KARACHI: No one takes it seriously when they say “Don’t try this at home” about wrestling. Just like all teenagers brush the warning to the side, Bollywood artist Rakhi Sawant recently did the same and well, suffered the consequences. At a Continental Wrestling Entertainment (CWE – India’s first wrestling promotion run by former WWE star The Great Khali) event in Haryana, India, Sawant reportedly challenged Rebel, a TNA Impact performer, to a bout.
While Sawant now claims she meant a dance competition, she was probably not too clear about it as Rebel picked her up and slammed her on the ring mat. In a video posted on Times of India, the Indian model lay motionless on the ground after being hit and could barely stand up. She was then helped to the back by a woman dressed as a police officer and another female wrestler. The incident has left Sawant hospitalised.
If this sight wasn’t outrageous enough, Sawant spoke to the Indian media from her hospital bed and blamed Tanushree Dutta for the harm she suffered. She also shared multiple posts on her Instagram. “She is Rebel who has intentionally harmed me. She took money from Tanushree Dutta and tried to injure my back so that I can never dance again or entertain my fans,” she wrote in one of them.
“My dear lovely fans from India, America and the entire world, I request you to stand with me and let’s fight back with those British people.” It’s even more hilarious because wrestler Rebel hails from the US, not Britain. And, Sawant was aware of this as in her interview from the hospital bed, she said Dutta and Rebel were teaming up against her because they both are from the US.
The B-town starlets were recently embroiled in a public rivalry after passing slanderous statements against each other. The two have subsequently sued each other for defamation as well. Of course, people started taking digs at Sawant for even stepping into the ring with no prior experience.
First in line was popular singer Mika Singh who posted a picture of Khali and Sawant together and quoted the Khalibali song from Padmaavat. “Khali bali hogaya hai dil dunya se mera, khalibali hogaya hai dil,” he wrote. “Rakhi Sawant, my cute beta, tu chha gayi (You did amazing).” Twitterati joined the fun, with one calling her the “Kanye West of India” and others telling her to improve her PR game.
In an age where friendships, jealousies and other things become a spectacle for the public, bringing in the element of pro-wrestling and sports entertainment changes the way one looks at the phenomenon. In the case of Sawant stepping into the ring, this looks like a ‘work’ – which, in professional wrestling terms, means pre-planned showcase of a storyline, which may appear real. With a long history of being in the spotlight for controversies, this could possibly be another stunt from the former Big Boss contestant to attract attention.
When legendary comedian and performer Andy Kaufman crossed over to professional wrestling in the 1980s for an infamous storyline with Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, he did so with huge success and brought popularity, profit and name value to the game. Sawant’s attempt, on the other hand, merely seems like a publicity stunt to remain relevant. Or maybe, just maybe, we’re completely wrong and the former talk show host is actually a genius and plans to revolutionise sports entertainment in India.
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