After years of playing a villian, Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, better known to wrestling fans as The Iron Sheik, has passed away at 81.
Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, better known to wrestling fans as The Iron Sheik, is no longer with us. According to the wrestling legend’s Twitter account, the beloved athlete died at 81. “It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of The Iron Sheik,” the announcement reads, “but we also take solace unknowing that he departed this world peacefully, leaving behind a legacy that will endure for generations to come.”
RESPECT THE LEGEND FOREVER 😢 pic.twitter.com/Cr6CC9pXSO
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) June 7, 2023
According to his official bio on the WWE website, The Iron Sheik began his amateur wrestling career in his native Iran. As a master of the suplex, he often dominated opponents with hard-hitting moves, including the Camel Clutch maneuver. In 1983, The Iron Sheik became WWE Champion after he defeated Bob Backlund at Madison Square Garden. However, his victory was short-lived when fan-favorite wrestler Hollywood Hogan stole the title in January 1984. Hogan’s victory over The Iron Sheik sparked a feud that will forever shine in the Hall of Wrestling History.
Happy to play the villain, The Iron Sheik often wrestled with American icons, including Hollywood Hogan and Sgt. Slaughter. After losing to Slaughter in a Boot Camp Match at MSG, The Iron Sheik transferred to the tag team division, where he partnered with Nikolai Volkoff. In a significant upset, the duo defeated the U.S. Express in the World Tag Team Championship in 1985 at WrestleMania.
After exiting the WWE in 1988, The Iron Sheik joined the WCW in 1989. The arrangement lasted two years before he returned to the WWE in 1991 alongside Sgt. Slaughter under the name Colonel Mustafa. In 1997, he became a manager for The Sultan. Before leaving the squared circle, The Iron Sheik re-emerged at WrestleMania X-Seven for a one-off event against Slaughter. The Iron Sheik won the Gimmick Battle Royale, rekindling his rivalry with his nemesis Sgt. Slaughter.
As an extension of his wrestling career, The Iron Sheik appears in other forms of media, including recurring guest spots on The Howard Stern Show. He’s also featured in films like The Tale of the 3 Mohammads and Operation Belvis Bash. For TV, you can catch The Iron Sheik in Robot Chicken, The Eric André Show, and the biographical documentary The Sheik.
Our thoughts go out to The Iron Sheik’s family, friends, and fans as he ventures into the hereafter. As one of wrestling’s more exciting personalities and an icon people loved to hate, The Iron Sheik lives on in our excited screams and the hearts of wrestling fans worldwide.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/the-iron-sheik-die/