Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, better known by his ring name The Iron Sheik is a semi-retired Iranian professional wrestler and actor who has a net worth of $500,000. , is an Iranian retired professional wrestler, amateur wrestler and actor. He is the only Iranian champion in WWE history, having won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship in 1983.
Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri was born on March 15th of 1942 in Damghan, Iran. In truth, however, Vaziri isn't quite sure where he was born exactly. There are certain inconsistencies with his birth certificate, and he later stated that his parents were moving quite often between Afghanistan and Iran around the time he was born. Raised in a working-class family with no running water, Khosrow was inspired by Olympic Wrestler Gholamreza Takhti at an early age.
He later became an amateur wrestler in Iran and started working as a bodyguard for Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, one of the most powerful men in the country. During this period, he also tried to join Iran's national Greco-Roman wrestling team for the 1968 Olympics, but he didn't earn a spot. During the 70s, Vaziri relocated to the United States and worked as an assistant coach for two U.S. Olympic squads. He also continued to compete, and he won the gold medal at the Amateur Athletic Union Greco-Roman Wrestling Championships in 1971.
During the early 70s, Khosrow developed his signature style and image while working with Verne Gagne and the American Wrestling Association. It quickly became clear that Vaziri was best suited to a career as a villain, and he based his persona around that of the Sheik. Khosrow shaved his head, grew out a traditional mustache, and initially performed the stage name The Great Hossein Arab.
In 1979, he joined the World Wrestling Federation and made his debut in Madison Square Garden, New York City. However, the Iranian later departed in 1980 and joined Jim Crockett Productions. During this time, he changed his stage name to "The Iron Sheik." He would leave Jim Crockett Productions to compete in Mid-South Wrestling in 1981, before leaving this organization as well in favor of Championship Wrestling from Florida. After another stint with Georgia Championship Wrestling, The Iron Sheik finally returned to the WWF in 1983.
The Sheik started his return to the WWF by beating Bob Backlund, winning the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. He then defended his title against numerous contenders before losing to Hulk Hogan in 1984. This defeat marked the beginning of "Hulkamania" in the WWF. During the mid-80s, the Sheik teamed up with Russian wrestler Nikolai Volkoff to form a much-hated tag team of villains. The pair often tried to provoke the crowd by insulting the United States and claiming that Russia and Iran were superior to America.
Vaziri's career took a major downturn when he was pulled over with Jim Duggan. The police suspected Duggan of a DUI, but they discovered that the Sheik was high on cocaine. Small amounts of cocaine were found in the vehicle, and Vazirir was put on a year of probation. This resulted in a brief departure from the WWF, although the Sheik was back in the ring by 1988. Another hiatus followed, with Vaziri returning to the WWF in 1992.
In 1976, Vaziri married Caryl J. Peterson. They subsequently had three daughters, although their eldest daughter was murdered.
The Iron Sheik is a semi-retired Iranian professional wrestler and actor who has a net worth of $500,000.