New Delhi: Sushil Kumar on Saturday admitted that he had indeed met top officials of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), giving enough hint that India's most celebrated wrestler is ready for a shock career switch.
But soon after, the face of WWE in India, The Great Khali warned the 33-year-old not to take the pro plunge lightly. The former WWE World Heavyweight champion said that Sushil's success would be limited due to his age.
"It will be good if Sushil goes to WWE. It is my thought nothing personal about it but I think it will be late for Sushil to join WWE. One has to join at an early age and the chances of success increase," Khali told India Today.
Khali, whose real name is Dalip Singh Rana, became a break-out star when he signed a contract with the WWE in 2006. The 2.16m tall giant managed to get top billings, fighting with the likes of The Undertaker and John Cena in many big ticket duels. But the Indian struggled to keep the intensity alive.
"WWE is very difficult so I still feel it is a bit late for Sushil to join WWE. I would personally like to see someone in WWE after me," he added.
In the latest development, the head of talent Development WWE, Canyon Ceman flew down from Orlando, Florida to meet Sushil yesterday in Delhi.
“I had a very good meeting with the head of the WWE talent development and I am exploring a lot of options as I just want to continue wrestling,” Sushil told PTI.
“I would not say that I am leaving the amateur arena. I am just keen to explore other avenues as I really want to continue playing,” the two-time Olympic medallist added.
It's claimed that Sushil was not happy with the treatment meted to him in the run up to India's selection for 2016 Rio Olympics. The legend was overlooked to send Narsingh Yadav, who earned an Olympic quota.
If at all this arrangement comes to fruition, Sushil can become the second Indian superstar in world's premier sports entertainment, after Khali.
The WWE, then known as the WWF, was once ruled by Kurt Angle, who won a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
The precedent is already there for Sushil to follow, but as Khali has stressed, pro wrestling is not a cake-walk even for top wrestlers.