He was once known as the top villain in the wrestling world - the evil Iranian who was defeated by Hulk Hogan to usher in the era of Rock & Wrestling. Nowadays, he has cannily reinvented himself as a Borat-like crazy uncle type on Twitter, where he posts stuff like this...
tonight I shoot the firework from my 10 inch cock on anyone who don't respect the America— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) July 4, 2013
Which movie better Despicable Me 2 or Your Balls are Smaller than raisins 4?— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) July 5, 2013
America is Iron Sheik America is Cold Beer America is #1 America is the real America is my home and Kim Kardashian shit cheeseburger baby— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) July 4, 2013
...on a regular basis. (Note: those are some of the LESS offensive ones - I avoided the numerous threats to penetrate the rear ends of various celebrities. In TR terms, he basically engages in a lot of fan fiction involving himself.)
There has been some debate about whether it actually his him - most people assume that at the very least, it is probably transcription. I tend to take a broader view - whether it really is the man, Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, it is 100% the persona of the Iron Sheik, and if others are helping him maintain it, well, it's as real as anything else in wrestling. And I was honored when he sent me the following direct message on Twitter:
"I respect the robot as long as he not that no good motherfucker ultimate warrior. He big time jabroni"
After I assured him I was not the Ultimate Warrior (easy mistake to make, I know), the Sheik suggested I interview him in conjunction with his new documentary film Iranian Legend: the Iron Sheik Story, now raising funds on Indiegogo that, among other things, will pay for some long overdue leg surgery.
I was, of course, only too happy to comply, having recently attended a comedy roast for the man in Holywood. As our talk was conducted by email and contains the aside "(LAUGH)," I assume this too was transcription of his words. But true to his larger-than-life persona, his answers were IN ALL CAPS.
Our interview follows after the jump.
Luke Y. Thompson: Mr. Vaziri, I was at your roast in Hollywood, and it was an honor to be there and see you make everyone humble. Was it very different having everybody loudly cheering for you, rather than the boos you used to be so good at getting?
The Iron Sheik: ALL MY LIFE I TOOK THE BOOS AS SAME FEELING AS THE CHEER. I KNOW I DO MY JOB WHEN I HEAR THE PEOPLE MAKE NOISE WHEN THEY SEE ME. NOW DAYS BECAUSE I LOVE MY HOME THE AMERICA I LOVE WHEN THEY GIVE ME HELL YEAH AND SAY THE USA USA. EVERYTHING COME TOGETHER AND I KNOW I DO MY JOB BEST TO MAKE THE PEOPLE HAPPY.
LYT: How long have you been making the documentary film?
TIS: MY AGENTS WORK WITH ME FOR OVER 6 YEARS. THEY KNOW ME BETTER THAN IRON SHEIK KNOW HIMSELF. THEY HELP ME TELL THE PEOPLE MY STORY MY UP MY DOWNS TO MAKE BEST DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE LEGEND. I VERY EXCITED TO SHOW MY INTELLIGENT FANS MY STORY.
LYT: When you were the number one bad guy in wrestling, you had to protect your family by keeping them out of the spotlight. For a movie like this, was it difficult to open up completely about who you are behind the scenes, or was it easier than we might think?
TIS: YOU ASK INTELLIGENT QUESTION. MY FAMILY IS MY HEART. THEY HAVE TO SEE THE LEGEND WORK HARD ALL HIS LIFE. THIS WAY THEY ARE PROUD AND HAPPY TO SEE ME STAY ON TOP FOREVER. THE MOVIE SHOW MY LIFE MY FAMILY AND THEY RESPECT WHAT I HAVE TO DO TO BE IRON SHEIK. ITS NOT EASY I KNOW BUT IT IS IMPORTANT FOR ME TO SHOW THE PEOPLE THE REAL IRON SHEIK. I LOVE THEM FOREVER
LYT: I notice Hulk Hogan is in the trailer. It's well-known that you guys don't get along - how did you get him to agree to be in the movie? Do you hate him less now?
TIS: HULK HOGAN ALWAYS BE MY #1 OPPONENT IN THE WRESTLING.
HULK KNOW I MAKE THE HULKAMANIA
AND HE KNOW I COULD HAVE BROKE HIS FUCKING LEG TAKE THE BELT BACK TO MINNESOTA. THIS WAY HULK KNOW WHAT HE HAVE TO DO TO KEEP THE LEGEND HAPPY.
LYT: When the movie is fully funded, will that pay for the leg surgery you need, or do you still need to raise more above that?
TIS: YES BUBBA. I HAVE STILL MORE TO DO BUT IT HELP ME MAKE MY DREAM. THEY HELP MAKE THE LEGEND STAY THE LEGEND AND HAVE NO MORE PAIN. THIS WAY I GET BETTER AND I DO MORE FOR MY FANS. I MISS THE ROAD I LOVE TO BE ABLE TO SEE MY FANS MORE BUBBA.
LYT: What do you think people will be most surprised by when they see it?
TIS: THEY SEE HOW I BECOME THE LEGEND. IRAN, USA, OLYMPICS, NWA,WWE, CHAMPION, FAMILY, HALL OF FAME, HOWARD STERN AND NOW I MAKE THE WORLD NEWS AGAIN AND AGAIN. EVEN THE RAY CHARLES KNOW THE IRON SHEIK BUT YOU NEVER KNOW IRON SHEIK LIKE THIS BUBBA.
LYT: What do you think most Americans don't know about Iran?
TIS: OLDEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. GREATEST SPORT WRESTLING IS THERE. IRANIAN PEOPLE GOOD PEOPLE BUT GOVERNMENT NO GOOD. THEY BRAINWASH THE PEOPLE.
LYT: When Shawn Daivari wrestled for WWE, they briefly gave him the name "Khosrow." Was that a tribute to you, and do you take it as a compliment?
TIS: OF COURSE. HE LOVE THE LEGEND. I THE REASON HE BECOME WRESTLER.
LYT: What wrestling bad guys today do you consider Iron Sheik class?
TIS: RESPECT THE BROCK LESNAR RESPECT THE CM PUNK RESPECT THE ALBERTO DEL RIO.
LYT: When did you first join Twitter?
TIS: 2-3 YEAR AGO MY AGENTS THEY TELL ME ABOUT THE TWITTER. THEY EXPLAIN HOW I CAN SPEAK MY MIND AND TALK TO MY FANS. THIS WAY I LOVE THE TWITTER. I SPEAK FROM THE HEART IF YOU LIKE IT OR NOT I DON'T GIVE A FUCK. GREATEST COUNTRY
IN THE WORLD USA ALLOW ME TO TELL THE PEOPLE TO FUCK OFF OR FOR ME TO TELL I LOVE. RESPECT THE TWITTER. RESPECT MY TWITTER FANS. THEY ARE THE #TEAMSHEIKIE
LYT: Has anyone you've insulted on Twitter ever tried to confront you in person?
TIS: (LAUGH) NOBODY HAVE THE BALLS FOR THEY TO FUCK WITH ME. IF THEY SEE ME THEY SAY "SHEIKIE BABY. I LOVE YOU". THIS WAY THEY KNOW IF THEY TELL ME SOMETHING I DON'T LIKE I FUCK THEIR ASS MAKE THEM HUMBLE.
LYT: What are the secrets to maintaining a stylish mustache like yours?
TIS: MODERATION BUBBA. DON'T PANIC. RESPECT YOURSELF AND YOU THE LEGEND.
LYT: You've come up with some great insults on Twitter - I think "baby ant dick" was my favorite. Do you make them all up, or are any of them common Persian sayings?
TIS: SOME YES SOME NO. I SPEAK FROM THE HEART EITHER WAY. WHEN I TELL PEOPLE HOW I FEEL I SAY IT NATURAL. THIS WAY IT MOST REAL. YOU UNDERSTAND?
LYT: I know why some people are your enemies, but why do you hate Tito Santana, Virgil and Jose Canseco?
TIS: TITO SANTANA DUMB MEXICAN STILL I LOVE HIM.
VIRGIL CHEAP SON OF A BITCH NEVER EVEN BUY HOT DOG. THAT WAY I FUCKING HATE HIM
JOSE CANSECO MY NEW FRIEND. I RESPECT HIM NOW I KNOW HIM. HE SPEAK THE TRUTH TO THE BASEBALL WORLD. THIS WAY HE GET A LOT OF HEAT FROM THE PEOPLE. AFTER HE EXPLAIN TO ME WHAT HE DID AND WHY HE ONLY TALK FOR HIS SEL RESPECT. HE NO LIE. HE TELL TRUTH. GOOD OR BAD HE DO THIS. JUST LIKE IRON SHEIK. THAT WAY I RESPECT HIM.
LYT: What do you think about rapper Will Youmans calling himself the Iron Sheik?
TIS: WHO THE FUCK IS HE?
LYT:You're clearly a sports fan - who are some of your favorite teams? Who are some of the worst?
TIS: RESPECT THE LOS ANGELES, RESPECT THE NEW YORK, RESPECT THE ATLANTA AND RESPECT THE TORONTO. ALL TEAM OF THESE PLACES. ALL THEM CITIES WHERE I BECOME THE LEGEND.
LYT: You were vocal against Mitt Romney in the last election - do your consider yourself a Democrat?
TIS: WHEREVER WE MAKE THE MONEY BUBBA. IF HE CAN'T HELP THEN FUCK HIM. OTHERWISE I LOVE HIM
You can follow the progress of the documentary film on Indiegogo, where donation perks include getting personally insulted by the Sheik on Twitter.