The Iron Sheik, a pro wrestling legend and pop culture fixture who embraced his role as “one of the worst villains” in the history of the entertainment genre, has died, his team said Wednesday.
He is 81 years old.
The announcement was made on the wrestler’s popular Twitter feed. Has more than 640,000 followers.
The report did not provide any details on how the man, Hossein Khosrow Ali Waziri, died.
The Iron Sheik “transcended the realm of sports entertainment” with his “larger-than-life personality, incredible charisma and unparalleled in-ring skills” that “captivated audiences around the world,” according to the report.
Pinned at the top of his Twitter feed, the all-caps tweet captures the actor’s comical angst and often-A scandalous personality: “Take a minute out of your day to be nice to one of your dumb sons—-.”
The Sheikh often used hilariously caustic language to address current events.
His final tweet, before the post announcing his death, referred to Canadian wildfires darkening the skies across the northeastern United States: “F— WILDIFIRES.”
“WWE is saddened to hear of the passing of WWE Hall of Famer The Iron Sheik and extends its condolences to his family, friends and fans.” According to a report From the pro wrestling system.
The Sheikh rose to prominence as a comedy film in the United States in the 1980s, when tensions between the United States and Iran reached a boiling point during the hostage crisis in Tehran.
Before donning the quirky anti-American heel outfit, Sheikh was a real wrestler, competing as an amateur in her native Iran before moving stateside.
The Sheik achieved his American dream in late 1983 when he defeated Bob Backlund at Madison Square Garden to capture the world heavyweight belt in a “controversial” result. According to WWE archives.
According to WWE Narrative, it was a controversial title as “Backlund refused to submit and Backlund’s manager, Arnold Scholand, threw in the towel.”
The Sheik only held the title for a month before dropping it to rising superstar Hulk Hogan and touching off a long-running rivalry with the Hulkster.
Sheik continued the kayfabe act for decades, frequently and needlessly tweeting insults at Hogan. He wrote “F–K the Hulk Hogan!” In early 2021.
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