For a lot of people, the Iron Sheik is one of two things, if not both – 1) The greatest villain in the WWE’s history; or 2) The meanest (and possibly funniest) man on Twitter. At 73-years old, the Iron Sheik – AKA Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri – has had a pop cultural renaissance thanks to the social networking site, so it’s only natural that his fans want to take advantage of his huge following and humble the former WWF champion and Olympic wrestler with a documentary about his life.
As of today, the Indiegogo campaign for the Iron Sheik’s documentary has raised just $8,961 of the targeted $100,000, so Sheikie and twin brothers Page and Jian Magen are trying to get the story out there in advance to let people know what they would be in for.
It is an incredible life, one well worth documenting. He was born in a small village near Tehran. His childhood home had no running water nor plumbing, but he worked hard and became one of Iran’s most popular athletes. He competed in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City on its Greco-Roman wrestling team, and served for a while as a bodyguard for the family of the Shah.
He fled the country, though, when his friend and idol Gholamreza Takhti was, he believed, murdered by the government. He feared he might be next, so in 1969, he headed for the safety of the U.S.
The official version of Takhti’s death, released by the government, is that he committed suicide. But Vaziri and many others believe Takhti was executed for his anti-government views.
“He was so popular in Iran,” Vaziri said. “He was like the Michael Jordan. Everyone loved him. And I was No. 2. I thought, if they got him, they’re probably going to get me, too. I knew I had to leave.” (Via Yahoo! Sports)
Of course, Yahoo!’s Kevin Iole also tells the sadder side of the Sheik’s story, from his former crack-cocaine addiction to his daughter’s murder in 2003 to the knee problems that have left him in so much pain that he almost wasn’t even able to talk to Iole in the first place. But if you’re more of a positive and upbeat fan of the Sheik, you can just read his own description of the film project.
We start to make a movie, documentary, about my life. How I bodyguard of Shah, how I was gold medal wrestling champion, how I was #1 WWE champion, how I was the real shooter and not like that dog dick Hulk Hogan. But now we need the help of the fans. So if you have the heart, if you have the balls, please help support my documentary on the indiegogogo and to make the REAL film for the REAL fans about the REAL legend.
-The Iron Sheik
Perks range from a thank you on his Facebook page for a $10 donation to a $150 Skype call, as well as an autographed pair of his wrestling trunks for $400. But for the highest rollers, you can drop $5,000 to be listed as an associate producer on the film or you can lay down $10,000 to become an executive producer. It isn’t known if any of that includes fighting Jose Canseco old country style, bubba.