The pro wrestling world has lost one of its iconic characters. The Iron Sheik, a staple of WWE and WCW from 1979-2010, died on Wednesday. He was 81.
Born Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri in Iran in 1942, Sheik went on to become a WWE Hall of Famer. He was a legendary wrestling heel and had notable rivalries with Sgt. Slaughter and Hulk Hogan. Sheik won the WWF Heavyweight Championship in 1983 and became the only Iranian champion in WWE history.
The Iron Sheik also purportedly originated the word "jabroni" in wrestling parlance that was later made famous by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
With news of his death, the wrestling world paid tribute to Sheik:
WWE is saddened to learn that Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, known the world over as WWE Hall of Famer The Iron Sheik, passed away on Wednesday, June 7, at age 81.— WWE (@WWE) June 7, 2023
WWE extends its condolences to The Iron Sheik's family, friends and fans.https://t.co/FGE0yKeuWA pic.twitter.com/yVLpLObxFA
Rest in Power, Uncle Sheiky ❤️— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) June 7, 2023
Thank you for paving the way 🙏🏾
Love, light and strength to Caryl & the ohana x pic.twitter.com/p9c9wwQz6U
My Dear Friend Khosrow Vaziri!!! We Started Wrestling Together In 1972. Seems Like So Long Ago! We Crossed Paths So Many Times Over The Years & You Were Always So Entertaining. The Greatest Line You Ever Said To Me In 1972: "If I Had Your Hair, I Would Be With Elizabeth Taylor!"... pic.twitter.com/MG4PO69wP1— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) June 7, 2023
REMEMBERING THE IRON SHEIK— Mick Foley (@foleyispod) June 7, 2023
The wrestling world lost a true legend today, with the passing of Khosrow Vaziri, better known to fans across the globe as The Iron Sheik. Although I never got to know The Sheik well, I was fortunate to have been on hand for two of his most iconic... pic.twitter.com/mVMqTaeXtE
RIP to my old friend The Iron Sheik.— JakeSnakeDDT (@JakeSnakeDDT) June 7, 2023
A true icon and someone who left a mark on wrestling that can never be erased. Another great one gone. pic.twitter.com/SfTziHjwkR
The legend. An all-time great performer and WWE Hall of Famer who brought his character to life and transcended our business.— Triple H (@TripleH) June 7, 2023
My condolences to The Iron Sheik's family, friends and fans.
What a legend. Condolences to his friends and family. Any time I get to see or use Persian Meels for a workout, I think of the Iron Sheik. He was a great performer! Wrestlers should continue to study his body of work. https://t.co/2Quks4BVPK— Drew Gulak (@DrewGulak) June 7, 2023
AEW joins the wrestling world in mourning the passing of the Iron Sheik. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his fans. pic.twitter.com/RXLF5TIFDt— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) June 7, 2023