Wrestling: The Iron Sheik
"I love the TV Tropes. It make me feel good, like good cold beer. Fuck the Hokogan
Insane. Completely, utterly and wonderfully insane. That's the only way we can describe the Iron Sheik, who in recent years has gone from forgotten Cold War wrestling villain to the nutty Iranian grandpa we all wish we had.
— RD Reynolds
, The WrestleCrap Book Of Lists!
, "The 6 Wrestlers Who Must Have a Reality Show"
If there was ever any wrestler who best exemplified the Foreign Wrestling Heel
character in Professional Wrestling
, especially in WWE
's "Federation years," The Iron Sheik
was it. Born Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri
, this Iranian-born Olympic wrestling competitor and coach made a name for himself in the early 80s WWF, where he won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
from Bob Backlund
, breaking the former champion's six-year title reign...only to drop it the next month to Hulk Hogan
, kicking off the Hulkamania craze. His appearances would be sporadic for many years after that, seemingly fading into obscurity in the pro wrestling scene.
And then, in the 2000s, RF Video decided to do a shoot interview with him...
Check out his article on That Other Wiki
for more info regarding his career. Not to be confused with The Iron Chef
Also; he has a Twitter
, check it out here
, but BE CAREFUL. Iron Sheik has gone far off in the deep end on this.
"SHEIKY'S TROPES NUMBER ONE! FUCK THE HULK HOGAN!":
- Anything That Moves: What the Sheik does just after breaking your back and before making you humble.
- Arch-Enemy: Hulk Hogan, both from the WWF and in Real Life, it seems. And of course, the Facking Brian Blair!!!
- Gary Bettman as well, since Sheikie's a huge NHL fan.
- Sheik seems to hate almost every wrestler in the business. Ironically, his Kayfabe Arch-Enemy "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan seems to be one of the few wrestlers he genuinely likes and respects.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In May of 1987, Sheik was riding with Arch-Enemy "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan when the two were pulled over by New Jersey police, who found that both of them were doped and coked out of their minds. Duggan was given a conditional release and Sheik was put on probation. The hilarity of the two "bitter enemies" sharing a ride home ensured the story made the major news outlets, putting the WWF in a major stink. The WWF would begin drug testing after this incident, and both men were fired (Duggan returned in six months; Sheik returned four years later).
- In his now legendary tirade on The Howard Stern Show, he ran through every profane thing you could think of to B. Brian Blair...and paused to apologize to Robin Quivers about his abrasive language.
- Badass Mustache: A curly mustache, at that.
- Bald of Evil/Bald of Awesome: Depending on who you ask
- He did have hair at least until 1976 or so.
- Bash Brothers: Nikolai Volkoff, most prominently, though in his days in the Mid-Atlantic, he also teamed with the then-Heel Jimmy Snuka.
- With Bruno Sammartino IRL, the two once beat the crap out of five pro football players who made the mistake of calling the then 51-year old Sammartino a "washed up old man" and tried to push him around. Sammartino was holding his own until the Sheik, who was in the showers, heard the commotion, and the two proceeded to curbstomp the morons.
- Berserk Button: Mention anyone that he believes didn't measure up to his standard of "respect" for the business (B. Brian Blair, Hulk Hogan, Warrior...)
- Biggus Dickus: Once threatened to introduce Ultimate Warrior's daughter to his "...10-inch Iranian cock!"
- Boisterous Bruiser: The Iron Sheik was a lot meaner than most examples but nonetheless was loud, strong and always up for a contest.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: In his in-ring promo before his match with Izzy High on Juggalo Championshxt Wrestling Volume 1:
- Catch Phrase: "Iran number-one! USA hack-phooey!" He would also often end promos with "Cameraman, zoom it!" and start flexing in front of the camera.
"I put you in the Camel Clutch/I suplex you, Break your Back, and make you humble!"
"Everybody knows I'm the legend!"
"You're a no-good motherfucker!"
(about people he dislikes) "Fuck the X!"
(about people he likes) "X is Iron Sheik class."
"Buy my (advertised merchandise) or go fuck yourself."
- Cheap Heat: As a Foreign Wrestling Heel, this came with the character for Sheikie Baby. However, he took cheap heat Up to Eleven sometime in the late 90s when working an NWA show with a majority Jewish crowd. There is no footage of the insane promo he cut, but here it is as retold by Steve Corino.
- Character Filibuster: His promos, even by professional wrestling standards. "Mean" Gene Okerlund would frequently have to cut him off..or try to only to get a quick "don't interrupt!"
- Cloudcuckoolander: Especially around the Turn of the Millennium. It is difficult to determine just how much of Sheiks behavior is genuine and how much is a case of Becoming the Mask.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Many of his interviews
- Defeating the Undefeatable: He ended the 6-year championship run of Bob Backlund, capturing the world championship in the process.
- Disproportionate Retribution: If this interview on Howard Stern is anything to go by, Sheik's idea of Cheap Heat is to threaten a wrestler's family members, both male and female, with sexual assault.
- On the other side of the spectrum, fans in the 80s hated his heel character so much that there were several instances of Sheik's car being keyed or him getting attacked after shows. That's why he refused to bring his wife and kids with him on tour, because he feared someone would hurt them.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Called out Warrior, who stated in his blog that Heath Ledger deserved to die for portraying a positive gay character in Brokeback Mountain.
- He stated that at Wrestlemania III, he wanted to humble Brian Blair, but didn't "because for the God and Jesus, and Mr. McMahon."
- Exact Words: He once stated in an interview that he doesn't type his own twitter. The internet assumes he merely shouts what he wants to say from another room...not exactly a far-fetched assumption.
- After a Forbes(!) interview, it was indicated that, yes, this is indeed how his twitter is managed: his agent tweets based on conversations he has with The Iron Sheik.
- Expansion Pack Past: Before emigrating and becoming a wrestler, worked as a bodyguard for the Shah of Iran.
- Finishing Move: The Camel Clutch. Outside of Latin America, he's better known for the move than its innovator, Gori Guerrero. He's not even a close second in Latin America though, that honor going to El Santo and successors.
- So Last Season: It rarely qualifies as finishing move anymore unless a wrestler adds a particular variation to it or has some West Asian heritage or element to their gimmick.
- Flanderization: Has become something of a cartoon, even more than in the 1980s, due to his Fountain of Memes status.
- Foreign Wrestling Heel: Boy, is he ever. Arguably downgraded to Funny Foreigner in his Twitter years.
- Hidden Depths: One of Sheik's workout routines involves the use of a pair of instruments called "Persian Clubs." (aka Indian Clubs or meels.) Apparently, nobody in the entire professional wrestling industry is able to pull off how to work these clubs properly except Iron Sheik himself... and Mark Henry.
- Also falls into World's Strongest Man - its so difficult he's legendary in strongman circles. 75lbs. may not sound much, but swinging that much weight on what is essentially a lever is extremely difficult.
- I Have Many Names: Great Hossein Arab, Ali Vaziri, the Iron Sheik, Shasta Mustafa, Col. Mustafa
- I Need a Freaking Drink: "More beer, please."
- Kayfabe: How much he actually hates the wrestlers he's famous for running down in shoot interviews and on twitter may fall under this. While he apparently really doesn't like B. Brian Blair (for still mostly unknown reasons), other wrestlers that he's run down, when face to face with, he often blubbers, breaks down and cries and calls them "my brother." Roddy Piper and even Hulk Hogan have both implied it's an act, and say they get along with him just fine in real life.
- Sheikie Baby gave touching tributes to both Warrior and Randy Savage upon their deaths on twitter and in videos, despite years of talking trash about them.
- Legacy Character: Crossed with One Steve Limit. While Shawn Daivari was in WWE's developmental program, he was renamed "Khosrow", although the first name never made it to WWE TV, as both a tribute to the Iron Sheik and to avoid the possibility that anyone might somehow confuse Daivari with Shawn Michaels.
- During John Cena's feud with Kurt Angle in late 2005, when Angle had Daivari as his ally, Cena referred to Daivari on the December 12th episode of Raw as a "bootleg Iron Sheik."
- In All Japan Pro Wrestling in 2002, they had a tag team of Kasey Geyer and Shawn Hernandez as "The Double Iron Sheiks", #1 and #2.
- Legion of Doom: Part of wrestling's original legion of doom alongside the Original Sheik until the group was reduced to just The Road Warriors Hawk and Animal.
- Manly Tears: When Randy Savage died.
"Randy Savage, i find out you die, i cry. you are one of best and my brother. you be happy with the elizabeth. god bless you. macho man best worker. better than all. he make the wrestlemania match with ricky
best ever in pontiac. I love you forever. randy savage my best brother, i love him and i am sad"
- Never Gets Drunk: Sheikie Baby is known in pro wrestling circles for his high tolerance to alcohol. In his own words, he "knows the moderation A to the Z".
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: As Colonel Mustafa
- No Indoor Voice: He's developed a reputation for yelling at people across the room rather than approaching and could make himself heard without the aid of a microphone in many arenas.
- Odd Friendship: With Prime Time Amy Lee, whom he served as a manager to, going so far as to pop up behind her in Women's Extreme Wrestling, an all female garbage wrestling promotion. This also made it easy for him to show up in WSU, another all woman not quite garbage wrestling promotion when she was its commissioner.
- Patriotic Fervor: "Iran, number one! Russia, number one! USA—haaaack ptooey!"
- Power Stable:
- Raging Stiffie: He appeared to have one during his match with Hulk Hogan. Seen here at 9:23
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Verne Gagne offered him $100,000 to shoot on Hogan during their title match, and hopefully cripple him. Sheik refused.
- Serious Business: He was most active in The Eighties, when Kayfabe was at its strongest. One of his biggest criticisms about Hulk Hogan (and other notable Faces in the day) was that they would act like dicks toward the fans when not in a wrestling capacity. He may well have had a point.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Looking at his post retirement interviews versus his promos when he was still a wrestler will cause many to marvel at his restraint.
- Spell My Name with a "The": To others, not himself. Has referred to "The Bruno Sammartino," "The Trish Stratus," and even "The Jesus."
- Stout Strength: He's a lot tougher than he looks. He looked a little flabby but when he flexed it was clear solid muscle was underneath.
- Tsundere: During his famous 2007 interview.
, you're a no-good son of a bitch... but still I like you.
- He does this a lot with his fans as well. From his Twitter:
Goodbye Toronto. I love you forever and go fuck yourself
Go fuck yourself! Have a nice day.
- Viewers Are Morons: This was often his attitude to the fans who booed him, insisting to "Mean" Gene that the intelligent wrestling fans agreed with whatever he was saying or doing to get boos. The exception being his Anti-America/Pro-Iran statements, where he didn't care.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With fellow Foreign Wrestling Heel and Federation Years holdover Nikolai Volkoff
- Worthy Opponent: When asked on YouShoot why he could never defeat Jerry "The King" Lawler, Sheik answered that it was for the sake of diplomacy: because Jerry Lawler was "the King" and he was wrestling him in his home "country" of Memphis, Tennessee, he thought it only proper that he should put "the king of the Memphis, Tennessee" over, but he could beat Lawler in a real fight.