The Iron Sheik Passes Away Aged 81

The Iron Sheik

The Iron Sheik is best known as the Iranian hero who brought his strength and power to WWE and captured the WWE Title from Bob Backlund.

Sheik held the title for just 28 days before famously losing to Hulk Hogan which kicked off The Hulkster’s lengthy first reign as champion.

The Iron Sheik’s official Twitter account has now released a lengthy statement confirming that the 81-year-old has sadly died:

“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 post continues by talking about Sheik’s love for his family and friends as well as his devotion to the wrestling business that he was so proudly a part of. The statement concludes by noting that fans, friends, and family of The Iron Sheik alike can take solace in the fact that his legacy will live on:

“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.”

Following his loss to Hulk Hogan, The Iron Sheik began teaming up with Nikolai Volkoff and the two men share a piece of WrestleMania history being the first to ever win a championship in the history of the event. Sheik and Volkoff defeated The US Express to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship at the first-ever WrestleMania in 1985.

Following a spell in the NWA, Sheik returned to WWE in the early nineties as Colonel Mustafa where he teamed with the now-villainous Sgt. Slaughter and General Adnan as they took their fight to Hulk Hogan and the entire United States.

The Iron Sheik’s final match in WWE came, improbably, at WrestleMania 17 in 2001 when the star was part of the Gimmick Battle Royal. Sheik won the match but was then locked in Slaughter’s dreaded Cobra Clutch.

In the years that followed his wrestling career coming to an end, The Iron Sheik gained a cult following through his apparent never-ending dislike of Hogan and his inexplicable yet often explicit turn of phrase.

Everyone at TJRWrestling sends their condolences to the family, friends, and fans of The Iron Sheik at this sad time.