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How the Iron Sheik became WWE Champion

How the Iron Sheik became WWE Champion

On Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave and Garrett reviewed The Iron Sheik’s WWE Championship victory.

Dave Meltzer and Garrett Gonzales discussed The Iron Sheik, who died on Wednesday, on Friday’s broadcast. Meltzer said that by the time Sheik joined the WWF in the early 1980s, he had already passed his peak as a wrestler.

“The Iron Sheik everybody saw was nowhere near the competitor of the Portland Iron Sheik or Mid Atlantic Iron Sheik,” Meltzer said.

Gonzales noted that when The Iron Sheik won the WWE Championship in late 1983 from Bob Backlund, he had only been in the territory a short time. Meltzer said that was common during the territory era for heels to debut at the top.

“In those days, a heel would show up on TV and they’d be on TV for two months or so and when they debut, it’d be at the Spectrum or in the Garden in the main event,” he said.

“The Sheik’s run…it was kind of the right place at the right time,” Meltzer said regarding Sheik’s title run. “I think a lot of people think that The Sheik was picked as this great plan because of Hulk Hogan being an American hero…it could have been anyone in that spot.”