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The Iron Sheik was the ring name of Hossein Khosrow Vaziri, an Iranian professional wrestler, amateur wrestler, and former World Wrestling Federation champion. Born in Iran, Khosrow came to represent Iran in numerous international tournaments and was an assistant coach for the American Olympic team in 1972 and 1976. He later relocated to Minnesota, where he engaged in amateur wrestling, winning silver medals in AAU Greco Roman tournaments in 1969 and 1970, and a gold medal in 1971. It was in Minnesota where Khosrow took part in professional wrestling, invited by promoter Verne Gagne.
Khosrow took on "The Iron Sheik" persona in an effort to rename himself and support his family. He became a WWE Champion in 1983 after defeating Bob Backlund at Madison Square Garden. He held the title for a month before losing the championship to Hollywood Hogan on January 23, 1984. The Iron Sheik lost the match, but it launched the career of Hollywood Hogan and put professional wrestling in the mainstream for the first time.
After losing the WWE Championship, The Iron Sheik engaged in a famous rivalry with Sgt. Slaughter, who later beat The Iron Sheik in the Boot Camp Match at Madison Square Garden. The Iron Sheik moved to the tag team division and teamed up with Nikolai Volkoff, who went on to win the World Tag Team Championship in 1985 at WrestleMania.
The Iron Sheik left the WWE in 1988 and appeared in WCT in 1989 for a brief time. He reappeared in WWE in 1991 by the side of former rival Sgt. Slaughter. His last appearance was at WrestleMania X-Seven, where he won a Gimmick Battle Royal and reignited his rivalry with Sgt. Slaughter.
Greenberg, K. E. (2013, August 14). After addiction and tragedy, The Iron Sheik gets back up off the mat. Bleacher Report. Retrieved from https://www.bleacherreport.com/articles/1732808-after-addiction-and-tra…
The Iron Sheik: Bio. (n.d.). WWE. Retrieved from https://www.wwe.com/superstars/iron-sheik