Brian “Crush” Adams was nowhere to be found in the world of sports entertainment for the year and a half between Royal Rumble 1995 and his return under a “convict” gimmick in 1996. While most assume that Crush was home in his native Hawaii during this time, video evidence proves that he was, in fact, in Toronto, Canada. Also, he was murdered.
Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi was a 1996 Hindi-language movie filmed in Canada and released in the summer of 1996. The film opens with what appears to be an outdoor wrestling event, where Crush arrives after a most creative introduction by his manager. Rather than Mr. Fuji, it’s the tyrannical and ruthless manager, King Don (who, despite the name, does not resemble Lucius Sweet in the slightest)…
…and instead of Kona, Hawaii, Crush now hails from Russia, where he survived an avalanche by eating the corpses of his 119 fellow miners.
King Don’s arch-rival, Madam Maya, then announces her charge in this clash of titans: none other than The Undertaker ! I bet you didn’t know Mark Calloway ever starred in an Indian film! That’s because it’s actually Brian Lee, who played Ted DiBiase’s impostor Undertaker in 1994.
That angle didn’t quite connect with the audience, which I can only guess is because the would-be Dead Man never made his entrance wearing a snappy, Miss America-style red sash with the word “Maya” written on it.
Either that, or fans realized Lee was a phony when he instinctively flipped his hair back and revealed his face in his very first WWF match. Still, if Brian Lee had worn a green sash with “Ted” on it, his Summerslam showdown with the real Taker would have been a classic.
Like Crush, The Underfaker is provided with a new backstory by his manager. It seems the Dead Man has an undefeated streak that has nothing to do with Wrestlemania; instead, Taker has killed 39 straight opponents in the ring, with Crush being his next prospective victim.
See, this isn’t just any match, explains Madam Maya. This would be a fight to the death. A fight to death taking place outside in broad daylight in Canada’s largest city with hundreds of spectators and a camera man.
As the two opponents lock up, we discover that in their time away from the WWF, they have developed completely different voices. Not only does Crush coin the phrase, “Who’s Next?” years before Goldberg, but he has even picked up Hindi, his second language after whatever dialect of English it is that ends sentences with “brudda” instead of a period. The momentum of the match shifts multiple times while a series of sound effects seemingly ripped from Milton Bradley’s Karate Fighters enhances the action.
Despite the requirement of murder to achieve victory, Crush and Taker use a pretty standard move set throughout the match. For instance, The Undertaker’s game plan is to work over Crush’s leg, perhaps hoping to kill him with a figure four leg lock.
Now, I haven’t been involved in too many physical altercations, but I don’t imagine that I would ever bother pulling off a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, especially in a kill-or-be-killed situation.
And rather than an Irish whip, I think I would just stick to choking the other guy out.
King Don lends moral support to Crush…
…but Chaka Bra takes too much time showboating and playing to the crowd. In a fight to the death.
The match finally ends when The “Undertaker” slams Crush over the top rope, Berzerker-style, then snaps the Hawaiian Russian’s neck, winning the match. Taker then stuffs his late opponent’s corpse into a fun-sized casket, leaving one of Maya’s lackeys, Ajay (the film’s protagonist), to dispose of the body.
After a rather comical sequence in which The Original Hawaiian Punch goes rolling into Lake Ontario, his body is recovered by police, who link his death to Ajay.
The police then arrest Maya’s accomplice, because of a peculiar Canadian law banning fights to death. Who knew?
Ajay is forced to work for the police and incriminate Maya and Don, lest he be hanged. I’m not sure if the film’s writers are really sure what country they’re in, but Canada does not have the death penalty, let alone literal hangings. I would also point out that Canadian police do not exclusively speak Hindi, but then I would have to explain why the Germans in “Schindler’s List” all speak English, so I’ll let that slide.
While the crooked police commissioner bears a striking resemblance to Tank Abbott…
…aside from a few more scenes where The Undertaker switches allegiances (and sashes), the remaining 174 minutes do not have any more appearances by wrestlers, so I will leave it up to you, the Wrestlecrap readers, to discover how the next three hours of drama unfold.
Oh, and Taker gets impaled on a giant tooth.
I will say this, though: in this movie’s universe, Crush and Brian Lee would never form Disciples of Apocalypse, proving that even a literal death match can have something of a happy ending.