Here's How Much The Iron Sheik Was Worth When He Died

Although he's not as much of a household name as other wrestlers like Hulk Hogan, The Rock, or Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Iron Sheik was integral to professional wrestling's rise to the heights of popularity it has come to enjoy since the days he took down opponents with his signature move, the camel clutch. According to, he helped spark the wrestling craze known as "Hulkamania" when he lost the WWF (now the WWE) world championship to Hogan at Madison Square Garden on January 23, 1984. The win was Hulk Hogan's first WWF title, and it launched the sport into the mainstream. It was also the first time any wrestler had escaped the Iron Sheik's backbreaking camel clutch.

The Iron Sheik had won the championship belt just a month earlier, when he broke Bob Backlund's six-year winning streak. Although he was no longer the world champ, the Iron Sheik wasn't done yet. He still had a few more years and a rivalry left in him. However, despite his essential role in the multibillion-dollar industry's rise to global popularity, the Iron Sheik is worth much less than you'd think.

The Iron Sheik's net worth may surprise you

The Iron Sheik's real name is Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, and he was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1942. According to his official WWE bio, he went on to have a very popular rivalry with Sgt. Slaughter, whose schtick, as you will probably guess, was that of an all-American Marine. After suffering another devastating loss at Madison Square Garden, this time to Slaughter in a legendary Boot Camp Match, the Iron Sheik joined up with wrestler Nikolai Volkoff to win a World Tag Team Championship in 1985, but that was about as far as he would go in the WWE. He left the promotion in 1988 and returned again a couple times in the 1990s, most notably as Colonel Mustafa alongside his former rival Sgt. Slaughter, but never won another championship.

However, despite his pretty stellar reputation in the ring, The Iron Sheik isn't worth as much as you'd think today. According to Celebrity Net Worth, the former wrestler is only worth around $50,000 today. Like many wrestlers, he struggled with drug addiction and also got into some trouble when some of his rants about his former rivals and colleagues caused controversy. His pro wrestling Fandom page states that he lives in Georgia and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.