Being the offspring of a former wrestler isn’t always a guaranteed success. For every Bret Hart or Randy Orton there’s a Kendall Windham or David Sammartino. Wrestling in the blood doesn’t always mean a recipe for success. More often than not, as in other fields, it puts pressure on the performer to live up to the standards set by their parents or siblings.
One wrestler that certainly falls into that category is Tiger Ali Singh and it is he that is the focus of this latest ‘Well That Didn’t Work‘.
Few wrestlers, bar the top stars, are afforded a high profile press conference to welcome them to a wrestling promotion but that’s exactly what Gurjit Singh Hans, better known as Tiger Ali Singh, received in January 1997.
Ali Singh is the son of Jag Jeet Singh Hans, better known as Tiger Jeet Singh. During the senior Singh’s wrestling career he twice fought Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF title, competed against Gene Kiniski for the NWA title and was the first pro wrestler in Japan to defeat sumo wrestler Wajima Hiroshi.
During his 22 year career he wrestled some of the greats of the business including Rick Flair, Nick Bockwinkel, Andre the Giant and Antonio Inoki in a career that saw him compete as a crazed heel.
Little surprise, then, that his son would become involved in the business. He was trained by Sweet Daddy Siki and Ron Hutchinson and was announced to the wrestling world at the Skydome in January 97. Success followed as he won the second, and last, Kuwait cup defeating Owen Hart in the final.
It was clear that the company had high hopes for the latest in a long line of second generation superstars to grace a WWF ring. It didn’t even seem to matter to the company, as it rarely does, that Ali Singh was poor in the ring and seemingly devoid of any charisma.
Even a UK-exclusive PPV victory over Leif ‘Al Snow’ Cassidy couldn’t hide Singh’s in-ring limitation. He would soon disappear from television and returned during the Attitude era. His shtick upon his return was that he was a rich and arrogant character, a tried and tested formula that reaped results for Ted Dibiase before him and John Bradshaw Layfield after him.
However, even that gimmick couldn’t save that character and he was sent to Puerto Rico to improve his in-ring work. A return in 2000 saw him manage Lo Down, the team of D’Lo Brown and Chaz. Him and Brown were then sent back to Puerto Rico to work on their in-ring work and despite becoming a two time tag champion there, Singh suffered an injury that forced him to retire.
A case against the WWE over his injury failed and in 2008 he came out of retirement and wrestled, with his father, as Tiger Jeet Singh jr. in homage to his more famous, and more talented, father.
The WWE certainly gave him various opportunities and they introduced him with a bang but he suffered as a result of limited wrestling skills and an inability to connect with the WWE faithful.
All previous ‘Well That Didn’t Work’ articles can be read here.