How Did the Iron Sheik Die? The Cause of Death of the WWE Legend

The Iron Sheik, one of the most iconic and controversial figures in the history of professional wrestling, passed away on June 7, 2023, at the age of 81. The Iranian-American wrestler, whose real name was Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, was known for his villainous persona, his legendary feud with Hulk Hogan, and his outspoken and often outrageous comments on social media and in interviews. But what was the cause of death of the Iron Sheik? Here is what we know so far.

Cardiac Arrest

According to TMZ, the WWE Hall of Famer’s death certificate says he died of cardiac arrest, while the document notes he also suffered from congestive heart failure and hypertension before he died. The manner of death was ruled to be natural.

Cardiac arrest is a sudden and unexpected loss of heart function, breathing, and consciousness. It occurs when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and stops pumping blood to the rest of the body. Cardiac arrest can be caused by various factors, such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, abnormal heart rhythms, drug overdose, or trauma.

Congestive heart failure is a chronic condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. It can lead to symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling, and coughing. Congestive heart failure can be caused by various factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary artery disease, valve problems, or infections.

Hypertension is a condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is too high. It can damage the blood vessels and organs, such as the heart, brain, kidneys, and eyes. Hypertension can be caused by various factors, such as genetics, lifestyle, stress, or medications.

Health Issues

The Iron Sheik had a history of health issues that may have contributed to his cardiac arrest. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2006 and struggled with substance abuse for many years. He admitted to using crack cocaine, steroids, alcohol, and other drugs during his wrestling career and after his retirement. He also suffered a heart attack in 2005 after a drug binge.

The Iron Sheik also had several physical injuries from his wrestling career that affected his mobility and quality of life. He broke his neck in 1977 during a match with Bob Backlund and had to wear a neck brace for a year. He also injured his knees and ankles from years of performing his signature move, the camel clutch. He had to use crutches and a wheelchair to get around in his later years.


Despite his health problems and personal troubles, the Iron Sheik left a lasting legacy in the world of professional wrestling and beyond. He was one of the first and only Iranian champions in WWE history, having won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship in 1983 by defeating Bob Backlund. He then lost the title to Hulk Hogan in 1984, which sparked the Hulkamania era and ushered in a new golden age of wrestling. He also won the WWF Tag Team Championship with Nikolai Volkoff at WrestleMania I in 1985.

The Iron Sheik was known for his charismatic and controversial character, which played on the political tensions between Iran and the United States during the 1980s. He would proudly wave an Iranian flag and insult American audiences with anti-American slogans and threats. He later changed his persona to Colonel Mustafa and joined forces with Sergeant Slaughter and General Adnan as the Triangle of Terror.

The Iron Sheik also gained popularity in the 21st century due to his appearances on The Howard Stern Show, where he would rant about his enemies and rivals in wrestling and other fields. He also became a sensation on Twitter, where he had over 600,000 followers who enjoyed his vulgar and hilarious tweets. He was also the subject of a documentary film called The Sheik , which chronicled his life story and struggles.

The Iron Sheik was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 by his former manager Jimmy Hart. He was also honored by various wrestling organizations and publications for his achievements and contributions to the industry. He was widely regarded as one of the greatest heels (villains) and performers of all time.

The Iron Sheik will be remembered by fans and peers as a legend who made an impact on wrestling history. He will be missed by many who admired his passion, talent, and personality. Rest in peace, Iron Sheik.

Doms Desk

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