Pro-Wrestling Legend Iron Sheik Dead At 81

Legendary WWF and WWE wrestler Iron Sheik has died at the age of 81. Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, also known as the Iron Sheik, had an infamous rivalry with Hulk Hogan in the 1980s.

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He also made many legendary appearances on the Howard Stern Show, entertaining millions of Americans throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.

ESPN reports on the passing of the Iron Sheik….

The Iron Sheik, a standout Greco-Roman wrestler from Iran who gained global fame in professional wrestling with his 1980s rivalries against the likes of Hulk Hogan, died Wednesday at the age of 81, according to his official Twitter account.

Sheik, whose real name was Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, was a former WWF World Heavyweight champion and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. As a hated heel, he had legendary battles in the 1980s against Hogan, Bob Backlund and Sgt. Slaughter. Vaziri beat Backlund for the WWF title in December 1983, and, one month later, Hogan defeated Vaziri in front of more than 20,000 at New York’s Madison Square Garden to win the belt for the first time. The match helped catapult Hulkamania into a phenomenon, leading into the first WrestleMania one year later.

“With his larger than life persona, incredible charisma, and unparalleled in-ring skills, he captivated audiences around the globe,” said the statement from his Twitter account. “He was a trailblazer, breaking barriers and paving the way for a diverse range of wrestlers who followed in his footsteps.”

See the Iron Sheik’s 2005 WWE Hall of Fame speech below…

Sheik will surely be missed. There has never been anybody like him in the history of pro-wrestling, and probably will never be again.

His unique personality and style played perfectly into the WWF. He entertained millions of Americans for decades. May the Iron Sheik rest in peace.

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