AceShowbiz - WWE legend The Iron Sheik has died at the age of 81. Born Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, Sheik, who was considered to be one of the greatest wrestlers of his generation, passed away on Wednesday, June 7, although a cause of death is yet to be announced.
A statement posted to Twitter read, "Remembering the Iron Sheik. Today, we gather with heavy hearts to bid farewell to a true legend, a force of nature, and an iconic figure who left an incredible mark on the world of professional wrestling. It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of The Iron Sheik, but we also take solace in knowing that he departed this world peacefully, leaving behind a legacy that will endure for generations to come. Beyond the wrestling persona that the world knew so well, The Iron Sheik was a devoted family man."
The statement went on to note that Sheik, who is survived by his wife Caryl and their three children, "cherished" the love of his family, who offered him "unwavering encouragement" throughout his renowned career, which saw him inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.
It added, "He cherished the love and support of his wife of 47 years Caryl, who stood by his side through thick and thin, offering unwavering encouragement throughout his life. Their bind was an anchor, providing him with the strength to face the challenges that life presented. To his children, Tanya, Nikki, Marissa and son in law Eddie, he was not just a wrestling icon. He was a loving and dedicated father... Tributes poured in for the star, with the WWE leading the way with a statement whilst his fellow ring stars were quick to follow suit as they mourned his passing."
WWE also paid tribute to Sheik, who was the only Iranian champion in WWE history, having won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship in 1983. Its statement read, "WWE is saddened to hear of the passing of WWE Hall of Famer The Iron Sheik, and extends its condolences to his family, friends, and fans."
WWE star Booker T said, "My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of @the_ironsheik. He is one of the very best to ever to do it. God speed."
Wrester Ric Flair said, "My Dear Friend Khosrow Vaziri!!! We Started Wrestling Together In 1972. Seems Like So Long Ago! We Crossed Paths So Many Times Over The Years & You Were Always So Entertaining. The Greatest Line You Ever Said To Me In 1972: 'If I Had Your Hair, I Would Be With Elizabeth Taylor!' Rest In Peace My Friend. Be As Entertaining To God As You Were To All Of Us!"(sic)