural skills and charisma. The question is can they commit to this (WWE) for their entire lives.
“Only time will tell whether they go on to become as big a star as Khali. He was larger than life. He had the awe factor while these two guys’ game is based on skill.”
With India being the biggest market of WWE outside the United States, Ceman said the country should be represented by at least six to eight wrestlers.
He also said that promotions events will be held in India every year. Currently, India host only odd one.