Salman’s Khan‘s Sultan has released and revolves around the sports of wrestling. Though boxing is still quite prominent in the Bollywood scheme of things, wrestling has only made sporadic appearances. Yes, Dara Singh had that going for him for long but then that was half a century ago. Now one waits to see the sport returning for the big screen. Let’s take a look at some of the notable scenes involving wrestlers from past and the present.
Akshay Kumar v/s Undertaker in ‘Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi’
Perhaps the biggest crowd pulling wrestling sequence ever which was hyped to the utmost stays on to be the one in Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi where Akshay Kumar took on WWF champion Undertaker. The film came at the time when quite some effort into making audience aware about the film’s USP. However, the makers went all out to promote this sequence and the result was house full board for weeks in succession.
Aamir Khan’s little jig in ‘Rang De Basanti’
This wasn’t really a wrestling fight per se. Instead, Aamir Khan was sport enough to be overpowered by a huge wrestler in the song sequence of Rang De Basanti. Though there was quite some marketing buzz around the scene, eventually it turned out to be quite miniscule to the larger scheme of things and just stayed on as a promotional peg. It was fun while it lasted though!
Ajay Devgn as a wrestler in ‘Bol Bachchan’
Ajay Devgn played a wrestler in Bol Bachchan and that certainly added on to his character. No wonder, you did fear for Abhishek Bachchan whenever he came face to face with Ajay in this Rohit Shetty directed affair. Ajay was totally convincing as a wrestler and he even lifted ‘ballams‘ weighing 50 kilos, just like the way professional wrestlers do. So much so that even Salman Khan went public with his appreciation.
Salman Khan and Sonu Sood in ‘Dabangg’
Sonu Sood played a wrestler baddie in Dabangg and he had just the right man opposite him in the form of Salman Khan. Though ‘Chulbul Pandey‘ kicked and punched when it came to regular goons, there was special treatment meted for the chief villain. When the two muscle men met, there were fireworks galore and even though there wasn’t any ‘kushti‘ per se, the bare body fight was pretty much on display.
Aamir Khan’s wrestling in ‘Mangal Pandey’
Aamir Khan certainly has an affinity for wrestling and that was on display even a decade back when he indulged in some wrestling for Mangal Pandey. In this Ketan Mehta directed film, he did get bare bodied for this wrestling sequence. Unfortunately, the clipping isn’t quite easily available on internet and one has to hunt for the entire film to pick this scene out.
Amitabh Bachchan and Dara Singh in ‘Mard’
Amitabh Bachchan pretty much sealed the deal when he said ‘Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota‘ in the iconic fight sequence between him and Dara Singh for Manmohan Desai‘s Mard. Their encounter was pretty much free style, as is expected from a Manmohan Desai film, and hence everything from wrestling to sword fight to some ‘dishoom dishoom’ came together in this climactic sequence set in pre-independence India.
Akshay Kumar in ‘Mr. And Mrs. Khiladi’
Akshay Kumar had his share of fun when he came face to face with a Sumo wrestler in David Dhawan‘s Mr. And Mrs. Khiladi. The sequence set in a ring had Akshay in a fun avtar, which meant unlike his bravado in Khiladyon Ka Khiladi, he was pretty submissive to the heavy weight man. Designed for kids, it did well for the target audience even as Juhi Chawla waited in the marriage ‘pandal‘ for his return.
Rajpal Yadav and Khali fight it out in ‘Kushti’
The only wrestling film in the recent times, the Rajpal Yadav starrer was even named Kushti. The film had an impossible set up where Rajpal was required to take on The Great Khali. ‘Akhada‘ and ‘pehelwan‘ formed a major part of the film but there was nothing much to talk about. Also, for obvious reasons, the climactic sequence between the duo was set in a comic vein and that too barely brought smiles.
Aamir Khan’s ‘pehelwan‘ act in ‘Dangal’
It is pretty much expected that Aamir Khan would be entirely convincing as a ‘pehelwan‘ in his next release Dangal. After all, he has been perfect in any and every on-screen role that he has appeared. If the look and physique that he has managed to create so far for Dangal is any indication, he is certainly on the job. It has been long since some true wrestling was seen on screen and this one should be it.