Amanpreet Singh, a.k.a Mahabali Shera is already a big name in the professional wrestling circles, and the TNA (Total Nonstop Action) Impact Wrestling superstar is about to take his name forward to doing something no other Indian pro wrestler has ever attempted or accomplished before.
The 24-year-old, who hails from Ferozepur District in Punjab, makes his entry into the Bound for Glory 2015 -- billed as the biggest pay-per-view (PPV) event out of all the TNA wrestling calendar year PPVs. The event is also regarded as big as WWE's Wrestlemania.
Shera stole attention after getting selected from his native land by pro wrestling legend Kurt Angle last year. Amanpreet kept asserting that he had to prove something to himself to build a name, and that was the belief that laid the foundation to where he is today.
Shera, who has been a part of a sensational series of rivalries with James Storm over the last few months, goes against nine other TNA Wrestling superstars -- Mr. Anderson, Abyss, Robbie E, Tyrus, Eli Drake, Aiden O'Shea, Chris Melendez, Rockstar Spud and Jessie Godderz -- in the Bound for Gold Gauntlet match on Sunday, at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center in Concord, North Carolina.
The winner of the event gets a shot at the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
In an exclusive interview with IBTimes India, the wrestler looks ahead to the fight and speaks about himself, and his future. EXCERPTS:
Shera bhai, firstly, how excited are you for the upcoming match?
"I cannot tell you how happy and excited I am. This is the biggest event in the whole of TNA Impact Wrestling, and the fact that I am the only Indian to ever enter into the event is just amazing. I can be only happy about it. A lot of pro wrestling stars will be competing in the event, and the feeling of getting a chance to perform alongside them is spellbinding."
"I've done quite a lot of hard work to get there, and I just want to perform well and Bhagwaan ke kripa se (with God's help), I hope I win the match, and get to achieve what I have always wanted to."
What is it that Amanpreet Singh always wanted to accomplish in his life, right from when he was young?
"I was thinking at one point as to what exactly I was doing with my life. I came from a small and humble family, saw a lot of struggle, especially financially, and there were days when I lost every hope as I was not getting a chance to impress my parents and villagers."
"However, I kept pushing myself, and kept the belief, and thanks to God, I earned my big opportunity last year as Kurt Angle came and selected me from my village. Now, if you ask me, nothing has changed over all these months even though I have a new lifestyle here in the United States. I have a long way to go, and have to go really far, to make my name, and make 'Mahabali' reach every household in India."
"I love India a lot, and I believe only hard work will make me achieve my dream and take me to the position I have always aimed for. I have full faith in the TNA to help me achieve my dreams."
How exactly has Kurt Angle's influence been on your life?
"He motivated me a lot, and still does. Whenever I feel down, he comes up to me and keeps repeating that I have the potential in me and have a long way to go. So, never give up the hope. Bad times do come."
"When we first met, he came across as a very humble human being, and getting the support of an accomplished pro wrestler and a former Olympic medallist like him was everything I needed. He kept inspiring me to move ahead, and never let me lose my focus and dedication for the sport I fell in love with."
You started off as a heel (villainous character) when you entered the wrestling company, but you soon had a face turn. Which image of yourself do you personally prefer?
"Honestly, I felt really awkward being a part of the 'Revolution' stable initially, and do things that do not adhere to my image. My objective was always to reach the fans' hearts, and I'm happy now that I've in some way, achieved that."
"My fans and real life friends kept asking me on the social media, Facebook and Twitter as to what I was doing being a heel -- Bhai, ye kar raha hai? (What are you doing, brother?). After that, I decided to change my character and following the face turn, everything changed for the better."
"At Revolution, I always used to give my 100%, but somebody else used to take that bragging rights. I kept proving myself, but never got the praises from the other 'Revolution' members, like James Storm. Therefore, I finally decided that I needed to command things and start making an impact. Of course, my rivalry with him has taken my popularity to a new level, and I only think that whatever has happened has happened for good."
Dalip Singh Rana, a.k.a The Great Khali, is also an accomplished pro wrestler. What do you have to say about him?
"I've not interacted with him personally, but I have seen some of his in-ring abilities, and I must say that I am happy for him for what he has achieved so far."
Is there any kind of competition between the two of you?
"I follow Dara [Singh] ji. I have been taught that whoever, you follow in life, have full faith in that person and follow every step of his. It is only hard work that takes you to places, and not ill-feelings or unhealthy competitions with someone."
"With Khali, I don't have any competition. Everything is positive between us. Of course, I want both of us to prosper in the same way. We both hail from India, and being able to reach everyone's hearts is all that matters. He is doing quite good in his wrestling promotion, and I admire it a lot."
Finally, TNA's plans for India.
"All I can say right now that there is something big coming soon. Now that I'm looking forward to establishing myself with TNA, be assured that lots of things are about to happen in India. All I need is everyone's support and blessings to reach that platform, and I believe, once you make that name, success automatically follows."
"And I want myself to reach every household in India. Pro wrestling events, academies, and everything else will follow soon."
MAHABALI SHERA will fight in the TNA BOUND FOR GLORY event, live and exclusively on SONY SIX (Indian audience) on Monday, 5th Oct, 2015 @ 5.30am IST.