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6 Ways The Iron Sheik Made His Mark in Pro Wrestling And Beyond

Whenever a legend passes away, we often hear the phrase: “There will never be another,” and in the case of Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, known to millions around the world as pro wrestling’s “The Iron Sheik,” that phrase fits perfectly. Having passed away at the age of 81 on June 7, 2023, we collectively mourn the loss of one of popular cultures most charismatic stars. But we also celebrate the life and work of a man that won medals as an elite athlete, and as a pro wrestler was skillfully able to draw love and hate in equal measure.

M&F takes a loving look at six of the ways “The Iron Sheik” earned a permanent place in all of our hearts.

Whether he was playing the “foreign villain” or challenging his opponents to see how many times they could swing a Persian club (a take on the Indian club swinging exercise), The Iron Sheik was always must-see-television. While his pro wrestling career began to wind up in the early ’90s following a stint as “Colonel Mustafa” in a feud where he teamed with Sgt. Slaughter to target the likes of Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior, the new millennium gave rise to The Iron Sheik’s acting career, and he made appearances in several films and television shows. He even made an appearance, playing himself, in Robot Chicken. In the late 90s, The Sheik had appeared on “The Howard Stern Show,” and truly cemented his place in popular culture with a surreal but unforgettable spot on “The Jerry Springer Show,” where he had the studio audience in the palm of his hands in 1999.

It wasn’t just wrestling, radio, film, and television that The Iron Sheik mastered. Incredibly, he also put a submission hold on social media, becoming a controversial “poster” on Twitter. The majority of his tweets would contain expletives, often leveled at his seemingly real-life foe, Hulk Hogan, or whatever was in the news or taking up space in his brain at any given time, but followers soon began to question whether The Iron Sheik was as hateful as his Twitter account made him out to be. He earned new fans in the Twittersphere, based on the fact that he seemed to be taking a tongue-in-cheek look at the crazy world around him. It is also understood that his Twitter account was heavily or completely influenced by his business managers. The final tweet? “F*** the wildfires.”


The Iron Sheik was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, and will live on in the fond memories of fans and peers alike. “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,” read an official statement. “WWE extends its condolences to The Iron Sheik’s family, friends and fans.” Thousands of fans and prominent wrestlers also took to social media to express their sadness and deep loss of one of the greats. And, there was one tweet that summed The Iron Sheiks many gifts up perfectly.



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