The wrestling world is mourning the death of The Iron Sheik, the charismatic former WWF champion who passed away at the age of 81 today.
“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,” said a WWE statement. “WWE extends its condolences to The Iron Sheik’s family, friends and fans.”
The company also profiled The Iron Sheik with a story on their WWE.COM website.
All Elite Wrestling also tweeted a statement following the news of his passing.
“AEW joins the wrestling world in mourning the passing of the Iron Sheik. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and his fans,” AEW said.
The news of The Iron Sheik’s death was also covered quickly by mainstream media, including ESPN, The New York Post, Daily Mail, Bleacher Report, NBC News, Variety, TMZ, The Hollywood Reporter, CBS News, People, Deadline, Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, and many others.
Several wrestling stars from past and present used social media to tweet their thoughts on the man who liked to break everyone’s back and make them humble!
Triple H: “The legend. An all-time great performer and WWE Hall of Famer who brought his character to life and transcended our business. My condolences to The Iron Sheik’s family, friends and fans.”
Jake “The Snake” Roberts: “RIP to my old friend The Iron Sheik. A true icon and someone who left a mark on wrestling that can never be erased. Another great one gone.”
MLW: “MLW is saddened to hear of the passing of the Iron Sheik, Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri. RIP, legend.”
Ric Flair: “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!” Rest in peace my friend. Be as entertaining to God as you were to all of us!”
Miro: “Iron Sheik had a huge influence in my career. Back in FCW (WWE DEVELOPMENTAL SYSTEM) DAYS I had no idea about speaking on the microphone. then i went and studied his ability and that’s where things started to turn. Legit wrestler, pro wrestler and amazing entertainer. RIP”
Renee Paquette: “RIP Sheiky Baby”
Natalya: “NOTHING BUT LOVE AND RESPECT to the Iron Sheik. The wrestling world has lost an icon and a very special person.”
Cauliflower Alley Club: “The legendary and iconic pro wrestling bad guy the Iron Sheik has passed away at the age of 81. We send our sincerest condolences to his family, friends and fans of the world over and thank him for the many incredible memories he lives behind. R.I.P. Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri.”
Pat McAfee: “RIP to the legend The Iron Sheik”
John “Bradshaw” Layfield: “Love Mr Sheik! So many good times. He thought my name was Brad Shaw, two names. He met my dad and said “ah, Mr Shaw, your boy Brad is such a fine young man”. Love you Mr Sheik. RIP you legend.”
Dark Side of the Ring: “RIP to @The_IronSheik. An integral part of the ‘80s wrestling boom, he played the part of the “foreign heel” to perfection and became an unlikely pop culture icon in his post-wrestling life. Our condolences to his family and friends.”
Matt Hardy: “#RIP Shiekie Baby, you’re the man!”