Flipping through Netflix recently and stumbled upon The Sheik, an interesting documentary about former WWF star The Iron Sheik (Khosrow Vaziri). It’s like other wrestling documentaries with its rag-to-riches-to-rags storyline, tales of debauchery on the road, and gruesome injuries that limit the wrestler’s post-spotlight life.
Growing up as a WWF fan in the late 70s and early 80s, the Iron Sheik was one of my favorite heels (bad guys), along with Rowdy Roddy Piper. His tag team matches with the Russian Nikolai Volkoff were legendary and they were the perfect foils during the Cold War. No other tag team inspired the venom of the crowd like the Sheik and Volkoff.
The movie is sad, though, as the Sheik struggles with addiction and health problems caused by his life in the squared circle. He’s a proud father if not a perfect one, and he’s had to deal with the murder of one of his daughters. Thankfully, there is a bit of redemption for this former superstar: family friends help the Sheik become an Internet sensation, translating his unique Sheik-speak into 140-character blasts on Twitter.
I was filled with a warm nostalgia while watching the film and couldn’t help but root for The Sheik to find better health and happiness. I think it’s good enough to recommend to non-fans, but those who used to put their younger siblings in the Camel Clutch will find a lot to like about The Sheik.