WWE Legend The Iron Sheik Has Passed Away at 81

Passed Away
via WWE

The Iron Sheik enjoyed a Hall of Fame career during his professional wrestling career.

The Iron Sheik, WWE icon and Hall-of-Famer, has passed away at 81 years old. The news was shared via a post on his Twitter account on Wednesday morning. The Iron Sheik, who’s real name is Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, passed away peacefully, according to a statement.

The Iron Sheik began his wrestling career in the early 70s and rose to prominence in the WWF in 1983. He was a former World Heavyweight Champion that built a great on-screen rivalry with Hulk Hogan. Sheik was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

Vaziri leaves behind his wife of 47 years, Caryl, children Tanya, Nikki, Marissa, son-in-law Eddie, five grandchildren and two nephews.

“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.”

The Legendary Career of The Iron Sheik

The Iron Sheik developed a passion for professional wrestling at a young age. In his home-country of Iran, Vaziri attempted to qualify for the 1968 Olympics before moving to the United States and serving as an assistant for the U.S. wrestling team during the 1972 Olympics.

Sheik was given a chance in the WWF in 1979 before leaving in 1980. He joined the company full-time in 1983 and got an immediate shot at the title. In December of 1983, he defeated Bob Backlund to win the WWE Championship. One month later, he would lose the title to Hulk Hogan but this would begin one of the best rivalries in WWE history.

Sheik was part of the first title change in WrestleMania history. In 1985 at WrestleMania I, Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff defeated Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo to win the WWE Tag Team Championships.

The Iron Sheik used his outstanding personality and charisma to create what is known as one of the notorious villains in WWE history in the ring. Outside of the ring, Vaziri loved spending time with his family and those he loved. Generation Iron sends condolences to friends and family during this time.

“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,” The statement read.

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Greg has covered the four major sports for six years and has been featured on sites such as Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, SB Nation, NJ.com, and FanSided. Now, he is transitioning into the world of bodybuilding and strength sports.