Feud with John Cena
The Great Khali’s most interesting feud and best matches in the ring came against the WWE Champion, John Cena. Khali had an interesting time moving from his feud with the Undertaker to his feud with John Cena. After his loss to The Undertaker in a Last Man Standing match, he was traded to ECW, where he enjoyed a short stay from October 31st all the way until the new year, squashing jobbers each week and entering a small feud with Tommy Dreamer, by proxy with his manager Daivari.
On the 8th of January edition of Monday Night Raw, John Cena opened the show talking about his match the night before, when he ended the undefeated streak of the Samoan Bulldozer, Umaga, at New Years Revolution (You can see the Hall of Fame post on Umaga here). Cena talks about beating Umaga, and got quite arrogant and offered Umaga a rematch that very same night, despite talking about how Umaga “Kicked his ass” the night before. To be fair, the matches Cena had with Umaga were great and definitely worth the watch, especially their bout from the Royal Rumble in 2007.
After entertaining the crowd, a man with a theme song that’s way too good for him, Jonathan Coachman interrupts the Champ. He says he is giving Umaga the night off. Cena tells Umaga to not follow him into the shower in a very strange exchange.
Coachman goes on to say how it’s a new year, so new superstars can be signed to different brands. He tells Cena he will be in action against Raw’s newest superstar in a non-title bout, The Great Khali! He slowly, oh so slowly, makes his way down to the ring, completely towering over the Champ, who looks stunned at the mere sight of Khali. The pair stare down, but to Cena’s credit does not back down to the Punjabi Nightmare. Khali is first to baulk, warning Cena he’s coming for his belt as he backs away.
In the main event of Raw that night, Khali faces off with John Cena, with Umaga’s manager, ARMMMANNDDOOOO ALLEEEJJJANDDDDRRROOO ESSSSSSSSSTRADA!!!! on commentary, furthering Cena’s feud with Umaga. Khali dominates, brushing off Cena’s punches and hitting him with a disgusting clothesline that slams Cena to the floor, bouncing him off the mat. Cena goes for a body slam but he can’t lift the giant of a man and his back gives way. The match is thrown out within 2 minutes after Estrada tries to attack Cena with a chair, and Khali carries on the demolition of the Champ with a giant chop and a brutal Khali bomb, before he stands over Cena and poses. Umaga then attacks Cena to build up to their Royal Rumble 2007 match.
Khali’s feud with Cena was put on hold at that point, going back to beating Jobbers before engaging in a rivalry with Smackdown’s Kane. He cost Kane a shot at being in the Money in the Bank ladder match, and the pair faced off with each other at Wrestlemania 23. Khali won in the sub par match with a Khali Bomb, which luckily lasted only minutes, and was basically just a way to get Kane on the show to promote his new movie, See No Evil.
He reignited his feud with Cena after Wrestlemania. Khali defeated Shawn Michaels on the May 7th edition of Raw to become the number one contender for Cena’s WWE Championship, which he had just defended against Michaels at Wrestlemania. Khali lost in controversial circumstances at Judgement Day 2007, tapping out to Cena’s STFU. However, the referee failed to notice Khali’s foot was underneath the rope, due to his ridiculous length, and that the hold should have been broken. Rajin Singh, Khali’s new manager, made this clear on Raw and demanded a rematch which Cena obliged. Khali defeated Cena by pinfall on Saturday Nights Main Event in non-title bout leading up to their rematch, a Falls Count Anywhere match at One Night Stand.