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Iron Sheik Tiger

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Faded black text underneath a tiger face with black lines coming out from it on a golden background.

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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 would come to represent Iran in numerous international tournaments and was an assistant coach for the American Olympic team in 1972 and 1976. He would later relocate to Minnesota, where he would engage 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, invited by promoter Verne Gagne.

Khosrow took on "The Iron Sheik" persona in an effort to rename himself and support his family.  He became 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 in one of the most famous matches in WWE history. The Iron Sheik lost the match, but it would launch the career of Hollywood Hogan, and put professional wrestling in the mainstream for the first time.

After losing the WWE Championship, The Iron Sheik would engage in the famous rivalry with Sgt. Slaughter, who would beat The Iron Sheik in the famous Boot Camp Match at Madison Square Garden. The Iron Sheik would move to the tag team division and teamed up with Nikolai Volkoff, who would go on to win the World Tag Team Championship in 1985 at WrestleMania.

The Iron Sheik would leave the WWE in 1988 and appear 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 would win a Gimmick Battle Royal and reignite 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

The Iron Sheik: Bio. (n.d.). WWE. Retrieved from

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