Iron Sheik

A Real Olympic Hero and Athlete. He was WWWF Champion in the 70's and a major bad guy in all the promotions he worked. He is living the American Dream and a Legend in the business. This week he returns to the show and will give us some insight on his rise to the top and his thoughts on being a WWE Hall of Famer.

Olympic Wrestler

1968 - Mexico City, Mexico - Silver Medal

1972 - Munich Germany - Gold Medal

1976 - Montreal Canada - Bronze Medal


Real Name: Hossein Khosrow Vaziri

Birthplace: Tehran, Iran

Current Home: Atlanta, GA

Height: 6'0"

Weight: 265lbs.

Birthday: March 15th

Pro Debut: 1973

Finishing Move: The Camel Clutch

Other Names Used: Great Ali Hussein Arab, Hussein Arab, Ali Viziri, Col. Mustafa


WWF World Heavyweight Champion

WWF World Tag Team Champion (with Nikolai Volkoff)

NWA Commonwealth Heavyweight Champion

NWA Canadian Tag Team Champion (with Texas Outlaw)

NWA PNW Tag Team Champion (with Bull Ramos)

NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion

NWA Canadian Heavyweight Champion (twice)

NWA National Television Champion

NWA Southern Heavyweight Champion

CWA Heavyweight Champion

ACCW Heavyweight Champion (twice)

ASWA Heavyweight Champion

IAW Heavyweight Champion

2 Time AAU Champion

US Olympic Wrestling Coach

Neech questions for the iron sheik

1. was there any anomosity towards you from bob backlund because he had to lose the belt to you?
2. when asked if verne offered you money to break hulk's leg greg gagne said that conversation never happened. do you think verne kept that from greg or is greg protecting his father's reputation?
3. what was it like wrestling in the battle royal at wm2 with the nfl players?
4. you had a pretty hot feud going with cpl.kershner did you enjoy working with him?
5. after leaving the wwf in 1987 you briefly wrestled in world class, it was there you started singing the iranium national anthem. was it your idea to do that or was that wccw's?
6. in 1989 you wrestled for a short time in the nwa wrestling sting for the nwa title. did you think back then that sting would be the star he was?
you made your return to the wwf as col.mustafa in 1991 as part of sgt. slaughter's militia. was it your idea or vince's to change your character name?
7. in 1997 you returned to the wwf as co-manager with bob backlund of the sultan. the sultan's character never really took off what do you think was the problem?
8. back in 2001 you competed in the gimmick battle royal at wm17 which you would go on to win. did you ever think after competed in the first wrestlemania that there would be a wm10 nevermind a wm17?
9. mean gene oakelund stated that his favorite person to interview alltime was you. was it difficult for you in the beginning to be effective on the mic?
10. seeing you and nikolia volkoff go in the hall of fame together was a great moment. how important was nikoli to your career?
11. when people look back on your career what is the 1 thing you would want to be remembered for?
12. theere were a lot of different wrestlers who did the anit-america angle, just to name a few, nikoli, yourself, slaughter, debeers, bret hart, sheik adnan, ivan and nikita koloff, boris zukoff and most recently mohmadd hussan. in your opinion who was the greatest anti-american character?
13. at summerslam 91 you teamed with sarge and adnan against hulk and the warrior. is it true the warrior refuse to go out for that match unless vince gave him the money he wanted?

Wrestler: The Iron Sheik
Real Name: Khosrow Ali Vaziri
Birthday: March 15, 1943
Hometown: Tehran, Iran
Marital Status: Married to Caryl
Height & Weight: 6'0" - 262 lbs
Trained by: Verne Gagne
Debut: 1972
Previous Gimmicks: Great Hussein Arab
Great Hossein Arab
Ali Vasari (Georgia)
Col Mustafa (WWF)
Finishing Move: The Camel Clutch
Favorite Moves: Rocking Horse
Various Suplexes
Notable Feuds: Jim Duggan
Sgt Slaughter
Dick Murdoch
Bob Backlund
Hulk Hogan
Killer Bees

(New Zealand) British Empire/Commonwealth Heavyweight title [as Ali Vaziri] defeating Rick Martel (1977);
NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team titles w/Bull Ramos defeating Jesse Ventura & Jerry Oates (April 18, 1978);
NWA (Vancouver) Canadian Tag Team titles w/Bobby Bass defeating Don Leo Jonathan & Jake Roberts (July 24, 1978);
NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight title defeating Jim Brunzell (May 11, 1980);
NWA (Toronto) Canadian Heavyweight title [Great Hossein Arab] defeating Dewey Robertson (May 25, 1980);
NWA (Toronto) Canadian Heavyweight title [Great Hossein Arab] defeating Angelo Mosca (August 10, 1980);
NWA National Television title defeating Ron Garvin by DQ in Tournament Final (May 28, 1983);
WWF World Heavyweight title [Managed by Fred Blassie] defeating Bob Backlund (December 26, 1983);
WWF Tag Team titles w/Nikolai Volkoff defeating Mike Rotunda & Barry Windham (March 31, 1985);
NWA 2000 (North Carolina) American Heritage Heavyweight Title defeating Timber (December 27, 1997);
WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) Hall of Fame Inductee (April 2, 2005);

In The Beginning

Khosrow Vaziri started out as an amature wrestler and even won a medel at the 1968 Olympic Games, representing Iran..
~~~Years later, this was proven to be a complete "work" just to enhance his gimmick while wrestling in America..
1972: Khosrow Vaziri defected to the United States and became an assistant wrestling coach for the United States..
~~~Khosrow Vaziri was a two-time AAU Champion and also a United States Olympic Greco Wrestling Coach..
1972: Khosrow Vaziri caught the eye of Minnesota legend Verne Gagne at the Olympic Training sessions..
1972: Khosrow Vaziri began training with Verne Gagne and debuted in the AWA at the end of that year..
1979: Khosrow Vaziri signed with the World Wide Wrestling Federation, wrestling as "Hussein Arab", managed by Fred Blassie..
June 4, 1979 - MSG: Hussein Arab won a Battle Royal to earn a title shot at WWF Champion Bob Backlund, in the main event..
Hussein Arab departed the WWWF and toured the Southern territories..

Mid-South Wrestling

Kosraw Vaziri went to work for Bill Watts' Mid South Wrestling promotion and became known as The "Iron Sheik"..
November 26, 1981--Superdome Extravaganza: The Iron Sheik defeated King Cobra..

World Wrestling Federation

1983: The Iron Sheik signed with the World Wrestling Federation when it was becoming a national promotion..
~~~The Iron Sheik gained a reputation of being the "master of the suplex" using many versions of the suplex..
December 26, 1983 - MSG: The Iron Sheik beat Bob Backlund for the WWF World title when Arnold Skaaland threw in the towel..
The Iron Sheik had title defenses against Chief Jay Strongbow, Pat Patterson, Bob Backlund, Salvatore Bellomo and Tito Santana..
January 23, 1984 - MSG: Hulk Hogan defeated Iron Sheik for the WWF World title in one of the most famous matches of all time..
~~~Rumor has it, AWA promoter Verne Gagne offered Sheik $100,000 to break Hogans leg during the match..
~~~Luckily, Iron Sheik is a smart man, and did the job, and informed Hogan & McMahon of the offer after the match..
July 23, 1984 - Brawl to End It All: The Iron Sheik defeated Tony Garea..
1984: The Iron Sheik & Sgt Slaughter engaged in a bloody and violent feud that spread throughout the entire country..
June 16, 1984 - MSG: Sgt Slaughter defeated The Iron Sheik in a famous Boot Camp match..

World Wrestling Federation - The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff

1984: The Iron Sheik formed a successful tag team with Nikolai Volkoff, managed by Fred Blassie..
March 31, 1985 - WrestleMania: The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff beat Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham for the Tag Team titles..
May 11, 1985 - SNME: The US Express & Ricky Steamboat defeated Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff & George Steele..
July 8, 1985 - King of the Ring: The Iron Sheik made it all the way to the finals where he lost to Don Muraco..
~~~Iron Sheik b Jim Brunzell | Iron Sheik b Ricky Steamboat | Iron Sheik b Tito Santana | Don Muraco b Iron Sheik..
November 7, 1985 - Wrestling Classic: The Junk Yard Dog defeated The Iron Sheik in the 1st Round of the Tournament..
April 2, 1986 - Wrestlemania 2: The Iron Sheik participated in the Invitational Battle Royal - won by Andre The Giant..
May 3, 1986 - SNME: The British Bulldogs defeated The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff in 2/3 Falls to retain the Tag Team titles..
July 14, 1986 - King of the Ring: Billy Jack Haynes defeated The Iron Sheik in the 1st Round of the Tournament..
March 14, 1987 - SNME: Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat defeated The Iron Sheik..
March 27, 1987 - WrestleMania III: The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff defeated the Killer Bees by DQ when Jim Duggan interfered..
May 26, 1987: The Iron Sheik and Jim Duggan were arrested by New Jersey State Police..
~~~Duggan was charged with possession of marijuana and drinking alcohol while driving..
~~~Sheik was charged with possession of marijuana and cocaine..
~~~Duggan received a conditional discharge and Sheik received one year probation..
~~~What was so shocking about this was that they were feuding at the time, and the incident exposed the business..
1987: The Iron Sheik left the WWF soon after this incident..

World Class Championship Wrestling

November 26, 1987 - Star Wars: Chris Adams & Matt Borne defeated The Iron Sheik & The Thing by DQ..
December 25, 1987 - Star Wars: Matt Borne defeated The Iron Sheik to retain the Texas Heavyweight title..

American Wrestling Association

Dec 13, 1988 - Superclash III: The Iron Sheik made a surprise appearance when he attacks Sgt Slaughter during a match vs Col. DeBeers..

National Wrestling Alliance

May 7, 1989 - WrestleWar: Sting defeated The Iron Sheik to retain the NWA Television title..

World Wrestling Federation - Col Mustafa

1991: The Iron Sheik returned to the WWF, but this time wrestling as "Col Mustafa"..
Col Mustafa aligned himself with Iraqi sympathizers Sgt Slaughter & General Adnan as the "Triangle of Terror"..
SummerSlam 1991: Hulk Hogan & Ultimate Warrior defeated the Triangle of Terror in a handicap match..
~~~After the match, Adnan & Mustafa turned on Sgt Slaughter, who became a born again american patriot..

World Wrestling Federation - Manager

February 1997: The Iron Sheik returned to the WWF, as the co-manager for "The Sultan" <--aka Rikishi..

One Night Return

Wrestlemania X-7: The Iron Sheik won a special Gimmick battle royal, reigniting his feud with Sgt Slaughter in the process..

Keeping Busy

January 2002: The Iron Sheik was scheduled for an appearance on Opie & Anthony but it didn't happen..
~~~Sheik was detained coming back from Canada at the airport in Rochester because they believed he may have been a terrorist..
May 5, 2003: Iron Sheik's daughter, Marissa Jeanne Vaziri age 27, was found strangled to death, in her apartment..
~~~Marissa's live-in boyfriend, Charles Warren Reynolds, 38, confessed to the crime and was charged with murder..

The Sheik has trained Ricky Steamboat, Buck Zumhoff, Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne and has also had a hand in training Bret Hart..
April 2, 2005 - Hall of Fame Ceremony: The Iron Sheik was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame along with 6 others in Los Angeles..
September 10, 2005--Piledriver Pro: The Patriot & Kid USA w/Johnny Valiant beat Sheik of Baghdad & Tiger Kahn w/The Iron Sheik..
March 5, 2006--World Wrestling Legends PPV: "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan defeated Nikolai Volkoff w/The Iron Sheik..
March 10, 2007--Pro Wrestling Xtreme: Aaron Walpole & The Iron Sheik defeated Reck when Sheik broke his cane over Reck's head!
March 10, 2007--Pro Wrestling Xtreme: The Iron Sheik cut a promo and put female wrestler Jaime D in the Camel Clutch
April 6, 2006--Women's Extreme Wrestling PPV: Sumie Sakai defeated "Prime Time" Amy Lee w/The Iron Sheik..
May 26, 2006--Pro Wrestling Legends: Sgt. Slaughter defeated The Warlord (Iron Sheik interfered and Greg Valentine countered)..
~~~The Iron Sheik went nuts on a promo yelling about Slaughter, Hulk Hogan, Vince McMahon, the Olympics and everything else. . .
June 11, 2007 - Vince McMahon Appreciation Night: Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka & The Iron Sheik cut promos about Mr. McMahon..
June 18, 2007 - RAW: The Iron Sheik appeared on RAW and asked The Coach if he could have a talk show called "The Sheik Show"..
August 2, 2007--National Wrestling Superstars: The Patriot w/The Iron Sheik defeated Johnny Candido w/Rocco Dorsey..
August 13, 2007--RAW: William Regal presented "WWE Idol" with judges Maria Kanellis, Mick Foley and himself..
~~~Contestents for WWE Idol were Jillian Hall, Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik, Lilian Garcia and Santino Marella..
December 1, 2007--National Wrestling Superstars: Julio Dinero initiated a Dance Off which included the Iron Sheik!
January 20, 2008--National Wrestling Superstars & FunkDaFied Wrestling Federation in Christiana, Delaware: (150 fans)
~~~The Hate Breed (Rancid & Arkham w/The Iron Sheik) beat Dark Karnival (Jo-Jo & Chio) to win the FwF Tag Team titles..
March 10, 2008--RAW: The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff vs. Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham (WrestleMania 1 Rematch)..

Team: The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff
Manager: "Classy" Freddie Blassie
Manager: Dr. of Style, Slick
Debut: 1985
Titles: WWF Tag Team Titles
Finishing Move: Camel Clutch (Shiek)
Favorite Moves:
Notable Feuds: The US Express
The British Bulldogs
The Killer Bees
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan

March 31, 1985 - Wrestlemania 1: Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff defeated Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham for the WWF Tag Team titles..
May 11, 1985 - SNME: Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham & Ricky Steamboat beat The Iron Sheik & Nikolia Volkoff & George Steele..
October 5, 1985 - SNME: Hulk Hogan defeated Nikolai Volkoff in a "flag" match..
November 7, 1985 - Wrestling Classic: Nikolai Volkoff & Iron Sheik both lost their first round matches in the tournament..
August 28, 1985 - Michigan State Fair: The British Bulldogs defeated The Iron Sheik & Nikolia Volkoff..
January 4, 1986 - SNME: Nikolai Volkoff defeated Corporal Kirschner in a "flag" match..
April 2, 1996 - Wrestlemania II: Nikolai Volkoff defeated Corporal Kirschner in a "flag" match..
May 3, 1986 - SNME: The British Bulldogs defeated The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff in a best 2/3 falls match..
March 27, 1997 - Wrestlemania III: The Iron Sheik & Nickolai Volkoff defeated The Killer Bees by DQ when Jim Duggan interfered!
May 2, 1987 - SNME: The Can-Am Connection (Rick Martel & Tom Zenk) defeated The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff..


Iron Sheik On Brian Blair

WWWF Champion From Backlund

The entire beginning was centered around a recent MSG match where Hogan defeated the Sheik for the World Title. They talked about the match at the beginning and said Backlund was too injured to receive his rematch against the Sheik and that Hogan took his place and won the title. They then announced that next week they would show the match in it’s entirety. The match had Hogan doing everything Backlund couldn’t do in his encounter with the Sheik. Hogan powered out of the Boston crab, and then did the unthinkable, he broke the seemingly unbreakable camel clutch with sheer power.


APRIL 22-23

Rare West Coast Appearance of legendary Hall of Fame wrestlers

Ray & Sharon Courts Present

Hollywood Collectors &
Celebrities Show
"NEW" Show Location
The Hilton Burbank Airport Hotel & Convention Center
2500 North Hollywood Way
Burbank, California

Hollywood Collectors Show

for details.

Guests include:
Khosrow 'The Iron Sheik' Vaziri
Captain Lou Albano
Nikolai Volkoff
'Leaping' Lanny Poffo Greg “The Hammer” Valentine
Also of note:
“The Platinum Princess of Porn” SEKA Mia 'The Knockout' St. John
Boxers: Heavyweight Champion Of The World Jimmy Ellis & Tommy Morrison
'91 & '94 United States National Figure Skating Champion Tonya Harding
plus tons of top TV and movie stars- check website for more details.



12: (For the Sheik) how did it feel going back to the WWE for the gimmick battle royal?(Mike, I can't remember which PPV that was)

13: (Sheik) You were the man that ended the 6 year title reign of Bob Backlund then your were the man that gave Hulk Hogan his first ever World Title. How does make you feel to know that you helped make wrestling history?

32: (Sheik) During your career, you use to kick you foot on the mat to load your boot, What was in the boot?

-- We were all saddened at the lost of the late great Freddie Blassie, what are some of your fondest memories of him?
ousydr461: Sheik-- Did you have a chance to visit oe talk to him before he passed?



by Chris Yandek 8/23/2001 10:56:00 AM

The Iron Sheik is a wrestling legend who was known for being a top heel in the wrestling business. In this interview, I had a chance to discuss with him what he has been up to, as well as working for the WWF, and being a bodyguard for his country Iran.

First off how are you?

"Fine, thank you sir."

What have you been up to of late?

"Oh I am just wrestling and training and wrestling independents coast to coast, sometimes overseas, just a little bit busy about two to three to five times a month."

Is there any favorite Indy fed or territory you like working?

"Well, not really. All of them to me are my favorites, coast to coast, and anybody that will call me, I will work for them."

What was it like winning the Wrestlemania 17 gimmick battle royal?

"It was good actually, and Mr. McMahon treats me very good. I was very happy and thanks to him for calling me one more time because I wrestled in Wrestlemania number one, number two and number three and now I come compete in seventeen. It was a pleasure for me and the WWF that called me to come back one more time. I became champ and it was excellent."

What do you think of wrestling today?

"Well, today wrestling is different from the old days, but it is still the WWF number one organization and number one federation. That is because wrestling is the top number one show in the USA, your country, American television's favorite, the WWF."

How did you get into the wrestling business?

"Well, I have been wrestling since I was 15 years old in my old country Iran where I did free style Greco- Roman. I came to America and coached at the University of Minnesota. I was in the Olympics in 1972 in Munich, Germany and 1960 at Mexico City. I turned pro in 1973 and started with a promoter by the name of Verne Gagne, and I started over there with Ric Flair, Ken Patera, and myself. So since 1973, I have been a professional. But before that, since sixteen years old in old country, I was wrestling Greco- Roman and free style for the Olympics."

What did you like most about the WWF?

"Well, the WWF like I said, that was my biggest break I got was WWF, Madison Square Garden two times. I become world champion, I defeated Mr. Bob Backlund, and nobody had beat him in six years. Then I lost my belt to Hulk Kogan and also me and Nikolai Volkoff were WWF Tag Team Champions. The WWF was a great federation for me and my wrestling career."

What was it like being a bodyguard for the leader of Iran?

"Well, it was excellent because Shah Islam was very good to wrestling and football. I was lucky. I was top three wrestler in High School, also in the Army and National Iranian champion. That's because I had the job three years to be a bodyguard for Shah Islam. After that, I left Iran and came to America. I was coach for Mr. Allen Rice and assisted an Olympic coach at the University of Minnesota."

What do you think about Vince McMahon owning everything in wrestling today?

"Mr. McMahon is one of the best promoters. Actually he is the best promoter in the world, and he comes from a wrestling background, his father and grandfather and himself. He is a very intelligent man and genius. That is because his company and organization is number one in the world. Also his son and daughter are very smart, and his boy Shane runs the WCW now. It is all under Vince McMahon because he is a very intelligent and smart man for wrestling business."

What do you have planned for the rest of your career?

"Well, for my wrestling career I like to be training. I also like to share my experience to young generation and be a coach for young generation in Free Style and Greco- Roman Wrestling as well as professional. Also like I said, working Independents, as well as autograph sessions or birthday parties or have dinner with them and talk about wrestling."

Final Comments?

"Only thing I want to say is hi to all my wrestling fans coast to coast and all over the world, and thanks for talking to me, and God bless to all my wrestling fans and have a good day."