Watching The Great Khali on TV these days brings one other wrestler to mind: Andre The Giant.
It's not images of Andre in his heyday in the 1970s, or his WrestleMania III match against Hulk Hogan that Khali conjures.
It's seeing a giant of a man gingerly walk around the ring looking like he has no business being there.
Not since the last couple years of Andre the Giant's carer has it been so painful to watch someone wrestle.
When Khali is in the ring, it seems his body is mere moments away from toppling over or snapping in half.
It doesn't look like he should be taking bumps at all. It doesn't look like he can convincingly, or even safely, wrestle a match.
Workrate-wise he makes Giant Gonzalez look like Ricky Steamboat.
Watching Khali now is an uncomfortable viewing experience. It's like watching Ric Flair take back body drops while in his 60s, or seeing Jerry Lawler getting in the ring again. It just makes you cringe.
This isn't meant to be mean, it's meant to point out the obvious: Khali needs to retire.
At 40 years old, it looks like it's time (or years past the time) for The Great Khali to pack it in. The only full time wrestlers on the active roster who are older than he is are The Big Show, Kane and Tensai.
Among those four, Khali by far has the least amount of mileage on his body in terms of wrestling. But his frame has been far less kind to him over the years.
Looking back at his debut in January of 2006, you can see that Khali has lost a considerable amount of muscle mass and mobility.
WWE doesn't even bother using him as a threatening character anymore, he's played for laughs.
Somehow, Khali has had amazing longevity as a comedy character in WWE. Around 2008, his days as a main-eventer were over. But Vince needed a few chuckles.
Enter the Khali Kiss Cam. Weekly segments involved Khali kissing a "random" woman from the crowd. Ever since, the former monster has been played for laughs.
The problem is, no one seems to be laughing. Those in power within WWE seem satisfied with themselves for having him cut horrible promos which they find funny because his English is terrible.
It's not funny, it's just mean.
Right now, Khali is stuck with Hornswoggle in a friendship/tag team along with Natalya as his pseudo-girlfriend.
The three aren't over, the crowd isn't into the act. One could argue that the group is the absolute worst stable in the history of professional wrestling.
While they might not win that award, they would definitely deserve a nomination.
Most importantly right now, why is Khali wrestling at the Elimination Chamber?
There are six men competing for a chance at the WWE title at WrestleMania. No one in their right mind believes for a second that Khali would win. There's no money in a feud with him against Del Rio.
His mere presence in the Elimination Chamber (especially if Hornswoggle is by his side), just devalues the brutality of the match.
At this stage in his career, Khali has nothing left to give.
Next to Brock Lesnar, he may be the only guy on the entire roster to defeat Undertaker and Cena cleanly. That's a pretty amazing accomplishment.
WWE doesn't remember that though, so defeating him means nothing.
If WWE doesn't care about his history, then his entry in the Elimination Chamber is just taking a spot for someone who could use it more.
For example, struggling Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett could use that opportunity. Antonio Cesaro is more deserving, as well as The Miz, Kofi Kingston, etc.
Khali should be respected (don't laugh) for becoming the first Indian wrestler signed to a WWE contract. But it's time for him to call it a career.
Watching Khali slowly limp around the ring, having to hold onto the ropes more often with every passing match isn't entertaining, it's sad.
Sure, Khali can still make the occasional guest appearance, but to have him actually wrestling in the ring isn't a good situation for anyone.
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