The New Day members, Big E & Kofi Kingston recently spoke to DNAIndia’s Vishal Gajaria about WWE’s popularity in India and what India’s WWE fans can expect going forward.
Here are the highlights: If you want to read the full interview, click here.
Why Is WWE So Popular In India:
Kofi: “WWE, from an entertainment aspect, is awesome. It’s kind of like IPL meets Bollywood. Because IPL is competitive, it’s athletic, it’s very popular and we do a lot of athletic things, we are sports entertainers and then that entertainment aspect with the Bollywood part comes in. We try to entertain. Everybody has a different character. There are actually a couple of Indian superstars with WWE right now, especially Jinder Mahal has made quite a transition to the Smackdown brand. He has come at full force, with the Singh brothers taking on guys like Randy Orton, who have been established in our industry for so long. It’s awesome to see. We actually had a try-out in Dubai a little while ago and out of the 40 contestants that were there trying out, 10 of them came from India. So, that is a big statement. I feel like the next Indian WWE superstar is on the cusp of coming out in a major way. So, it’s really exciting to be a part of this.”
Big E: “I think evidence of WWE’s popularity in India is, now we have WWE shops in India that just opened up and the fact that you can now get the official merchandise and gear from WWE. So, that’s now available. We also have RAW and Smackdown live on Ten Sports and our largest Facebook fan base across the planet is in India. So, it’s exciting for us to realize how strong our fan base is in India. The fact that 10 of the talents out of the 40 at the Dubai try-outs were Indians. I think Canyon Ceman (senior director of talent development for WWE) is really heading up the department, looking for scouting talent and they are doing a great job and are really investing in India and the evidence is the try-out in Dubai. So, there’s a clear investment from WWE’s perspective and also a clear investment from the WWE Universe here in India. So, I think it’s going to lead to further growth. It’s just going to continue to grow from there.”
Big E & Kofi Discuss WWE’s Future In India:
Kofi: “Hopefully, we will be here soon. We talked about how big the fan base is; it’s probably only a matter of time before WWE comes back. I can tell you that last year in New Delhi the crowd was amazing. So, we definitely have reasons to come back and like we said, the fan base is demanding it. So, you have to keep your eyes peeled and hopefully we will be here soon.”
Big E: “Kofi pretty much nailed it. There’s a big demand, so I think the people will speak and let their voices be heard. We are obviously excited to come back as soon as we can. But, the demand is very high, we have great fan base here in India, and I hope to be able to come back soon.”