It’s very easy to look at a personality like the Iron Sheik and make some flash judgments about him. Like many wrestlers from the seventies and eighties, he wasn’t just a character to the audience. The Iron Sheik was everything he claimed to be. Going head to head with Hulk Hogan, the Iron Sheik helped usher in the era of Hulkamania. He would turn one of America’s heroes against it when he took the real life G.I. Joe, Sergeant Slaughter and made him an Iraqi sympathizer. But by being so hated, he lead a generation of wrestling fans through an emotional journey. But that is only half of his story.
The Sheik is a documentary that debuted last month at the Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto that helps fill in all the blanks and brings to light many things that most people who are even fans of the Sheik may not even be aware of. The one that stands out the most that you’ll see in the trailer below is that while he was America’s biggest foe in the ring, he was in fact living the American dream that he escaped Iran to fulfill. Created by Iranian-Canadian twins Page and Jian Magen and joined by commentary from the likes of the Rock, Jim Ross, Jake Roberts, Mick Foley and over 25 celebrities, the Sheik’s story unfolds for audiences as they see there is more to this man than four letter word filled Twitter rants and spitting on the USA.
There is also currently a contest running for anyone purchasing the documentary to win 1 of 100 signed DVD copies of the film from the Sheik himself. Even if you aren’t a wrestling fan, check out the trailer below. There’s something about this that feels like it is more than a wrestling story anyway. The greatest characters in the ring came from the people who found a way to define themselves as larger than life personalities to the outside world which is why even thought it has been decades since his last match, we are still talking about Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, the man best known as the Iron Sheik.