I loathe what has happened to professional wrestling. What was once Sports Entertainment has become something that does not involve much sport at all. The sport has long been taken out of the business and instead has been replaced by garbage writing and planning from creative teams and bookers. It seems that rarely is any respect given to those whose contributions helped turn it into a billion-dollar empire for promoters who dominates the entire business.
One of those athletes whose contributions have long been forgotten about until recently is Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri. Known to fans the world over as simply, The Iron Sheik.
The native of Iran’s life and career story were the subject of a crowdsourced funded documentary put together by his managers, Page and Jian Magen. The Magen brothers and director Igan Hech deliver the goods in an Academy and Golden Globe Overlooked documentary which is bound to achieve cult status. The result is a respectful yet real look at the life and career of one of the most brilliant heels in the wrestling business. A man who has found a new life with an expanding audience thanks to his social media presence and capitalized opinions and critiques of everything from Justin Bieber to College Football.
Having to deal with so many changes in the wrestling business, this documentary chronicles the achievements of The Sheik and some darker moments in his life and career. One cannot help but be moved by the passionate devotion to his family and how the tragic loss of his daughter brought sent him into a downward spiral. Page Magen discusses at length how they wanted to help their friend realize that he is “The Legend”, and advise him of opportunities to continue to earn a living. It is obvious from the interactions between Page Magen and his client that he truly cares about the well-being of his friend and client.
Another personal favourite moment of the film is viewing one of The Sheik’s legendary appearances on The Howard Stern Show is shown where he argues with “Iron Sheik Junior” ,played by former Stern Show cast member and comedian Artie Lange. This clip and many others showed that The Sheik could still perform brilliant “shoot” interviews and just roll with whatever he is given. When wrestling was in its’ glory days, The Sheik was one of the best talkers. His ability to draw such anger from a crowd was legendary. The documentary is also anchored by a great cast of former and current performers in the wrestling business, celebrities, family and others who offer great insight into The Sheik’s life and career.
Even people who may never have watched a single wrestling match in their lives should rent or buy this movie from iTunes. It is “The Real” look at an athlete who worked very hard in his sport and brought those talents over into sports entertainment to help revolutionize it in many ways. Watching it is worth every second and every cent that you invest.