Another piece of my childhood is gone. It’s with a heavy heart that I report The Iron Sheik has passed away.
The Greco-Roman wrestler from Iran, whose real name was Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, gained global attention in professional wrestling in the 1980s.
In the WWF, The Iron Sheik was a hated heel, who faced off in legendary battles against Hulk Hogan, Bob Backlund, and Sgt. Slaughter.
In December 1983, Sheik beat Backlund for the WWF World Heavyweight Champion title.
But, a month later, Hulk Hogan snatched up the belt in front of 20,000 fans at Madison Square Garden.
Vaziri would later be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
The Iron Sheik died on Wednesday at the age of 88, according to a statement released on his official Twitter account.
It read, in part:
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 the world peacefully, leaving behind a legacy that will endure for generations to come.
Read the full statement below.
RESPECT THE LEGEND FOREVER 😢 pic.twitter.com/Cr6CC9pXSO— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) June 7, 2023
My sincerest condolences to the family, friends, and fans of The Iron Sheik.
Rest in peace.