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WWE Hall Of Famer & Wrestling Icon The Iron Sheik Passes At 81

The wrestling world mourns the loss of WWE Hall of Famer Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri better known to fans as The Iron Sheik has passed at 81.

Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, better known to professional wrestling fans as The Iron Sheik passed away. Born in 1942 in Iran, Vaziri went by various in-ring names including Ali Vaziri, Col. Mustafa, and Great Hossein Arab aside his most famous moniker. Trained in Greco-Roman Wrestling, he entered professional wrestling under the tutorage of AWA founder (and WWE Hall of Famer) Verne Gagne and British wrestling legend Billy Robinson. Making his debut in 1973, Vaziri gained notoriety as The Iron Sheik, the Iranian patriot that became a natural heel due to the ongoing controversial geopolitical issues and the Iranian revolution. His family posted on social media from his account.

WWE Hall of Famer & Wrestling Icon The Iron Sheik Passes at 81
Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri aka The Iron Sheik. Image courtesy of WWE

Remembering WWE Hall of Famer The Iron Sheik

"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. It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of The Iron Sheik, but we also take solace in knowing that he departed this world peacefully, leaving behind a legacy that will endure for generations to come." From his illustrious 37-year career, The Iron Sheik started wrestling for the AWA winning his first title, the Canadian Tag Team Championship with The Texas Outlaw, before doing a tour in Japan wrestling the likes of Steve Day and Antonio Inoki before his first stint with the World Wrestling Federation, now WWE from 1979-80, which would be the first of several stints with the promotion. He also served stints with Jim Crockett Promotions, Mid-South Wrestling, Championship Wrestling from Florida, National Wrestling Alliance, Georgia Championship Wrestling, and World Championship Wrestling.

The Iron Sheik won several titles throughout their career, including the WWF Heavyweight Championship and Tag Team Championship with Nikolai Volkoff. He was inducted into the NWA Hall of Fame in 2008 and the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. Late in life, aside from his occasional appearance in WWE programming with his final turn in 2010, he became even more popular for his rants, whether it's tweeting in all caps on social media or going on tirades on The Howard Stern Show, saving his most vicious barbs for his rival and notable racist Hulk Hogan. You can check out the entire statement in the tweet below and the tributes from the pro-wrestling world, including WWE, All Elite Wrestling, and more.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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