The wrestling world is in mourning today following the death of WWE Legend and Hall of Famer The Iron Sheik at the age of 81.
The passing of the Iron Sheik, real name Hossein Khosrow Ali Vazari, was announced in a statement on his Twitter account on June 7th, 2023, which reflected on his role as a wrestler and his role as a family man.
RESPECT THE LEGEND FOREVER 😢 pic.twitter.com/Cr6CC9pXSO
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) June 7, 2023
The Iron Sheik began his wrestling career in 1972 under the tutelage of Billy Robinson of the Verne Gagne Wrestling Academy and would be part of the same class as fellow WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair.
The biggest moment of Sheik’s career would come on December 26, 1983, when he dethroned WWF Champion Bob Backlund. Though Backlund never submitted to the Sheik’s devastating Camel Clutch, his manager Arnold Skaaland threw in the towel as Backlund had gone into the match with a neck injury. After a series of indecisive rematches with Backlund, Sheik would lose the title to Hulk Hogan on January 23, 1984, considered as the night that Hulkamania was born.
Outside of the WWF, the Sheik would compete for WCW, WCCW, AWA, and WWC. Outside of the ring, he served in the Imperial Iranian Army and was the best man at the wedding of Mean Gene Okerlund.
The Iron Sheik was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.
Wrestling World Reacts To The Iron Sheik’s Passing
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
The legend. An all-time great performer and WWE Hall of Famer who brought his character to life and transcended our business.
My condolences to The Iron Sheik’s family, friends and fans.
— Triple H (@TripleH) June 7, 2023
Rest in Power, Uncle Sheiky ❤️
Thank you for paving the way 🙏🏾
Love, light and strength to Caryl & the ohana x pic.twitter.com/p9c9wwQz6U
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) June 7, 2023
REMEMBERING THE IRON SHEIK
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
— Mick Foley (@foleyispod) June 7, 2023
RIP to my old friend The Iron Sheik.
A true icon and someone who left a mark on wrestling that can never be erased. Another great one gone. pic.twitter.com/SfTziHjwkR
— JakeSnakeDDT (@JakeSnakeDDT) June 7, 2023
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
— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) June 7, 2023
I remember working small shows throughout the north east in the very late 80’s/ early 90s… Trying to learn my way Sheik was one of the very few veterans that always helped the young guys. Condolences to his family & friends. #Legend pic.twitter.com/etB316V1gb
— taz (@OfficialTAZ) 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
— Wrestling Radar (@WrestlingRadar) June 7, 2023
Official Statement On Iron Sheik’s Twitter Account
“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.
Beyond the wrestling persona that the world knew so well, The Iron Sheik was a devoted family man. He cherished the love and support of his wife of 47 years Caryl, who stood by his side through thick and thin, offering unwavering encouragement throughout his life. Their bond was an anchor, providing him with the strength to face the challenges that life presented.To his children, Tanya, Nikki, Marissa and son in law Eddie, he was not just a wrestling icon. He was a loving and dedicated father. He instilled in them the values of perseverance, determination, and the importance of following their dreams. The Iron Sheik’s guidance and unwavering belief in their potential served as a driving force for his children, empowering them to become the best versions of themselves.
The Iron Sheik’s love also extended to his grandchildren,Marissa, Zahra, Alexis, Chloe and Niko who brought immeasurable joy into his life. As a doting Papa Sheik, he cherished every moment spent with them, creating memories that will forever be treasured. He shared his wisdom, humor, and zest for life with his grandchildren, leaving an incredible impression on their hearts.
The Iron Sheik, (whose real name was Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri), transcended the realm of sports entertainment. With his larger-than-life persona, incredible charisma, and unparalleled in-ring skills, he captivated audiences around the globe. He was a trailblazer, breaking barriers and paving the way for a diverse range of wrestlers who followed in his footsteps.
Beyond the glitz and glamour of the squared circle, The Iron Sheik was a man of immense passion and dedication. He embodied resilience. He overcame countless challenges in his life, both inside and outside the wrestling ring. His journey from a small village in Iran to becoming one of the most recognizable figures in the world of wrestling is a testament to his unwavering determination.
However, it was not just his in-ring prowess that defined him. The Iron Sheik was a beloved figure who was known for his humor, his larger-than-life personality, and his ability to connect with fans on a personal level. He embraced his role as a heel, becoming one of the most notorious villains in wrestling history… but he also won the hearts of millions with his charm and infectious spirit.
In the realm of family, love, and friendship, The Iron Sheik’s bond with his nephews, Page and Jian Magen was unparalleled.
They recognized the significance of their uncle’s legacy and worked tirelessly to ensure that his impact would never be forgotten. They dedicated themselves to preserving his legacy, celebrating his accomplishments, and sharing his story with the world. Their unwavering commitment showcased the profound love and respect they have for him. These devoted nephews poured their hearts into honoring their uncle every single day, reflecting the profound love and admiration they hold for him. They understand the influence he has had on countless lives and embrace the responsibility of carrying forward his legacy. Through their heartfelt dedication, they ensured that The Iron Sheik’s impact would continue to resonate for generations to come.
Throughout his career, The Iron Sheik became a cultural phenomenon, transcending the realm of professional wrestling to become a pop culture icon. His memorable catchphrases and unforgettable moments are etched into the memories of fans worldwide. He left an indelible mark on the industry, and his influence can still be felt in the world of wrestling today.
As we bid farewell to The Iron Sheik, let us remember him not only for his athletic prowess but also for the joy and inspiration he brought into our lives. His legacy will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of fans, as well as in the annals of wrestling history.
To his family, friends, and all those who were touched by his larger-than-life presence, we offer our deepest condolences. May you find solace in the knowledge that The Iron Sheik’s legacy will forever be cherished and celebrated. Rest in peace, dear Sheik, and thank you for the memories.
RESPECT THE LEGEND.”
Wrestling Radar sends our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and fans of The Iron Sheik.