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Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri (Persian: حسین خسرو علی وزیری, romanized: Hossein Xosrô 'Ali Vaziri; March 15, 1942 – June 7, 2023), better known by his ring name the Iron Sheik, was an Iranian-American professional wrestler, amateur wrestler, and actor. He was the first, and thus far only, Iranian champion in WWE history, having won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship in 1983.This villainous character peaked during the 1980s WWF wrestling boom and his rivalry with Hulk Hogan turned Hogan into one of the greatest television heroes of the decade. He later formed a tag team with Nikolai Volkoff, which won the WWF Tag Team Championship at the inaugural WrestleMania event. In 2005, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.A heel throughout the 1980s, Sheik later gained popularity on Kidd Chris, The Howard Stern Show, and the Internet due to his shoot interviews, vulgar language, and apparent intense dislike for some of his fellow professional wrestlers, particularly Hogan and Brian Blair; however, the true nature of his relationship with Hogan has been a subject of debate.
In 1972, Khosrow was invited to become a professional wrestler by promoter Verne Gagne. Khosrow trained in the same class as Ric Flair at Gagne's wrestling camp under trainer Billy Robinson and then wrestled for Gagne's American Wrestling Association (AWA). He also worked as a trainer, teaching Ricky Steamboat, Greg Gagne and Jim Brunzell.
The Iron Sheik returned to the WWF in 1983 and challenged Bob Backlund for WWF World Heavyweight Championship again. Backlund accepted, and on the December 24 episode of All- American Wrestling, also accepted Sheik's weekly Persian club challenge. He was successful in his third attempt to swing the clubs, and the Sheik immediately attacked him from behind, injuring his neck in a work. In the December 26 title bout at Madison Square Garden, Backlund attempted to roll Sheik into a bridge pin, but this aggravated his work-weakened neck. Sheik capitalized by applying his Camel Clutch chin lock finisher. Backlund didn't submit, but his concerned manager Arnold Skaaland threw in the towel and forfeited the championship in a work in order to transition to Hulk Hogan without Hogan having to face a babyface champion. The Iron Sheik was scheduled to rematch Backlund, who was replaced by Hulk Hogan. Five minutes in, Sheik had Hogan locked in the Camel Clutch. Hogan powered to his feet with Sheik still on his back, rammed him backward into the turnbuckles, and hit his Atomic Legdrop for the pin and the championship. According to The Iron Sheik, Gagne had offered him $100,000 to break Hogan's leg during the match and return to the AWA with the WWF title.
Despite promising to repair his family, Vaziri was unable to successfully quit drugs following Marissa's death. Vaziri was reported to have been extremely angered after his daughter's death to the point where he considered retaliation against her killer. In 2005, the family believed Vaziri was a danger to himself and others and forced him to enter rehabilitation; an employee allegedly snuck in cocaine for him.
The Iron Sheik made his film debut in The Tale of the 3 Mohammads in 2005. He then appeared alongside Daniel Baldwin and Corey Feldman in Operation Belvis Bash in 2011. Sheik also made an appearance on the Canadian show Kenny vs. Spenny on the "Who is a better pro wrestler?" episode where he attempted to sodomize a naked Spenny with a beer bottle. He also appeared in Maz Jobrani's 2009 stand-up comedy special Brown & Friendly. The Sheik made an appearance as himself in Robot Chicken, as well as The Eric André Show on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. In 2014, The Iron Sheik acted in a documentary about his life titled "The Sheik."
Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri ( Persian : حسین خسرو علی وزیری, romanized: Hossein Xosrô 'Ali Vaziri; March 15, 1942 – June 7, 2023), better known by his ring name the Iron Sheik , was an Iranian-American professional wrestler , amateur wrestler , and actor . He was the first, and thus far only, Iranian champion in WWE history, having won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship in 1983.This villainous character peaked during the 1980s WWF wrestling boom and his rivalry with Hulk Hogan turned Hogan into one of the greatest television heroes of the decade. He later formed a tag team with Nikolai Volkoff , which won the WWF Tag Team Championship at the inaugural WrestleMania event. In 2005, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame .A heel throughout the 1980s, Sheik later gained popularity on Kidd Chris , The Howard Stern Show , and the Internet due to his shoot interviews , vulgar language, and apparent intense dislike for some of his fellow professional wrestlers, particularly Hogan and Brian Blair ; however, the true nature of his relationship with Hogan has been a subject of debate. In 1972, Khosrow was invited to become a professional wrestler by promoter Verne Gagne . Khosrow trained in the same class as Ric Flair at Gagne's wrestling camp under trainer Billy Robinson and then wrestled for Gagne's American Wrestling Association (AWA). He also worked as a trainer, teaching Ricky Steamboat , Greg Gagne and Jim Brunzell . The Iron Sheik returned to the WWF in 1983 and challenged Bob Backlund for WWF World Heavyweight Championship again. Backlund accepted, and on the December 24 episode of All- American Wrestling , also accepted Sheik's weekly Persian club challenge. He was successful in his third attempt to swing the clubs, and the Sheik immediately attacked him from behind, injuring his neck in a work. In the December 26 title bout at Madison Square Garden, Backlund attempted to roll Sheik into a bridge pin, but this aggravated his work-weakened neck. Sheik capitalized by applying his Camel Clutch chin lock finisher. Backlund didn't submit, but his concerned manager Arnold Skaaland threw in the towel and forfeited the championship in a work in order to transition to Hulk Hogan without Hogan having to face a babyface champion. The Iron Sheik was scheduled to rematch Backlund, who was replaced by Hulk Hogan . Five minutes in, Sheik had Hogan locked in the Camel Clutch. Hogan powered to his feet with Sheik still on his back, rammed him backward into the turnbuckles, and hit his Atomic Legdrop for the pin and the championship. According to The Iron Sheik, Gagne had offered him $100,000 to break Hogan's leg during the match and return to the AWA with the WWF title. Despite promising to repair his family, Vaziri was unable to successfully quit drugs following Marissa's death. Vaziri was reported to have been extremely angered after his daughter's death to the point where he considered retaliation against her killer. In 2005, the family believed Vaziri was a danger to himself and others and forced him to enter rehabilitation; an employee allegedly snuck in cocaine for him. The Iron Sheik made his film debut in The Tale of the 3 Mohammads in 2005. He then appeared alongside Daniel Baldwin and Corey Feldman in Operation Belvis Bash in 2011. Sheik also made an appearance on the Canadian show Kenny vs. Spenny on the "Who is a better pro wrestler?" episode where he attempted to sodomize a naked Spenny with a beer bottle. He also appeared in Maz Jobrani 's 2009 stand-up comedy special Brown & Friendly . The Sheik made an appearance as himself in Robot Chicken , as well as The Eric André Show on Cartoon Network 's Adult Swim . In 2014, The Iron Sheik acted in a documentary about his life titled "The Sheik." read more read less

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