The thrill of wrestling


Reality shows have really changed the fare that India watches on television. First it was Sach Ka Saamna on Star Plus which brought out all skeletons hidden in people’s cupboards — be it a common man or an actor. And now it is 100% De Dhana Dhan. No matter how atrocious the name sounds, the show — modeled on WWF — is expected to be one of the major revenue grosser for Colors.

What has really surprised a lot of viewers and critics is the fact that both these shows are being aired on channels that are supposed to dish out general entertainment. The Indian viewer who was exposed to tearjerkers, talent hunts and at most Bigg Boss on these channels was finding it a bit difficult to digest De Dhana Dhan and Sach Ka Saamna initially. But now, looking at the success of these shows it seems they are enjoying such shows. Sach Ka Saamna received very high TRPs and 100% De Dhana Dhan has also received very good initial feedback.

 The show which is modeled on WWF fights will have professional wrestlers from South Africa battle it out with their Indian counterparts. Like its international counterpart, De Dhana Dhan will be a mix of reality and fiction. In other words, while the fights will (perhaps) be real, the bloodshed and the gory violence will all be enacted and far away from reality. (So if you feel sad for a particular wrestler being clobbered on the show, think again) The akhara trained Indian wrestlers will be fighting with the professional South African wrestlers.

 Explains Deepak Dhar, managing director of Endemol India — the makers of the show, “In 100% De Dhana Dhan, the content is fresh and different but rooted to the Indian tradition and culture. Through this show we will be able to give the Indian audience a taste of modern and international formats.”

 Interestingly, the show will be anchored by the sexy siren of Indian film industry Eesha Koppikkar, who feels this is nothing but a sports show. “Not sure how many of you know that I have recently got a black belt in Taekwondo (a form of martial art) and that I am an avid follower of all kinds of sports. When the makers of 100% De Dhana Dhan called me and offered me the role of an anchor, I could only say yes. I feel this show will go a long way in popularising wrestling in India,” says Eesha, when asked about why she agreed to host the show.

 Expectedly, Ashvini Yardi, programming head of Colors supports Eesha and adds, “This is the first time India will witness the thrill of wrestling with intense drama thrown in for good measure and that too on a general entertainment channel. Viewers will witness a true fight of the icons versus the I cans!”

 “Before you start drawing conclusions, let me tell you that I will not be a commentator for the show. Mohan Kapoor will be doing the honours on that front. I will be responsible for interacting with both the teams and connecting them. I will discuss strategy with them and also talk about their performances. I will not have any script to fall back on and will be the real Eesha in the show,” explains the actress.

 The story does not end at a filmy anchor. The manager of the Indian team is also a character actor of repute — Sharad Saxena, a boxer in real life. And the team will be mentored by the iconic Dara Singh.

 “The three roles are completely different from each other and each one will have its requirement. While the mentor and manager roles will be completely technical, I will look more at the humane angle and the personal contact between the teams,” explains Eesha. Like most other popular reality shows currently being telecast, De Dhana Dhan is also based on a Western show. However, instead of adapting a North American or European show, this time the producers have looked at an Argentinean show Lucha for inspiration.

Eesha has no qualms in admitting that she has never watched WWF shows on television. “However, after interacting with the wrestlers on the show, I know the difference between a charkha and a brain buster! They taught me a lot. But please do not draw the conclusion that I have learned wrestling. I have not! But it was a memorable experience interacting with such great wrestlers most of whom are below 25 years of age,” says Eesha, visibly happy about hosting this show.

The show will be aired every weekend on Saturday and Sunday at 9 pm.

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