As one of the greatest heels in the history of professional wrestling, the Iron Sheik is a legitimate WWE Hall Of Famer who is beloved by fans from all generations. Whether you remember his legendary encounters with Sgt. Slaughter and Hulk Hogan, or you simply love his Twitter rants. However, even though the Sheik can be hilariously entertaining on social media with his rants against Justin Bieber or Mondays, he is not somebody that you would ever want to cross.
Often regarded as one of wrestling's legitimate tough men, the Sheik has made a career of being somebody you don't want to be on the wrong side of, with some hilarious and downright scary tales of his behavior outside of the ring. Whether it was issues at border control, fights backstage, or some of the crazy jobs that he had prior to wrestling, the Sheik has lived a crazy life which created some amazing stories, all of which showcase just how tough he is in real life. Within this list, we will look at 10 stories about the WWE Hall Of Famer, Iron Sheik, all of which show just how tough he really is.
10 Got Himself And Other Wrestlers Detained At The Canadian Border
The Iron Sheik proved how little he cares about authority during a moment when he traveled alongside Nikolai Volkoff and Rene Goulet, attempting to cross the American border from Canada when the group had some hashish with them. The border patrolman had already asked for papers, which the wrestlers didn't have, so when Sheik proclaimed he was "The Iron Sheik, from Tehran" things didn't go down too well.
The car ended up being searched and some marijuana was found on the seat that Sheik had left, but luckily the group was eventually allowed to leave, with Iron Sheik proving that he has no fear or care at all.
9 Training For The 1968 Olympics
Kurt Angle isn't the only WWE Superstar who has come from the amateur wrestling world, with Iron Sheik also starting out there, nearly three decades before Angle made history and won a gold medal.
Whilst Sheik was fairly successful as an amateur competitor, he never quite made it to the Olympic Games like Angle did, although he did try out for the 1968 games, attempting to represent Iran, but, he just fell short. Anybody who has competed in amateur wrestling will tell you how difficult it is, once again showing how tough he is in real life, as it is yet another style of grappling and fighting that he has.
8 Fans Tried To Kill Him
Nowadays one of the biggest issues in WWE is the sheer lack of heels who can gain genuine heat from an audience, but that was something that the Iron Sheik was an expert in, to a dangerous level. When Sheik became World Champion he was actually attacked by mobs of fans outside arenas, all of whom despised him because of his character in the ring, not knowing that in real life he was very different.
Sheik had to actually be put into an ambulance after shows as people wouldn't go after them, and be driven miles away to his car where there would be no fans in sight, allowing him to get on with his journey in peace.
7 Trying To Fight The Ultimate Warrior
The Iron Sheik has never been known to hold back his feelings, whether it's on social media or real life. And at a fan convention in 2007, he proved that once again when a long-time dispute between himself and The Ultimate Warrior came to a head.
Even though Sheik didn't start the issue, in fact, he actually reached out to shake Warrior's hand. But the Ultimate Warrior refused and ended up calling Sheik a hypocrite for claiming he had used drugs, which led to Sheik losing his cool.
Instead of staying calm and focusing on his job, Iron Sheik showed that isn't a person to be messed with when he took off his jacket and challenged him to a fight, eventually even slapping a member of staff in the chest who tried to get involved.
6 He Was A Bodyguard For The Shah And His Family
Much like many professional wrestlers, the Iron Sheik spent his time working as a bodyguard prior to his career inside the ropes, proving just how tough he was in real life before he became one of wrestlings greatest ever heels.
In his native Iran, the Sheik worked as a bodyguard for the king of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and his family. Of course, because of the prestige of being king, this wasn't a small task and the Iron Sheik was actually selected for the role, proving he wasn't somebody to mess around with.
Working as the bodyguard for a king certainly comes with a lot of pressure, with the Sheik constantly having to be on guard. In an interview with Vice magazine, the Iron Sheik spoke about how seriously he took the role, admitting if anybody touched the king he would break their necks.
5 He Was In The Army
The Iron Sheik has led quite the life, as this list shows, and another example of that is that the WWE Hall Of Famer actually trained to be in the Iranian army during his youth, which is likely where a lot of his basic training came from.
Even though he didn't end up going to war, due to his popularity within the country for his fighting abilities, the Sheik still trained and learned exactly what it took, once again showing another tough side to him.
4 Attacking "Mad Dog"
Nobody is safe from the Iron Sheik, and he has spent his entire career letting people know that both inside and outside of the ring, as 'Mad Dog' Buzz Sawyer would testify to, as he once got on the wrong end of the Iranian wrestler.
Whilst in the ring the Iron Sheik was incredibly safe, once turning down a huge sum of money to break Hulk Hogan's leg because he didn't want to damage his reputation, outside of the ring Sheik didn't care if he hurt whoever got on the wrong side of him.
In a hotel room on tour, Mad Dog sadly did just that and he ended up being on the receiving end of a belly to belly suplex which saw Sawyer crash through his hotel bed, in what was certainly a rough landing.
3 He Was Going To Cut Someone
This story is one that is incredibly emotional and tragic for the Iron Sheik as it is based around the murder of his daughter, which almost led him down a dark path and one big, big mistake.
The culprit for the murder was put on a trail at court, where the Sheik obviously attended, however, he didn't do so empty-handed. In fact, he actually had a blade inside his mouth ready to use until the culprit confessed to the murder.
Whilst the situation isn't pleasant, it could have been much worse had the Sheik ended up using the blade, and just goes to show that there aren't any lengths he will not go to.
2 He And Bruno Sammartino Beat Up 6 CFL Players
The Iron Sheik certainly knows how to handle himself outside of the ring, and this crazy story with fellow wrestling legend, Bruno Sammartino is another clear example of that, as the two men got themselves into a fight with several CFL players. Sammartino bumped into Dave Fleming backstage at a show and made it clear that he and his CFL buddies shouldn't be in that area. Things then quickly developed and a physical fight occurred.
The Iron Sheik just so happened to be standing nearby and quickly got involved, helping Bruno fend off his new rivals, proving once again that he could handle himself and is always willing to help those he respects.
1 Fleeing His Country
It takes a lot of courage to make the decision to uproot your entire life, and not only move cities but move countries. It shows incredible strength and courage and that is exactly what the Iron Sheik had to do early on in his life. Sheik left Iran, where he was an incredibly popular figure following the death of his friend and idol, Gholamreza Takhti. His official death report claimed it was caused by suicide, but the Sheik believed different.
He thought that Takhti was murdered by the government and actually believed that he would be next and therefore made the decision to head for the U.S., showing incredible character with such a worrying thought looming over him.