WWE Hall of Famer and former WWF World Heavyweight champion The Iron Sheik has passed away at the age of 81.
The news was confirmed on Wednesday afternoon in a statement on his official Twitter page.
It read: "Remembering The Iron Sheik
"Today, we gather with heavy hearts to bid farewell to a true legend, a force of nature, and an iconic figure who left an incredible mark on the world of professional wrestling. It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of The Iron Sheik, but we also take solace in knowing that he departed this world peacefully, leaving behind a legacy that will endure for generations to come.
"Beyond the wrestling persona that the world knew so well, The Iron Sheik was a devoted family man. He cherished the love and support of his wife of 47 years Caryl, who stood by his side through thick and thin, offering unwavering encouragement throughout his life. Their bond was an anchor, providing him with the strength to face the challenges that life presented.
"To his children, Tanya, Nikki, Marissa and son in law Eddie, he was not just a wrestling icon. He was a loving and dedicated father. He instilled in them the values of perseverance, determination, and the importance of following their dreams. The Iron Sheik's guidance and unwavering belief in their potential served as a driving force for his children, empowering them to become the best versions of themselves.
"The Iron Sheik's love also extended to his grandchildren, Marissa, Zahra, Alexis, Chloe and Niko who brought immeasurable joy into his life. As a doting Papa Sheik, he cherished every moment spent with them, creating memories that will forever be treasured. He shared his wisdom, humor, and zest for life with his grandchildren, leaving an incredible impression on their hearts."
RESPECT THE LEGEND FOREVER 😢 pic.twitter.com/Cr6CC9pXSO— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) June 7, 2023
The Iron Sheik has passed away at 81.— NUFF (@nuffsaidny) June 7, 2023
RIP Legend 🕊️
It added: "The Iron Sheik, (whose real name was Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri), transcended the realm of sports entertainment. With his larger-than-life persona, incredible charisma, and unparalleled in-ring skills, he captivated audiences around the globe. He was a trailblazer, breaking barriers and paving the way for a diverse range of wrestlers who followed in his footsteps.
"Beyond the glitz and glamour of the squared circle, The Iron Sheik was a man of immense passion and dedication. He embodied resilience. He overcame countless challenges in his life, both inside and outside the wrestling ring. His journey from a small village in Iran to becoming one of the most recognizable figures in the world of wrestling is a testament to his unwavering determination.
"However, it was not just his in-ring prowess that defined him. The Iron Sheik was a beloved figure who was known for his humor, his larger-than-life personality, and his ability to connect with fans on a personal level. He embraced his role as a heel, becoming one of the most notorious villains in wrestling history... but he also won the hearts of millions with his charm and infectious spirit.
"In the realm of family, love, and friendship, The Iron Sheik's bond with his nephews, Page and Jian Magen was unparalleled. They recognized the significance of their uncle's legacy and worked tirelessly to ensure that his impact would never be forgotten. They dedicated themselves to preserving his legacy, celebrating his accomplishments, and sharing his story with the world. Their unwavering commitment showcased the profound love and respect they have for him. These devoted nephews poured their hearts into honoring their uncle every single day, reflecting the profound love and admiration they hold for him. They understand the influence he has had on countless lives and embrace the responsibility of carrying forward his legacy. Through their heartfelt dedication, they ensured that The Iron Sheik's impact would continue to resonate for generations to come.
"Throughout his career, The Iron Sheik became a cultural phenomenon, transcending the realm of professional wrestling to become a pop culture icon. His memorable catchphrases and unforgettable moments are etched into the memories of fans worldwide. He left an indelible mark on the industry, and his influence can still be felt in the world of wrestling today.
As we bid farewell to The Iron Sheik, let us remember him not only for his athletic prowess but also for the joy and inspiration he brought into our lives. His legacy will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of fans, as well as in the annals of wrestling history.
"To his family, friends, and all those who were touched by his larger-than-life presence, we offer our deepest condolences. May you find solace in the knowledge that The Iron Sheik's legacy will forever be cherished and celebrated. Rest in peace, dear Sheik, and thank you for the memories.
RESPECT THE LEGEND."