|Full Name||Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri|
|Date of Birth||March 15, 1942|
|Family||Caryl Vaziri (m. 1976)|
- Early Life
- Professional Wrestling Career
- The Iron Sheik Championship & Accomplishments
- The Iron Sheik Net Worth
- The Iron Sheik Personal Life
The Iron Sheik was an Iranian-American professional wrestler best known for his work in WWE, where he was the only Iranian ever to hold a championship. Sheik held the prestigious WWF World Heavyweight Championship in 1983 and won the WWF Tag Team Championship a couple of years later.
The WWE Hall of Famer passed away on June 7, 2023, at the age of 81.
The Iron Sheik's real name was Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri. Khosrow was born in Damghan, Iran on the 15th of March, 1942. His family considered both the Gregorian calendar and the Solar Hijri calendar. Thus, he celebrated his birthday on September 9.
Growing up, Khosrow pursued and gained recognition in amateur wrestling. He also worked as a bodyguard for Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was the last Shah of the Imperial State of Iran. Before joining pro wrestling, Khosrow became an assistant coach in amateur wrestling. He was also an assistant coach for the team that represented the USA in the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Professional Wrestling Career
Before WWE (1972-1979)
Khosrow joined pro-wrestling in 1972 and trained under Billy Robinson. He was a member of the same class as that of the wrestling icon Ric Flair. He first wrestled for American Wrestling Association, which was promoted by Verne Gagne, the man who motivated him to join pro-wrestling.
During his seven-year stint wrestling stint before WWF, Khosrow first worked as a 'babyface' before being advised to turn heel. He also wrestled in Japan against Antonio Inoki and other famous superstars during the later part of his indie career.
Khosrow first joined the WWF in 1979. He was a participant in the first-ever Battle Royal at the famous Madison Square Garden and went on to win the match. He then faced the WWF Champion Bob Backlund for the title shot and lost. After a couple more feuds in the next few months, Khosrow left WWE in 1980.
Various promotions (1980-1983)
After leaving WWE, Khosrow first joined Jim Crockett Promotions in April 1980. He wrestled under his indie moniker Hussein Arab. However, it did not take long before he changed his name to “The Iron Sheik”, the name which would go down in history as one of the biggest Golden Era wrestlers. In JCP, Sheik fought against the likes of Ricky Steamboat, Dusty Rhodes, Johnny Weaver, and Blackjack Mulligan before leaving the promotion a year later. During his three-year stint outside WWE, Sheik also worked in Mid-South Wrestling, Championship Wrestling from Florida, and Georgia Championship Wrestling.
Return to WWE (1983-1988)
The Iron Sheik returned to WWE in 1983. Bob Backlund was still the WWF Champion, having held the title for more than four years at that time. On December 26 on WWF on MSG Network, Sheik defeated Backlund to end his dominant reign and became the first and only Iranian Champion in WWE.
28 days later, he lost the title to a young Hulk Hogan who would go on to hold the belt for about four years thereon. During this time, Sheik was known for his unbeatable Camel clutch submission move which had forced the mightiest to either tap out or eventually pass out.
The next few months saw Sheik have short-lived feuds with an array of wrestlers. His next championship opportunity came in 1985 when he teamed up with Nikolai Volkoff. At WrestleMania I, the two teamed up against Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo and walked out of the event as the WWF Tag Team Champions.
Sheik had a few more random feuds during his time in WWE before leaving it again in the later 80s.
Various stints (1987-1991)
The Iron Sheik joined World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) in 1987 for a few months before leaving it for American Wrestling Association (AWA) where he attacked his former WWF enemy Sgt. Slaughter.
In early 1989, Sheik joined WWE’s rival WCW (World Championship Wrestling). He had a two-year stint in the promotion where he fought against the likes of Ricky Steamboat, Sting, Brian Pillman, Big Van Vader and other famous WCW stars.
Another return to WWE, various promotions and post-retirement
On March 11, 1991, Sheik made another return to WWE under the ring name Colonel Mustafa. He was again booked in a story with Sgt. Slaughter. However, the two superstars were not on opposite ends this time. The two worked as partners for a brief period.
The union between the former enemies was short-lived as the two would again compete against each other a few months later in a match that Slaughter won. Colonel Mustafa did not have the best win record as he went on to lose matches against the likes of Tito Santana, British Bulldog, Ricky Steamboat, Jim Duggan, and Tatanka.
After failing to capture the WWF World Heavyweight Championship in the 1992 Royal Rumble, Mustafa left WWE once again. For the next two decades, Sheik had a sporadic pro-wrestling career where he sometimes appeared in various promotions all across the globe.
From UWFi in Japan to Century Wrestling Alliance, Sheik fought in a handful of promotions as an independent wrestler. Sheik also continued to make sporadic appearances in WWE after 1992.
The Iron Sheik Championship & Accomplishments
|Title||Number of Reigns|
|WWWF World Heavyweight Championship||1|
|NWA United States Heavyweight Championship||1|
|NWA World Tag Team Championship (with Nikolai Volkoff)||2|
|AWA World Heavyweight Championship||1|
|AWA World Tag Team Championship (with Nikolai Volkoff)||1|
|NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Championship||1|
|NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Championship (with The Barbarian)||1|
|NWA Tri-State Heavyweight Championship||1|
|NWA Tri-State Tag Team Championship (with Ken Patera)||1|
|NWA Texas Heavyweight Championship||1|
|NWA Texas Tag Team Championship (with Nikolai Volkoff)||1|
The Iron Sheik Net Worth
As per various online sources, The Iron Sheik was worth around half a million dollars, i.e., $500K at the time of his unfortunate demise on June 7, 2023.
The Iron Sheik Personal Life
The Iron Sheik was a soldier in Imperial Iranian Army. He is married to Caryl Peterson since 1976. Peterson is an American, and the two tied the knot on the 21st of March that year. WWE announcer “Mean” Gene Okerlund was the best man at his wedding.
Sheik had three daughters Marissa Jeanne Vaziri, Nikki Vaziri, and Tanya Vaziri. Marissa, the eldest, passed away on May 2003. Marissa was killed by her boyfriend Charles Warren Reynolds. Sheik also has five grandchildren.
The Iron Sheik was famous for his Twitter Account where he was known for his bold tweets. Sheik did not hesitate in expressing his thoughts in any matter whatsoever. However, it was revealed that it was his managers who wrote the tweet and handled the account.
A. Yes, Iron Sheik was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.
A. Yes. Iron Sheik and The Rock were very fond of each other and The Rock has also credited Sheik for his famous catchphrase "Jabroni".
A. Unfortunately, The Iron Sheik passed away at the age of 81 on June 7, 2023.
A. The Iron Sheik was billed at 6 ft during his time with WWE.