Today, the official Twitter account of the WWE Hall of Famer Iron Sheik announced that Sheik has passed away at the age of 81. You can read the full statement of Sheik’s family by clicking here.
The Iron Sheik was one of the greatest villains in the 80s. Sheik made his WWE debut in 1979 and was involved in a storyline with Bob Backlund, Chief Jay Strongbow, and Bruno Sammartino before leaving the promotion within a year.
The Iron Sheik found success in numerous territories such as Jim Crockett Promotions, Mid-South Wrestling, Championship Wrestling from Florida, and Georgia Championship Wrestling before returning to WWE in 1983. After that, Iron Sheik became a household name in professional wrestling. He was so much hated by the audience due to his villainess persona.
On December 26th, 1983, The Iron Sheik became the WWE Champion by defeating Bob Backlund who held the title for 2,138 days. On January 23rd, 1984, Sheik dropped the WWE Championship to Hulk Hogan which was the day that “Hulkamania” was born.
The Iron Sheik then feuded with Sgt. Slaughter and won a few matches. Sheik was then paired with Nikolai Volkoff. The duo became the most hated tag team at the time. Iron Sheik was then left WWE in 1988 before returning to the company in 1991. The legendary wrestler was then inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. Sheik’s Hall of Fame speech was one of the most interesting HOF speeches in WWE.
Here’s how the pro wrestling world reacted to the passing of The Iron Sheik.
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.— WWE (@WWE) June 7, 2023
WWE extends its condolences to The Iron Sheik’s family, friends and fans.https://t.co/FGE0yKeuWA pic.twitter.com/yVLpLObxFA
The legend. An all-time great performer and WWE Hall of Famer who brought his character to life and transcended our business.— Triple H (@TripleH) June 7, 2023
My condolences to The Iron Sheik’s family, friends and fans.
Rest in Power, Uncle Sheiky ❤️— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) June 7, 2023
Thank you for paving the way 🙏🏾
Love, light and strength to Caryl & the ohana x pic.twitter.com/p9c9wwQz6U
RIP to my old friend The Iron Sheik.— JakeSnakeDDT (@JakeSnakeDDT) June 7, 2023
A true icon and someone who left a mark on wrestling that can never be erased. Another great one gone. pic.twitter.com/SfTziHjwkR
REMEMBERING THE IRON SHEIK— Mick Foley (@foleyispod) June 7, 2023
The wrestling world lost a true legend today, with the passing of Khosrow Vaziri, better known to fans across the globe as The Iron Sheik. Although I never got to know The Sheik well, I was fortunate to have been on hand for two of his most iconic… pic.twitter.com/mVMqTaeXtE
My Dear Friend Khosrow Vaziri!!! We Started Wrestling Together In 1972. Seems Like So Long Ago! We Crossed Paths So Many Times Over The Years & You Were Always So Entertaining. The Greatest Line You Ever Said To Me In 1972: “If I Had Your Hair, I Would Be With Elizabeth Taylor!”… pic.twitter.com/MG4PO69wP1— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) June 7, 2023
We will miss you Bubba#HUMBLE— WYATT 6 (@Windham6) June 7, 2023
AEW joins the wrestling world in mourning the passing of the Iron Sheik. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his fans. pic.twitter.com/RXLF5TIFDt— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) June 7, 2023
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of @the_ironsheik. He is one of the very best to ever to do it. God speed.— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) June 7, 2023
MLW is saddened to hear of the passing of the Iron Sheik, Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri. RIP, legend. pic.twitter.com/5VMrPPgXIh— MLW (@MLW) June 7, 2023