Celebs Who Died In 2023

The Iron Sheik, 81

If there were no Iron Sheik there would be no Hulk Hogan.

Professional wrestling became a global sensation thanks to not just the popularity of Hulk Hogan but because his nemesis was so despised. That was The Iron Sheik.

With his “down with America” talk Sheik (whose real name is Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri) became one of the World Wrestling Federation’s biggest bad guys, or heels, in the 1980s. He even had the world title.

That all set the stage for the showdown between Sheik and Hogan in Madison Square Garden in 1984. Hogan won the belt and pro wrestling was never the same again.

Sheik would later team with fellow heel Nikolai Volkoff to make a formidable tag team.

Long after his wrestling days were done, Sheik found fame once more thanks to Twitter. With his foul-mouthed tweets about everything from politics to pop culture, he became a sensation and was introduced by a generation that never saw him wrestle. 

Sheik died on June 7. No cause was given.