CAUSE OF DEATH: WWE legend, Iron Sheik, confirmed dead KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt


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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

CAUSE OF DEATH: WWE legend, Iron Sheik, confirmed dead

CAUSE OF DEATH: WWE legend, Iron Sheik, confirmed dead.

Hossein Khosrow Vaziri, the Iranian-born wrestler known as The Iron Sheik who channeled America’s hatred of his homeland to build a career as one of the most despised ring villains of his era, has died. He was 81.

“Today, we gather with heavy hearts to bid farewell to a true legend, a force of nature, and an iconic figure who left an incredible mark on the world of professional wrestling,” read a statement posted to The Iron Sheik’s Twitter account announcing his death on Wednesday. The WWE also paid tribute on Twitter; a cause of death was not disclosed.

His signature move was a back-breaking “Camel Clutch” submission hold.

As more than 60 Americans were being held hostage at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran starting in November 1979, the Sheik went all in, waving an Iranian flag and singing his country’s national anthem in the ring, spitting on the floor during interviews and proclaiming “Iran No. 1.”

“It was just the right time to establish my character or my gimmick to be the real baddest, baddest wrestler on the Earth,” he recalled in the 2014 documentary The Sheik, directed by Igal Hecht. Iron Sheik.Previously he competed on Iran's Greco-Roman wrestling team at the 1968 Summer Games, and later won a national AAU title in 1971 after moving to the United States. 

But it was when he made the transition to the fledgling WWF in 1979 that he became an international superstar, along with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Jesse 'The Body' Ventura, and Andre 'The Giant' Roussimoff. '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,' read a tweet from the circuit formerly known as the WWF. 

The Iron Sheik made his way to theatrical wrestling after being invited to train at promoter Verne Gagne’s gym in the early 1970s. It was there that the barrel-chested, 6-foot, 250-pound Vaziri learned the business and soon began working as a trainer. He even taught the likes of Ricky Steamboat, Greg Gagne and Jim Brunzell.

Following in the footsteps of a previous wrestler known as ‘The Sheik,’ Vaziri became a heel – another word for ‘bad guy’ – and quickly caught the eye of the World Wrestling Federation.

He’d go on to win the first ever Battle Royal at Madison Square Garden before bouncing around to several rival circuits, and eventually finding a home with the WWF.

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