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One of the true icons from the 80s "Rock n' Wrestling" era, The Iron Sheik both disgusted and delighted fans with his hateful anti-USA promos.

"Mister Camera Man, ZOOM IT!"

"No say 'U-S-A, U-S-A!'  U-S-A, hauk-ptui!"  (As if to suggest that he was spitting on our country, Dixie Chicks style.)

Arguably the best-remembered transitional champion in wrestling history, Sheik had a celebrated cup of coffee with the WWF World title in late-1983/early-1984.  Sheik defeated Bob Backlund in Madison Square Garden when the cowardly Backlund demanded that his manager Arnold Skaaland throw in the towel to spare him the agony of Sheik's devastating "camel clutch" submission hold.  Mere weeks later, Sheik dropped the belt to some big suntanned freak who never a mounted to anything.

Sheik's popularity persevered, however.  He was a WWF mainstay for years until a famous incident where he was busted in a car full of drugs with his arch-enemy, Hacksaw Jim Doogan.  That was the beginning of the end for Sheik's WWF career.  Actually, no.  Piss on that.  It WAS the end of Sheik's WWF career.

Sheik was always a favorite amongst the boys backstage.  In fact, Richards Flair and Steamboat pulled a last-second power play before their classic match at WrestleWar 89, refusing to go on unless Sheik was permitted to challenge Sting for the World Television title on the same show.  Alas, Sheik's inability to defeat blond suntanned guys billed from Venice Beach did him in and he failed in his final grab for gold.

But McMahon didn't count on Sheik's cunning.  A celebrated master of disguise, Sheik donned big poofy pants and a beret and snuck back into the WWF under the name Col. Mustafa in 1991.  Impressed by this "up-and-comer," Vince immediately booked the main event of Summerslam 91 around Sheik, and sold out Madison Square Garden.  A humorous moment occurred during the PPV broadcast when WWF broadcaster Lord Alfred Hayes discovered Stu and Helen Hart in the arena, who flew down from Canada to see Sheik in the main event of the night.  Lord Al turned the camera on the embarrassed elderly couple, who stammered out some implausible explanation about being there to watch their son Bret Hart win the WWF Intercontinental championship on the show's undercard.  Twelve years later, nobody ever had the heart to break the news to Bret.

In the mid-90s, the landscape of the sport changed forever when Congress passed the "Affirmative Iron Action" law.  Under the law, every single independent wrestling promotion in the world was legally required to feature Sheik in a prominent role on at least two different shows.  This was a hot topic amongst wrestling insiders for a spell, with fiery debates throughout the industry.  Then one day, everyone just stopped giving a rat's ass and moved on.

The Sheik was still going strong in the year 2000, when he dominated WCW and captured the World championship, wrestling under the name "Scott Steiner." Many fans didn't immediately connect the mighty "Freakzilla" with his previous life as TIS, but a dead giveaway was that he still used the same devastating camel clutch finisher (repackaged as the "Steiner recliner").
Also, there was the fact that he is the only pro wrestler in history to have an "outie" bellybutton.

When WCW folded in 2001, Sheik Steiner was left  unemployed.  At the same time, the WWF was desperately throwing steph against the wall in attempt to fill the 67,000-seat AstroDome for Wrestlemania 17.  A  panicked Vince McMahon begged Sheik to return to his curly-booted glory and save his show. The gambit worked as Sheik outlasted such other WWF legends as The  Gobbeldy Gooker, Tugboat, and Repo Man to be the last man standing in a brutal over-the-top-rope battle royal.  Insiders and outsiders alike gave Sheik big ups for his brilliant strategy of showing up so immobile, that he couldn't have been thrown over the top rope had someone tried.  The Dome sold out, the PPV buys brought in millions, and all was right with the world. Then came the tragic events of 9/11.  Sheik found his career stymied, as he attempted to board an airplane in full Iranian gimmick, but was detained by airport security.  The incident made national news.  (This part actually happened.)

Sheik's once proud career was going nowhere.  Emotions were high from 9/11 across the country, and there was much anti-Iran backlash at the time.  Then one day, everyone just stopped giving a rat's ass and moved on.

So where is he now?

After a couple appearances for the WWA promotion, Sheik is back doing his "Scott Steiner" character on WWE programming.  One of wrestling's truly great heels, his matches with Triple H caused fans to boo them both out of the  building on many occasions earlier this year.  Sheikzilla is currently embroiled in a feud with Test for the affection of Stacy Kiebler.

But no matter who he's wrestling, where he's going, or how many drugs are involved, one thing's for sure;  The Sheik's camel clutch on the hearts of wrestling fans worldwide will never be broken, no matter how many times we try to throw in the towel.

This week: You've gotta read Sean's latest over on the TWF Entertainment page. Sean reviewed "G.I. Joe: The Movie" and it's fucking hilarious!

Still dwelling on this week: Between the A.J. Styles vs. Kid Kash main event and the STRANGEST promo I've heard in years (which I transcribed word-for-word), last Friday saw TNA put on their best episode of Impact yet. It's only fitting that it received the best Impact review yet over in the DOI.

Next week: It's the DVD that the WWE didn't want you to see! If they did, they would have - oh, I dunno - plugged the damn thing on TV. Anyway, the RVDVD "One Of A Kind" finds itself under the all-knowing blade of the Recapitation!

Also next week: If weed isn't your speed, how about booze? The "Razor Ramon" Coliseum Video is locked and loaded for a little Vault action.

Next next next week: It's the anniversary of one of the most infamous nights in wrestling history. The first-ever "Retro Recapitation" delivers the goods, puts everything into perspective, and makes many inappropriate jokes. You've been warned.

The self-proclaimed "Trivia MANGOD" has been writing about wrestling off and on for 14 years and counted. Harry has written for Pro Wrestling Illustrated, and had trivia pieces posted on LAW and Wrestling Observer;
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*All Pics and Logos created by Sean Carless

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November 2006


by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).