Will `Ring Ka King` popularise wrestling in India?

Pune: After international wrestling promotions like WWE and TNA, it`s now time for India`s very own ‘Ring Ka King’! The new wrestling-based reality show is set to hit desi telly, and its goodwill ambassador, cricketer Harbhajan Singh, hopes the show will help in popularising the sport among the urban youth.

"I am very excited to be part of this show as it will promote a rather rural sport like wrestling in India. I won`t be judging or participating in the show but I will be encouraging the wrestlers like the audience," said Singh.

"I was skeptical about playing cricket on a professional level but thanks to all the encouragement, I went ahead and made it possible. I wish the same happens to the Indian youth, who are planning to become professional wrestlers. This show is likely to bring up wrestling as a popular sport," he added.

The show, to be launched on Jan 28, will see 30 international and Indian wrestlers fighting it out in the ring to become the `king`.

The list of wrestlers includes names like Jeff Jarrett, Matt Morgan, Scott Stiner and Monster Abyss, as well as Indian wrestlers with international level training, like Jwala, Mahabali Veera, Romeo Rapta, Zoravar and Deadly Danda.

‘Ring Ka King’ will be spread over 13 weeks and will end just before the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches begin.

In the first four weeks of the show, viewers will see exciting matches that will crown a heavyweight champion and a tag team champion. During the subsequent weeks, the champions will have to save their title and fight against the other contenders, who will come their way and throw open challenges to claim their belt.

The show has been produced by Endemol, which has created shows like ‘Indian Idol’, ‘Bigg Boss’ and ‘Fear Factor - Khatron Ke Khiladi’.
‘Ring Ka King’ is inspired by Total Nonstop Action (TNA), but Deepak Dhar, managing director, Endemol India, says they have Indianised it to cater to desi viewers.

"We have pushed the boundaries with this new style. For Indian television, we have not changed the format much but have built on the existing format. It will capture the interest of the Indian audience," said Dhar.