Wrestling Luminary, WWE’s Iron Sheik, Departs at 81
The Iron Sheik, a celebrated figure in wrestling and inductee of WWE’s Hall of Fame, has drawn the curtains on his life at 81. The Iron Sheik, born Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, carved his name in the annals of wrestling history when he lost to Hulk Hogan in a landmark match at Madison Square Garden in 1984. This match heralded Hogan’s first-ever victory for the coveted WWF World Heavyweight Championship. Watch below:
Read more about the Iron Sheik: The Iron Sheik: Rap Songs with Wrestling References
Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, universally known as The Iron Sheik, stamped an indelible mark on professional wrestling that few could parallel. Born on March 15, 1942, in Tehran, Iran, he started his athletic career not in wrestling but as an amateur Greco-Roman wrestler and bodyguard for Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
The Sheik’s extraordinary wrestling prowess earned him a spot on Iran’s Greco-Roman wrestling team at the 1968 Summer Olympics. Shortly afterward, he moved to the United States and became an assistant coach for two U.S. Olympic squads in the 1970s. His transition to the World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment) arena began in 1972 under the moniker of Ali Vaziri.
Playing the role of an antagonist throughout his career, the Sheik formed rivalries with America’s favorite wrestling heroes, such as Hogan and Sgt. Slaughter collaborated in tag teams with the imposing Russian wrestler Nikolai Volkoff. Later in life, the Sheik found popularity as a unique character on Twitter.
His wife Caryl, after 47 years of marriage, and his children Tanya and Nikki, mourn his passing. What impressions has the Iron Sheik left in your mind? What do you believe his wrestling legacy will be?
The Iron Sheik: Remembering a WWE Icon
The wrestling world reels as countless wrestlers and promoters remember the wrestling legend on Twitter and fans create Iron Sheik tribute art:
WWE is saddened to learn that Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, known the world over as WWE Hall of Famer The Iron Sheik, passed away on Wednesday, June 7, at age 81.
— WWE (@WWE) June 7, 2023
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) June 7, 2023
AEW joins the wrestling world in mourning the passing of the Iron Sheik. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his fans. pic.twitter.com/RXLF5TIFDt
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) June 7, 2023