Menu

I’m going to fight in the main event during TigerFest: Tiger Ali Singh

June 26, 2012 - All News

By NOUMAN KHALIL
Staff Writer
World professional wrestling superstars Tiger Jeet Singh and his son Tiger Ali Singh spoke to Focus about their experiences.
Story to date: Born in Ludhiana in 1948, Jagjit Singh Hans started attending the akhara (wrestling training centre) at age 12. He came to Canada in 1971 and began to put his skills on display in the wrestling arena in Toronto, before hitting the big-time in Japan.
Today Tiger Jeet has hung up his boots; his son Tiger Ali has also reduced his commitments in the ring after suffering an injury some time ago. But both are as popular as ever in the community.
The story continues:
You both are the only father and son pairing in Canada to be honoured with The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Would you like to comment?
Absolutely, that is the biggest honour. We received this medal in a school that was named after me… what do you want to wish for?
How did you train your son Ali Singh?
He is a natural wrestler. I did train him, but he has natural talent. I remember one day when I was working out in the gym and he came in. At that time he was just two years old, and he was disturbing me, so I gave him dumbbells to play with. You will not believe, I saw him so happy playing with the dumbbells. Ever since he is my gym partner.
Your (to Tiger Jr) name is Gurjit Singh Hans, how did you come up with the name Tiger Ali Singh?
Well, when I was signing the contract with WWE, Vince McMahon (WWE chairman) asked me to come up with a new ring name. And when I started thinking about it, first of all I thought of my two favourite heroes — my father Tiger Jeet Singh and boxing king Muhammad Ali. Both are my heroes and I respect them like my Guru Jis. So I chose my name as Tiger Ali Singh, which is a mixer of both.
I put the word ‘Ali’ in my name as a blessing.

You had been a WWE star, tell me if WWE wrestling is a drama and they tell the wrestlers in advance who is going to win?
Yes, today’s wrestling is not real and it’s staged, but we get real injuries. I suffered real concussions. See what happened to Edge… we always have chances of real life-threatening and career-ending injuries.
It’s like magic. We know that things like magic tricks and movies are not real but we watch it to enjoy and get away from stress. It’s the same thing, today WWE got away from the wrestling style that used to be fought in India or Pakistan. But in Japan, wrestling is still a real sport.
Injuries like Edge are by accident. No wrestler would intentionally try to break anybody’s spine. But still, it is such a high-risk activity that it doesn’t matter when it’s a drama or real, your life is at risk. When a 400lb guy slaps, he can break your jaw — or what if he drops his body weight on you.
But I am more in love with Japan-style because it is more hardcore and it’s real.

When did you start wrestling?
I have been working out since I was a child, I got inspiration from my dad when I used to watch him wrestle, but officially I started fighting in late 1992.
Give us some prominent names you have fought with.
I have fought with the Undertaker, Rock, Shawn Michaels, Steve Austin, Edge, and many other stars of the WWF world.
Do you have any dreams unfulfilled?
I have wrestled around the world, everywhere. In the UK, Europe, Middle East, India, North America, everywhere. But my one wish is to wrestle in Pakistan. I want to repeat the history when my dad was there. The treatment and the respect he was given (pauses)… he never got that treatment anywhere in the world. I want to meet those people and see that place with my own eyes.
For a true wrestler, the place where Great Gama Pehelwan had wrestled, is a paradise… they have the old style. It’s like body-builders and fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger wish to visit to Muscle Beach Venice, California. In the same way for wrestling, I would love to visit Pakistan. I want to pay my respects on the graves of senior wrestlers like Great Gama and meet their families. It is my dream to see those akharas… it’s a paradise.
(Adds Tiger Sr): The love they give you in that country is unbelievable. Actually it is the hub of wrestling. They had history’s best wrestlers like Gama, Bholu, Akram, Jhara and so many others. Still wrestling is very popular and I know they still have those old-fashioned akharay.
Tell me why you (Jr) are recognized as Asian Hulk Hogan?
There was a time when Vince McMahon (WWE chairman) was looking for a good wrestler, Bret (the Hit Man) Hart put my name forward to McMahan and introduced me as ‘Asian Hulk Hogan’.
Have you ever wrestled with Bret Hart?
No, but he is my trainer and I have a lot of respect for him.
I heard about your contract signing, could you tell us about it?
My contract signing at Rogers Centre, Toronto, in January 2007 was one of the biggest wrestling events. It was telecast on Star satellite television across the globe while more than 40,000 witnessed in the stadium.
My whole family… my parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters along with Bret Hart were present inside the ring.
Why did you retire?
During my wrestling career, I suffered three concussions. Finally my doctors advised me not to wrestle any more.
Do you have any plans in the near future?
Yes, I am going to fight in the main wrestling event during TigerFest in Brampton this July.
Concluded 
— Read Part-I The Tiger with a heart of gold at http://www.southasianfocus.ca/news/the-tiger-with-a-heart-of-gold/

Read More at SouthAsianFocus.ca