Documentary: The Sheik

For those of you that love wrestling, one man that is more famous for losing than for winning is the Iron Sheik, I grew up in the 80s and for the most part, only knew the Iron Sheik as the man that lost the belt and kicked off Hulk Hogan, before dropping into the mid-card and growing a monster pot-belly when everyone else was getting more and more sculpted. He was also featured on the WWE cartoon, second only to Roddy Piper on the ol Villain list.

SheikLater on, as wrestling moved on from Kayfabe to “Sports-Entertainment” we learned more about the Sheik’s amateur background, and his coaching of the American wrestling team, and here we skip way too much, I would have liked to see more of how good a wrestler he was, and if you have not seen Sheik’s Hall of Fame speech, it adds more than this documentary does, I would have liked to have seen something from Kurt Angle, as the WWE guys are a bit limited as this is not a WWE production (but there are over two dozen wrestlers adding comments)

We do get a good bit on the Hacksaw drug bust, and that is a good bit of fun for those of us that remember that from the Apter mags. Again, if you lived through this part of wrestling, it’s a fascinating watch.

The Sheik is outstanding at the beginning, when it shows the start of the man who will become the Iron Sheik and his background with the Shah and so forth. That part is fascinating and his beginning of the AWA.
Where the documentary fails is at the end. His daughter’s murder is tapped on, and I’m fine with moving on, as is his drug issues. Sadly we digress into what basically ends up a commercial for his youtube and twitter accounts- both at a lot of fun and I have to recommend them both, but the documentary just falls over itself in showing how awesome it is.

Things I wish I had gotten more about:

1: The Persian clubs- never even mentioned or how they were a great addition to the gimmick. Iron Sheik

2: The entire run in WCW, where the Sheik was basically paid 100K to sit at home, and another 100K because someone forgot his contract rolled over unless he was notified.

3: The boots and the camel clutch. Both are huge parts of his gimmick, and the Clutch is how he lost the title that day way back in 1983. Just more holes I would have liked to have seen.

4: His comeback when Sgt Slaughter turned traitor. Not touched at all, in fact Slaughter isn’t even mentioned, or Cpl Kirchner for that matter.

So final verdict on the Sheik? If you know the Sheik, and loved the 80s, then by all means watch this one, I cannot recommend it enough- If you only know him from his videos, then I don’t think you will get a lot from it, but watch the first half to get some love from the old territory/WWF days. I’ll give this one a 6 on my scale, as I am definitely in the age range for this to be a must-watch, but almost no rewatch value, but the Sheik did get a follower from me, so it did it’s job.

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