Dutt's an Indian inspiration
TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
|Sonjay Dutt gets the ring during his ladder match with Jay Lethal at TNA's No Surrender PPV, September 14, 2008, in Oshawa, Ontario. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea
Every time he steps into the ring as Sonjay Dutt, Retesh Bhalla knows he can make a difference. Not only for his ring skills, which are plenty, but for the impact he can have on others.
The Original Playa from the Himalaya has become a role model of sorts -- as an Indian in the world of professional wrestling where minorities are minorities.
"It didn't really hit me until I went to India for the first time," he says. "I saw my people looking up to me. Last week, I ran into a traditional Indian family.
"They recognized me. They looked at me as, 'He's one of our people and he's successful.'
"(In our culture), you're expected to get a degree, then go on and become a lawyer, or a doctor. I did something that was really opposite to what my culture preaches. I never dreamed I'd make a career out of this. I thought maybe it'd just be weekends. I'm not sure what I'd be doing if I wasn't wrestling. I have a blank resume."
After TNA chose not to renew his contract earlier this year, Dutt hit the highway. He's fresh off appearances in Toronto and Winnipeg and performs in Ottawa tonight against Hallowicked (C*4: Capital City Championship Combat's Stand Alone) at the Knights of Columbus Hall (260 McArthur Rd.) at 8 p.m. Other matches on the card: Super Smash Brothers vs. The Flatliners; Rahim Ali vs. Impact Eddie Osbourne; Twiggy vs. MVP; Kevin Steen vs. Sexxxy Eddy; Superstar Shayne Hawk vs. Rush; "BLK Jesus" Sabian vs. Gran Akuma; and Vin Gerard and 2.0 vs. The Warriors and J. Rennalls.
Dutt's also got a couple of dates scheduled with Ring of Honor next weekend.
"In February, TNA gave me a renewal contract to sign," says Dutt, 27. "Three days before I was supposed to sign it, they said there was some restructuring going on and they couldn't do the deal.
"I'm the type of guy that when one door closes, another opens."
And now fans are the winners as the talented Dutt takes his act on the road.
January 5, 2008: X-cellent choice for talented Dutt
June 9, 2005: Sonjay Dutt a Cup playa