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BY JAMES GREEN
For the past several years, the world’s largest professional wrestling company has been attempting to make inroads into India. We’ve seen the American promotion stage more shows in the country during the past five years than it had in the previous twenty, and there’s been more airtime given to Indian wrestlers on WWE television shows than there has been at any point in history. Now, it appears that WWE is preparing to take the next step in making India one of the biggest focuses of its promotional efforts by opening up an India-branded arm of its company.
Rumors that NXT, WWE’s ‘third brand,’ would soon be getting a devoted Indian arm first started to appear a little over twelve months ago. The brand has become a massive success in America, selling out arenas and gaining a prime-time television show on the USA Network on Wednesday nights. NXT’s success led to the opening of NXT UK, a British-focused division of the company a little over three years ago.
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While smaller, that promotion airs television shows every week in its home country and is available on the WWE Network. The rumors have now been proven to be true. According to WhatCulture and several other reliable wrestling-orientated news outlets, WWE NXT India will open on Republic Day, January 26th, with the first TV recordings happening on the same day. When it happens, we can expect to see a very familiar face as the headline act.
While WWE has had an Indian World Heavyweight Champion before in the shape of the Great Khali and has showcased the talents of the Indian tag team the Bollywood Boyz more recently, there has been no bigger Indian star within the company than muscular Canadian-Indian performer Jinder Mahal. While he’s been absent from television for most of the past two years because of recurring injuries, Mahal shocked the world in 2017 when he defeated the legendary Randy Orton to capture the official WWE Championship, becoming the first Indian in history to win wrestling’s biggest prize.
At the time, it was seen as an attempt to win favor within the country by WWE, who had their eyes on a new big-money television deal. Mahal had been a mid-card performer at best during his WWE run up to that point and had even been let go from the company in the past, but his stronger, more athletic look upon his return saw him propelled to the top of the card, culminating in his unlikely triumph.
The good times didn’t last forever for Mahal. Although his run with the championship went on for longer than most people expected it to, he was eventually defeated at a television taping in England by AJ Styles in November of that year, seemingly bringing an end to his Cinderella story. The fact that he lost the championship on a regular episode of SmackDown as opposed to a pay-per-view led to suggestions that WWE management was displeased with his run as champion and had decided to call time on the “Jinder Mahal project,” but that proved not to be the case.
At the following WrestleMania – WWE’s biggest show of the year – Mahal defeated Orton again and also beat Rusev and Bobby Roode on the way to claiming his first-ever WWE United States Championship. That was in April 2018. He didn’t hold on to the title for long and began to suffer a series of injuries shortly afterward, but it was clear that WWE still believed there was money to be made with Mahal as a featured performer. Mahal is now fit enough to return to the ring, and WWE has put its faith in him to be the leader of the new NXT India project.
He’ll be joined by the Bollywood Boyz, and also a few WWE Performance Center stand-outs such as Gurvinder Singh, Laxmi Kant Rajoot, and Sukhwinder Grewal. Initially, the promotions’ weekly shows will be filmed in America and broadcast on the WWE Network in the hope that an Indian television station will agree to air them on regular programming. If that’s the case, rumors suggest that WWE will then open a dedicated WWE Performance Center in India in 2022.
While Mahal has been featured as a headline star by the company in the past, he’s not one of their ‘top tier’ attractions. One way to assess who WWE views as its biggest stars are to look at the range of online slots that the company has just released to websites across the world. John Cena, Hulk Hogan, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, Roman Reigns, and Becky Lynch all have their own dedicated WWE-themed online slots. Jinder Mahal does not. This is, perhaps, surprising given WWE’s apparent intention to expand into India.
Unlike many countries where WWE does business, online slots websites are legal across most of India. If Jinder Mahal is viewed as a star in India, it’s likely that many of the gambling public would be drawn to an online slots game with his face on it. It’s also not necessarily a barrier to success – Drew McIntyre, the current WWE Champion, doesn’t currently have his own online slots game either.
At this early stage, it’s too early to say whether Mahal’s affiliation with NXT India will preclude him from appearing on ‘main roster’ shows like RAW and SmackDown. He could theoretically appear on either show as well as NXT India while the shows are filmed in the United States, but it’s anticipated that he’ll have to relocate if and when the Performance Center is opened in the country.
That would make it impossible for him to continue appearing on the ‘big’ shows, but that might not necessarily matter to him so long as NXT India is a success. Jinder Mahal is currently 34 years of age, so there’s plenty of time for him to return to the States after playing his part in building the NXT India brand. The idea will undoubtedly be for Mahal to help establish new stars and then return to America to resume his ‘regular’ main roster career.
Until WWE makes an official announcement on the matter, these reports should still be thought of as rumors, but they’re appearing in so many places that it’s unlikely for them to be incorrect. As only the second country in the world outside the USA to get its own branded WWE platform, this is big news for Indian wrestling fans and a statement of intent by WWE.
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored, and hence promotes some commercial links.)
By- Sunidhi Beeliya
Unconventional career choices might be challenging at first, however, the benefits associated with these are promising. Today's job opportunities are the ones that didn't exist a few years ago. Similarly, the pace of technological evolution would continue to generate millions of new jobs in the future that we can't think of today. Equipping oneself with relevant, unique, evolving, and out-of-the-box skills, is thus, an important aspect for young graduates aiming to start their own business or land a secure job. As parents, education institutions, and the government are now motivating the youngsters to walk an extra mile, think of new ideas, and explore new career routes, students have gathered the confidence and courage to pursue their interests. For those who don't align with the traditional work culture, believe in doing something revolutionary, aim to pursue their passion, and wish to make an impact, learning an offbeat skill could be exciting and rewarding. Here are a few more reasons that would add up to your decision of learning an offbeat skill.
1.Pursuing your passion - Whether painting, dancing, writing, scripting, anchoring or travelling, passion fuels your willingness to work. Mastery in an offbeat skill would help you turn your interests, passions, and dreams into reality. While working professionally in the field of your choice, you stay motivated, continue learning, experience a sense of accomplishment, feel positive and energetic, broaden your horizon, and constantly discover new career opportunities. For those with multiple interests or hobbies, you must first assess your strengths and weaknesses and the opportunities and threats of building a career in those fields. This will help you to determine your capabilities, make the right decisions, and stay focussed, consistent, innovative, and dedicated towards your career.
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2.Earning potential - Delayed results, sleepless nights, lack of resources, hefty equipment costs, and fewer earnings initially, are a few complications associated with pursuing offbeat careers. However, once you build your recognition, loyal clients, and credibility, your craft will be appreciated by everyone. Unlike 9-5 jobs wherein your earnings would increase by 10-20% annually, earning potential in offbeat domains is humongous. Few photographers during weddings and festive seasons, scriptwriters working for top-notch brand ads, and animators designing their own video games, earn more than someone's 2-year package within 2-5 months. Your expertise, experience, knowledge of the field, quality of work, and ability to market yourself could help you fetch a lucrative amount once you are established.
Constantly learning new things helps to stay updated and meet demand Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash
3.Possibility to build a great network - Offbeat career choices like animation, photography, video editing, blogging, digital art, calligraphy, playing guitar, or creative writing feature a great scope for networking. You build your own professional portfolio, reach out to experts in your niche, connect with more people, do your own PR and marketing, build your visibility on social media, and develop long-lasting relationships that help you in career progression. You get access to more work, stay informed, get expert advice and suggestions, gain new insights, and strengthen your social skills that are essential for growth. Pursuing a career in an offbeat skill is thus an excellent way to meet new people, showcase your ability to the world, make lasting connections, and grow profoundly.
Also read: Skills You Can Learn At Home
4.Be your own boss - Offbeat fields have enormous choices when it comes to choosing the place, time, duration, and type of work. You can start as an intern or freelancer, can work on a contractual basis with private or government firms, work for multiple clients at a time, or can start your own business. You set your own short term goals, mission, vision, and deadlines, have the freedom to choose projects that excite you, and quote prices that justify your talent and skills. Unlike fixed commitments wherein the work is driven by company expectations, here you can connect with your clients and customers anywhere, anytime, enjoy a great work-life balance, do a variety of work, work in-office or from home, and live life on your own terms.
5.Constant learning and progress - As trends and technology keep advancing, success in offbeat careers require you to be dynamic, up-to-date, active, creative, innovative, and self-motivated. You need to master the latest trends, in-demand hard and soft skills, new software or tools, and analysis and marketing tactics to stay in the competition and have steady career growth. Obtaining certifications might also become essential to display your competency, validate your expertise in your domain, showcase your commitment, and assure your clients that your skills are worth considering. Thus, learning through part-time or online courses would become an essential element of your life once you start working in an offbeat field. You would be constantly eager to learn and acquire more knowledge, discover new techniques of working, compete passionately, and grow in your career.
Courtesy: Internshala Trainings (training.internshala.com) - e-learning platform to learn new-age skills from Internshala
Keywords: Passion, Techniques, Offbeat Skills, Career, Potential
By- Sunidhi Beeliya
Blogging has lately become a popular tool for building a positive online influence through legible content. As many young graduates are plunging on the startup bandwagon, it's evident that becoming an entrepreneur excites them more than choosing to work for someone else. The enormous inspiring stories of various multi-million businesses that started off as a blog initially, add up to their ambitions. Blogging helps drive traffic, promotes your content and offerings, and helps to instill trust among your target audience. Moreover, blogging is one of the most economical and effective ways to start sharing your ideas with people. Although good content writing skills are essential for starting your own blog, knowledge of marketing your content to the right audience is what helps you turn it into a business. So, if you are a budding blogger and are willing to increase your reach, here are a few marketing tips that would not let your blogging efforts go in vain!
1.Search and target keywords - Readers majorly consume content through search engines. Targeting top keywords and formulating your content around the same is essential for your blog to be seen, consumed, and shared. Set your content goals and expectations, understand different types of keywords, your audience's taste, your competitors' habits, things to avoid, and create a keyword research strategy. Regardless of the industry and niche that your blog is focused on, you must know about different keyword research tools and techniques, competitor keywords, keyword gaps, long-tail keywords, buyer keywords, related keywords, and low competition keywords. Strategic keyword research helps attract the interested audience, increases conversion, gives you an insight into market trends, helps in prioritising time and resources, and helps your blog to rank better.
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2.Leverage social media platforms - Unless you own a full-fledged website, opting for paid marketing alternatives might feel heavy on your pockets. Thus, social media is a vivid, free-of-cost, powerful, and highly engaging choice to reach out to your audience. To leverage the power of social media, it is imperative to not only share your blog on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms, but to also create and optimise socially shareable content. Link your blog with social media posts and use relevant, intriguing, unique captions, and visually appealing images. You can use free tools to create infographics, GIFs, illustrations, and graphics. Integrate social media buttons on your blog, automate content sharing on social media, produce and share blog posts consistently, set an optimal time for posting based on your audiences' activity, and use relevant hashtags to ensure maximum reach.
Blogging helps with marketing with audience Photo by Fikret Tozak on Unsplash
3.Network with experts in your niche - Building meaningful relationships with experts in your niche gives you an opportunity to learn from more experienced and skilled content creators. Use your networking skills as a blog marketing tool by searching and connecting with influencers in your niche, mentioning industry experts in your blog posts, inviting people to write on your blog, hosting thought leaders in your niche through webinars or podcasts, and co-hosting with renowned brands in your industry. Building fruitful relationships will gradually help you to get mentions, tags, redirected audiences from other platforms, valuable insights and facts about your niche, business advice from experts, and would ultimately build the credibility of your content. You will be able to connect with a larger audience and have a good share of voice in the highly competitive market.
Also read: Essential Marketing Tactics For Any Start-Up
A pro tip: Learn professional marketing strategies through specialisation courses
For your blog marketing tactics to be on spot, honing in-demand marketing skills is important. While good communication, content writing, creativity, language, and editing skills are prerequisites for starting a blog and could be developed over time through constant practise, learning blog marketing skills on your own could be a hard nut to crack. Online specialisations are specifically designed to help beginners start their careers in the field of their choice. You can opt for a digital marketing specialisation which will not only boost your blogging and marketing skills but will also help you become an expert in content, email, and social media marketing. You can learn to create your own blog, publish posts, and use Google Analytics to track your blog performance. Concepts like SEO, Google Ads, ORM, social listening, marketing automation, strategic planning, and growth hacking, are also covered in the specialisations. Add on perks include continuous practice and assessment sessions, industry recognised certificates, and 1:1 Career Planning Sessions with industry experts that help you build professional knowledge and have a credible presence in the market.
Keywords: Blogging, Content writing, Networking, Social Media, Marketing
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said final congressional passage of the Biden administration's major infrastructure plan comes down to "a fundamental issue" of the lack of water brought on by climate change.
Harris made the comments Monday during a visit to Lake Mead, a man-made reservoir near the gambling and tourist destination city of Las Vegas, Nevada, which provides drinking water and electricity for more than 40 million people across seven western U.S. states and northern Mexico.
The U.S. government in August declared the first-ever water shortage at Lake Mead, which has fallen to record lows amid a two decade-long drought in the Western United States. The shortage has forced officials to impose water rationing next year for Nevada, the neighboring state of Arizona and Mexico.
A buoy once used to warn of a submerged rock rests on the ground along the waterline near a closed boat ramp on Lake Mead at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, near Boulder City, Nev. Water levels at Lake Mead Image credit: VOA
During the visit, the vice president promoted a $550 billion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, an agreement reached earlier this year between President Joe Biden and a bipartisan group of senators. The investment includes tens of billions of dollars to shore up the nation's water infrastructure and protect communities against the impact of climate change, including lingering heat waves and droughts, along with investments in water recycling and technology to convert sea water into usable drinking water.
"This is about thinking ahead, recognizing where we are and where we're headed -- if we don't address these issues with a sense of urgency, understanding this is literally about life," Harris said.
The infrastructure plan has been approved by the U.S. Senate, but is stalled in the House over intense and increasingly bitter negotiations over funding for the president's $3.5 trillion Build Back Better plan, which would provide a significant boost to the nation's social safety net. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Climate Change, Kamala Harris, Urgency, Infrastructure Plan