The Iron Sheik, wrestling legend identified for camel clutch maintain and tweets, dies at 81

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Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, higher often called skilled wrestling legend the Iron Sheik, has died, in line with a press release posted Wednesday on his social media accounts. He was 81.

“As we speak, we collect with heavy hearts to bid farewell to a real legend, a power of nature, and an iconic determine who left an unimaginable mark on the world {of professional} wrestling,” the assertion learn on his Twitter account. “It’s with nice disappointment that we share the information of the passing of The Iron Sheik, however we additionally take solace in realizing that he departed this world peacefully, abandoning a legacy that can endure for generations to return.”

World Wrestling Leisure retweeted the assertion, writing: “WWE is saddened to listen to of the passing of WWE Corridor of Famer The Iron Sheik, and extends its condolences to his household, pals, and followers.”

Born on March 15, 1942, in Damghan, Iran, Vaziri gained the Novice Athletic Union Greco Roman wrestling title in 1971 and served as an assistant coach within the sport for 2 U.S. Olympic groups.

He began wrestling professionally in 1972 and defeated Bob Backlund on Dec. 26, 1983, at Madison Sq. Backyard to grow to be the World Wrestling Federation World Heavyweight Champion. Vaziri misplaced the title lower than a month later to Hulk Hogan in a well-known match that’s stated to have launched Hogan’s famous person profession.

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Iron Sheik arrives on the ESPY Awards in 2009 in Los Angeles.

(Matt Sayles / Related Press)

One in all wrestling’s most beloved heels, the Iron Sheik was identified for his camel clutch ending maintain, his fierce rivalry with fellow wrestler Sgt. Slaughter and a signature look that included a shaved head, a waxed mustache and curled boots.

The Iron Sheik teamed with Nikolai Volkoff to win the World Tag Crew Championship on the first WrestleMania in 1985. He was inducted into the WWE Corridor of Fame in 2005.

Vaziri is survived by his spouse, Caryl; three kids, Tanya, Nikki and Marissa; and 5 grandchildren.

“The Iron Sheik was a person of immense ardour and dedication,” the assertion on his social media accounts learn. “He embodied resilience. He overcame numerous challenges in his life, each inside and out of doors the wrestling ring. His journey from a small village in Iran to changing into one of the crucial recognizable figures on the earth of wrestling is a testomony to his unwavering dedication.”

The Iron Sheik has greater than 645,000 followers on his Twitter account, which has been identified to characteristic often-funny, often-profane and infrequently anti-Hulk Hogan tweets. Appropriately sufficient, members of the skilled wrestling group took to Twitter to share tributes to — and amusing anecdotes about — the Iron Sheik.

Ric Aptitude tweeted: “My Pricey Buddy Khosrow Vaziri!!! We Began Wrestling Collectively In 1972. Appears Like So Lengthy In the past! We Crossed Paths So Many Occasions Over The Years & You Have been At all times So Entertaining. The Biggest Line You Ever Mentioned To Me In 1972: ‘If I Had Your Hair, I Would Be With Elizabeth Taylor!’ Relaxation In Peace My Buddy. Be As Entertaining To God As You Have been To All Of Us!”

Mick Foley wrote: “Though I by no means bought to know The Sheik effectively, I used to be lucky to have been available for 2 of his most iconic matches — his WWE title victory over Bob Backlund at Madison Sq. Backyard on December 26, 1983 and his ‘Boot Camp Match’ with Sgt Slaughter at MSG in August, 1984,” . “I additionally had the glory of wrestling the iron sheik for the primary and solely time — on a tour of Dominica in 1987. Khosrow Vaziri was really certainly one of a sort.”

From John “Bradshaw” Layfield: “He thought my identify was Brad Shaw, two names. He met my dad and stated ‘ah, Mr Shaw, your boy Brad is such a effective younger man’. Love you Mr Sheik. RIP you legend.”

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