WWE Hall Of Fame Legend Passes Away
As a lifelong wrestling fan, I was most upset yesterday to learn of the passing of WWE Hall of Famer, the legendary, “Iron Sheik.” In today’s wrestling, who’s the babyface (good guy) or heel (bad guy) is often ambiguous at best. When I was a boy, heroes and villains in professional wrestling were really defined. No one illustrated this more than The Iron Sheik.
When I was 9 years old, 66 American hostages were held for more than a year by extremists in Tehran, Iran. There was no more hated country or people to the citizens of this country. So when Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri (The Iron Sheik’s real name) entered the wrestling ring waving the Iranian flag and chanting, “Iran Number One,” you can imagine his popularity. <g> No one “boooooed” louder than me.
Unlike a lot of wrestling’s characters, The Iron Sheik was indeed Iranian. In fact, he had wrestled in the 1968 Olympics for Iran before moving to America and entering the world of professional wrestling.
He won many championships throughout his career, but is probably best remembered this moment. When he lost the WWF (now WWE) championship to Hulk Hogan, giving birth to “Hulkamania,” and launching professional wrestling’s popularity into the stratosphere.
In his post-career life. “The Iron Sheik” has battled health and drug issues, but in recent years had become a beloved figure on social media. His trademark broken English, often profanity-laced insults hurled at celebrities on Twitter and Instagram were hilarious. There was never a time that The Iron Sheik’s posts popped up on my feed that I didn’t stop, look and laugh.
In fact, it was on social media that his family posted this warm tribute.
RESPECT THE LEGEND FOREVER 😢 pic.twitter.com/Cr6CC9pXSO— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) June 7, 2023
RIP Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri. WWE Hall of Famer, legendary, “The Iron Sheik,” has passed away at 81. You were loved as a wrestling villain and beloved as everyone’s cantankerous old uncle. You will be missed.
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