It's not only the WWE that has been making a push into the Indian market recently as Impact Wrestling has done the same. Unfortunately, that push lost some steam recently when producer Sonjay Dutt left for WWE.
One of Impact's remaining Indian talent, Rohit Raju, talked about his current relationship with Impact creative after Dutt's departure.
"It was better when Sonjay was there because Sonjay was hands-on," Raju told Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast before adding that Sonjay would offer feedback on creative ideas. "Then Sonjay got signed somewhere else and I have to kinda find someone that I can talk to. I talk to Jimmy Jacobs and maybe pitch something to him. Petey [Williams] and I had a very passionate conversation where I was venting to him and he was explaining certain things to me.
"I'm just trying to scratch out a hole there and find a way through and up to the top."
While WWE has plans to open a Performance Center in India, Impact's plans for the nation are much less clear. Raju responded when asked if his push is being affected by Impact not trying as hard to break through in India.
"It could be. If they had plans to go to India in September, then we'd all be pushed," Raju said before adding that someone like Rey Mysterio isn't just popular in Mexico, he's popular everywhere.
"I don't wanna be known as, 'Oh, he's another one of those Indian guys.' I wanna be known as this guy who is a great professional wrestler that happens to represent India."
Raju draws some similarities between himself and The Rock who was played up as Samoan until he broke out.
"I love the fact that I get to represent India, but I always don't wanna be stereotyped and typed cast as just this. Because I know I'm more than just that. You see me on the indies when I'm wrestling as Hakim Zane and I'm walking out in a black jacket and black leather vest and being something totally different because it's me. And I got to Impact by being me," stated Raju.
"I do think [the push of Indian wrestlers] kinda died down in Impact. They do still have the deal with Sony 6, but I do feel like it has died down a little bit."
Raju mentioned his indies persona of Hakim Zane and revealed why Zane was never brought to Impact.
"Impact wanted an Indian group and Hakim Zane is not Indian enough of a name," stated Raju. "Hakim is my middle name and Zane is what my mother was going to name me so I put it together as a tribute to her.
"Sooner or later I hope to be "Ravishing" Rohit Raju or "The Raju."
Raju was asked if he would re-brand himself as Hakim Zane if it meant he'd be pushed more.
"Oh yeah. I'd embrace any type of change or anything that would get me higher up the card," said Raju. "I still try to make it me as Rohit Raju."
With Desi Hit Squad, Raju gets to work with Gama Singh and Raju had nothing but positive things to say about Desi Hit Squad's manager.
"Gama's great. He's such a class dude," said Raju. "He's so soft-spoken and I will literally just sit here and listen to him tell stories….He's just such a great guy and I love to see him go out and rile up a crowd. At first they hate the fact that he's talking and the next thing you know he sucks them in. They're hating him because he's insulting them…with such class."
Raju then told a story about how Gama swerved the fans in Mexico by cutting a promo on them in Spanish when no one expected it. They start cheering for him because he's unexpectedly speaking Spanish and then he insults them in their native language.
"He's very underrated and people don't realize how much of a gem he is. I love working with Gama."
Gama often passes on advice to Raju who doesn't always receive it because of his impatience.
"My biggest problem is that I'm impatient. I've seen guys that I've known break into the business and they're rising up and I wanna get to that level," stated Raju. "Gama tells me you gotta have ideas but also you gotta talk to them, not complain or be a poor sport. See what the plan is and then be able to express your ideas in a civil way which I've tried to do.
"I'm just trying to get us a little higher up on the card. I was very appreciative of being able to get on [Rebellion] with such heat. It felt great and I'm hoping they saw something there. From the feedback I received, they did and hopefully they'll capitalize off that."
Raju also discussed almost being fired by Impact for his Twitter exchange with Scarlett Bordeaux and more in the full interview, which was released in the recent episode of our WINCLY podcast below. You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc. Audio on iTunes or Google Play. Listen to the show via Spotify here or through TuneIn here.