Each time a legend passes away, we regularly hear the phrase: “There’ll by no means be one other,” and within the case of Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, identified to tens of millions all over the world as professional wrestling’s “The Iron Sheik,” that phrase suits completely. Having handed away on the age of 81 on June 7, 2023, we collectively mourn the lack of one among fashionable cultures most charismatic stars. However we additionally have fun the life and work of a person that received medals as an elite athlete, and as a professional wrestler was skillfully in a position to attract love and hate in equal measure.
M&F takes a loving take a look at six of the methods “The Iron Sheik” earned a everlasting place in all of our hearts.
1. The Iron Sheik was a Legit Robust Man
Born in Iran, in 1942, The Sheik fell in love with the nation’s hottest sports activities of Greco-Roman and Freestyle Wrestling. A talented competitor, he was later employed as a bodyguard to final King of Iran. When hyping himself up as a professional wrestler, The Sheik typically made the incorrect declare that he represented Iran within the Olympic Video games, however regardless of that simply being hoopla, he did tryout for a spot. Actually, The Sheik was a professional powerful man, wrestling for Iran internationally and having moved to the USA, he received two silver medals in AAUU Greco-Roman tournaments. In 1970, he adopted up by successful the gold medal in the identical match. The Iron Sheik additionally served as an assistant coach to Group USA, however got here to the belief that there was extra money to be made within the booming professional wrestling business.
2. The Iron Sheik Made Loads of Historical past
Skilled by Billy Robinson, in the identical class as Ric Aptitude, The Iron Sheik performed as much as the stereotypical “heel” standing of overseas wrestlers throughout that point. He made his debut with the WWF in 1979, successful the primary ever over-the-top-rope Battle Royale at Madison Sq. Backyard. On Dec. 26, 1983, The Iron Sheik defeated the vastly fashionable and lengthy reigning title holder, Bob Backlund, when Backlund’s supervisor was compelled to throw within the towel to save lots of him from The Sheik’s “Camel Clutch” submission maintain. Sheik later misplaced the title to Hulk Hogan in a match thought of to be the beginning of “Hulkamania” the next 12 months, however The Iron Sheik stays the one Iranian in historical past to elevate the WWF/E world heavyweight championship to today.
3. He Was At all times Should-See TV
Whether or not he was taking part in the “overseas villain” or difficult his opponents to see what number of occasions they may swing a Persian membership (a tackle the Indian membership swinging train), The Iron Sheik was all the time must-see-television. Whereas his professional wrestling profession started to wind up within the early ’90s following a stint as “Colonel Mustafa” in a feud the place he teamed with Sgt. Slaughter to focus on the likes of Hulk Hogan and The Final Warrior, the brand new millennium gave rise to The Iron Sheik’s appearing profession, and he made appearances in a number of movies and tv exhibits. He even made an look, taking part in himself, in Robotic Rooster. Within the late 90s, The Sheik had appeared on “The Howard Stern Present,” and actually cemented his place in fashionable tradition with a surreal however unforgettable spot on “The Jerry Springer Present,” the place he had the studio viewers within the palm of his arms in 1999.
— Scott “Future” Felstead (@scottfuture) June 7, 2023
4. The Iron Sheik Slapped His Camel Clutch on Social Media
It wasn’t simply wrestling, radio, movie, and tv that The Iron Sheik mastered. Extremely, he additionally put a submission maintain on social media, turning into a controversial “poster” on Twitter. Nearly all of his tweets would include expletives, typically leveled at his seemingly real-life foe, Hulk Hogan, or no matter was within the information or taking over area in his mind at any given time, however followers quickly started to query whether or not The Iron Sheik was as hateful as his Twitter account made him out to be. He earned new followers within the Twittersphere, based mostly on the truth that he gave the impression to be taking a tongue-in-cheek take a look at the loopy world round him. It’s also understood that his Twitter account was closely or fully influenced by his enterprise managers. The ultimate tweet? “F*** the wildfires.”
5. The Iron Sheik Was a Survivor
Coming to the USA from humble beginnings in Iran, The Iron Sheik grew to become a worldwide fundamental occasion professional wrestling expertise, however his private battles have been larger than something that he could have skilled within the squared circle. When his eldest daughter, Marissa was tragically murdered by her boyfriend, The Iron Sheik plotted revenge and developed a severe cocaine behavior. His spouse, Caryl, left him and he later hit all-time low, however fortunately was capable of kick the behavior and restore his marriage. The couple remained in loving matrimony till The Iron Sheik’s passing. He’s additionally survived by two different daughters and 5 grandchildren.
6. He Was Revered by His Friends
The Iron Sheik was inducted into the WWE Corridor of Fame in 2005, and can dwell on within the fond reminiscences of followers and friends alike. “WWE is saddened to be taught that Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, identified the world over as WWE Corridor of Famer The Iron Sheik, handed away on Wednesday, June 7, at age 81,” learn an official assertion. “WWE extends its condolences to The Iron Sheik’s household, mates and followers.” Hundreds of followers and outstanding wrestlers additionally took to social media to precise their unhappiness and deep lack of one of many greats. And, there was one tweet that summed The Iron Sheiks many items up completely.
“My expensive buddy Khosrow Vaziri,” wrote his longtime colleague Ric Aptitude in a Twitter publish. “We began wrestling collectively In 1972. Looks like so way back! We crossed paths so many occasions through the years and also you have been all the time so entertaining. The best line you ever stated to me In 1972: ‘If I had your hair, I might be with Elizabeth Taylor!’ Relaxation In Peace My Pal. Be as entertaining to God as you have been to all of us! 🙏🏻”
My Expensive Pal Khosrow Vaziri!!! We Began Wrestling Collectively In 1972. Appears Like So Lengthy In the past! We Crossed Paths So Many Occasions Over The Years & You Had been At all times So Entertaining. The Biggest Line You Ever Mentioned To Me In 1972: “If I Had Your Hair, I Would Be With Elizabeth Taylor!”… pic.twitter.com/MG4PO69wP1
— Ric Aptitude® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) June 7, 2023