POLLOCK'S UPDATE: Death of the Iron Sheik

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/06/07/pollocks-update-death-of-the-iron-sheik/


**Immediately following Rewind-A-Dynamite tonight, Wai Ting and I will jump over to the POST Wrestling Café for the Double Shot and provide a review of the Magnum T.A. episode of Dark Side of the Ring from Tuesday night. Rewind-A-Dynamite begins at 10 p.m. ET and the Double Shot will start around 11:15 p.m.

**On Thursday, Brandon Thurston and I will be live at 1 p.m. ET and will be joined by Andrew Zarian from Wrestling Observer Live and the Mat Men Podcast. You can stream the show live on the POST YouTube channel.

**We are hosting a live Watch Along on Thursday night at 8:15 p.m. ET for POST Café members. Wai Ting, Brandon from New Jersey, and I will be watching an episode of Vanderpump Rules.

**Braden Herrington and Davie Portman have the latest edition of upNXT discussing Tuesday’s edition of NXT with Bron Breakker issuing a challenge to Seth Rollins, Thea Hail winning the women’s battle royal, and Dana Brooke appearing.


Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John Pollock & Wai Ting (10:05 p.m. ET)
Tonight: The Double Shot – Shattered: The Magnum T.A Story (Patreon)
Thursday: Pollock & Thurston – Andrew Zarian, Mat Men Podcast (1 p.m. ET)
Thursday: LIVE Watch Along with John Pollock, Wai Ting & Brandon from New Jersey (8 p.m. ET, Patreon)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with Wai Ting & Kate from Montreal (Patreon)
Saturday: POSTmarks with guest Rob McDonald
Sunday: UFC 289 POST Show with John Pollock & Eric Marcotte (Noon ET)
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio 


**We will have a thorough rundown of the career of the Iron Sheik (Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri) on Rewind-A-Dynamite tonight. With the attention he received during the national expansion boom, he became a legendary character as many of those focal figures did during the era. It’s often forgotten due to the style of character he made famous, but in his earlier days, he was a great wrestler and came from a strong Greco-Roman pedigree as an AAU champion prior to entering the industry. There was a lot of folklore attached to the Iron Sheik, which wasn’t true but would be repeated so times that people accepted it as fact, such as competing in the Olympics (he was an assistant coach but never competed but less medaled). He was part of the long line of wrestlers churned out by Verne Gagne and was part of Ric Flair’s class where Flair nearly quit until he was talked into returning. He wrestled many territories in the U.S. but his peak (much like Superstar Billy Graham) was in the WWF and his run with the championship lasted one month. He was the bridge from Bob Backlund to Hulk Hogan and stunned the audience on December 26, 1983, when he ended the Backlund title reign (among those in the crowd that night was Tommy Dreamer and Mick Foley). Beyond his wrestling career, he suffered greatly in his life, nothing more tragic than when his oldest daughter Marissa was murdered in May 2003 by her boyfriend, who strangled her, and it destroyed Vaziri. He was also plagued by serious drug abuse and became addicted to crack cocaine and then became a caricature going on media appearances and spouting off like a raving madman for other people’s entertainment and it was often sad to see. After his wife Caryl left him, he cleaned himself up and it appeared from the outside that he got his life on track in the final years. A&E had just aired his Legends Biography in April and there is another documentary from 2014 called The Sheik, which was a great look at his life.

**Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics uncovered several major attendance and gate figures from WWE & AEW over the past year, courtesy of Pollstar. For this year’s Double or Nothing event at the T-Mobile Arena, it lists attendance at 10,478 and a gate of $964,349. Those numbers would represent declines of 20.3 percent in attendance and 23.2 percent in the live gate from Double or Nothing in May 2022 (Hangman Page vs. CM Punk, Anarchy in the Arena) in the same arena.

The data includes WWE drawing four $1 million+ gates so far in 2023 with the Royal Rumble at the Alamodome (51,338 paying $7,316,940), WrestleMania 39 (63,243 paying $9,542,187 on the first night and 64,288 paying $10,206,884 on the second night), and WWE Backlash drawing 15,145 and $1,447,558 in Puerto Rico last month. Elimination Chamber at the Bell Centre in Montreal was just shy of hitting $1 million. WWE has several major events coming up with two nights at the O2 Arena in London including Money in the Bank, a nearly sold-out live event at Madison Square Garden on July 7, and over 40,000 tickets distributed for SummerSlam at Ford Field in Detroit. AEW’s big ones on the horizon are the sold-out Forbidden Door show in Toronto and of course, All In at Wembley Stadium in August with over 65,000 tickets out.

**Magnum T.A. (Terry Allen) was the subject of Tuesday’s Dark Side of the Ring and was one of the more uplifting episodes due to the outcome. While it’s a story that easily could have a tragic ending or a tragic figure surviving, Allen never succumbed to the pitfall of his career-ending car wreck of 1986 and didn’t allow it to derail his life. At 27 years old, in the prime of his career, and making the most money he ever had, it would be easy to see someone never mentally recover from the loss of their livelihood and facing a life of paralysis. The “what if?” game is played often, Allen being a frequent subject, and there is no definitive answer.

It’s nearly a guarantee he was beating Ric Flair for the NWA Championship and just a matter of when they pull the trigger. Unless he was an utter flop as champion, he would have been poised to be the company’s signature babyface star for the next decade and could have occupied the role that Sting ascended to. Both were the same age, but Allen had the investment of JCP and cache with the audience that would have lessened the need to heat up Sting, who didn’t become a major star until the Clash of the Champions match with Flair in 1988. Allen repeatedly stated he wanted to retire by the age of 30, which would have been 1989, but who knows? There are countless performers that throw out an age where they want to retire feeling it’s way off in the future and when the time comes, they realize that’s a lot of money to walk away from and aren’t ready to give it up.

Whether Allen continued wrestling or not, the sale to Turner Sports was going to happen in 1988 and where would that leave Allen? His allegiance was to Dusty Rhodes, who found himself ousted from power and gone by the end of that year and that’s a major political ally Allen is losing as the new ownership takes over. Does Allen stay with WCW and they see him as the big star? Does he leave out of loyalty to Rhodes?

Unlike other examples from JCP/WCW, he’s a star that you envision Vince McMahon would have seen as a big deal and it’s hard to imagine Allen not ending up in WWF if the stars align, easily could have found himself in the Lex Luger role in 1993 when the company needed its successor to Hulk Hogan.

All that said, it’s not going to be his relatively short in-ring career that is remembered as much as how he handled a tragedy and got his life on track to enjoy the remaining decades of his life. The Dark Side episode also displayed the pitfalls of the road that Allen succumbed to and not being faithful to his first wife Tamara, who is interviewed for the episode, which grounds Allen as someone that had his vices, although you never had the impression that Tamara left the marriage with hatred or disdain for Allen.

**AEW Dynamite takes place from the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado with Tony Khan set to confirm the main event for the premiere of AEW Collision on June 17. Dynamite airs against Game 3 of the Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat but it’s their final week of playoff competition from both the NBA and NHL. In addition, the third reunion special for Vanderpump Rules airs on Bravo tonight during the second hour of AEW and is doing monstrous numbers, especially among women 18-49, which did hurt AEW in that category last week. Here are the matches and segments announced:
*AEW International Championship: Orange Cassidy © vs. Swerve Strickland
*TBS Championship: Kris Statlander © vs. Anna Jay A.S
*Texas Tornado Match: Jack Perry & Hook vs. Preston Vance & Dralistico
*Ricky Starks vs. Jay White – Juice Robinson & FTR banned from ringside
*Jon Moxley, Claudio Castagnoli & Wheeler Yuta vs. Rocky Romero & Best Friends
*MJF speaks
*Tony Khan’s announcement

**Dave Meltzer was a guest on The Jeff Marek Show on Sportsnet 590 in Toronto discussing the passing of the Iron Sheik.

**Kevin Von Erich spoke with Nick Hausman from Haus of Wrestling, who confirmed previous reports that his sons Marshall & Ross are now free agents:

The contract they had with MLW is up June 1. Nothing bad to say about MLW. They are a wrestling operation that was a fusion, they have the Lucha Libre style from Mexico, and they had all the wild stuff. I never would do barbed wire, or broken glass in the ring, come on. That’s not the sport that my Dad taught me, you know? Wrestling in the ring with busted glass and stuff like that.

**Mick Foley turns 58 years old today.

**The WWE stock dropped to $98.71 on Wednesday.

Braden Herrington and Davie Portman review WWE NXT from June 6th, 2023 headlined by the Women’s Battle Royal to determine the Number 1 Contender for the NXT Women’s Championship
John Pollock and Wai Ting review WWE Raw with Seth Rollins defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Damian Priest.
NJPW Dominion 2023 Review
Karen Peterson & Bruce Lord review NJPW Dominion from Osaka-jo Hall where seven championship matches including SANADA vs. Yota Tsuji.
Brandon Thurston and guest co-host MJ from NJ talk about the value of AEW’s TV deal with the addition of Collision on Saturday nights, whether WBD could end up broadcasting both AEW and WWE, and more.
Brandon Thurston from Wrestlenomics joins WH Park to discuss Toshiaki Kawada vs. Gary Albright from October 25th, 1995.
John Pollock & Wai Ting review WWE SmackDown with Roman Reigns’ 1,000th Day Celebration and AEW Rampage’s Championship Friday.
POLLOCK & THURSTON: Evan Husney, Dark Side of the Ring
John Pollock and Brandon Thurston chat with Evan Husney on the return of Dark Side of the Ring for its fourth season.

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