WWE Hall of Famer and professional wrestling legend The Iron Sheik has died at the age of 81, according to a statement posted on his Twitter account on Wednesday.
In a statement, the Iron Sheik is called a “cultural phenomenon” and “pop culture icon” that transcends the world of professional wrestling:
The Iron Sheik played a significant role in WWE in the 1980s and early 1990s, holding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and the WWE Tag Team Championship respectively before being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.
Hossein Khosrow Ali Waziri is an Iranian-American professional wrestler, amateur wrestler, and actor, better known as Iron Leader. After winning the WWF World Heavyweight Championship in 1983, he became the only Iranian champion in WWE history.
The villain’s persona reached its heyday during the heyday of WWF wrestling in the 1980s, and his rivalry with Hulk Hogan established Hogan as one of the biggest television heroes of the decade. He later teamed with Nikolai Volkov to win the WWF Tag Team Championship at the first WrestleMania. In 2005, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
A spin-off in the 1980s, Sheik was later featured on Kid Chris, The Howard Stern Show and on the Internet for his interviews, profanity and some apparent dislike of professional wrestlers, notably Hulk Hogan and Brian Blair, who were very popular on the Internet.
Born in Damghan, Iran, in 1942, Khosrow grew up in a working-class family with little income and no running water. Although her passport shows March 15, her birthday is September 9. As a youth, he idolized Iranian Olympic gold medalist Holamreza Tahti, who made a name for herself as an amateur wrestler. He also served as a bodyguard for Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his family for several years.