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The Sheik Passes Away


Guest Tajiri

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From the Observer site:

 

-We just received confirmation that Ed Farhat, the famous Sheik, passed away last night at about 3:15 a.m. Central time in a Michigan hospital. We don't have any other details other than the source was within the family. The Sheik was among the hottest heels in the history of pro wrestling and one of the biggest draws of the 60s and early 70s. His success as a consistent draw in Detroit and Toronto in his heyday are probably unmatched in the history of each city as far as frequent huge crowds.

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Guest The Legend
Yes it is a sad, sad day in the hearts of all wrestling fans around the world. For not only was the Iron Shiek a great wrestling, and a legend of wrestling, but he was a great teacher or wrestling. For we all know that Sabu and RVD were both trained by him, and I view as both of those men as two of the greats as well.
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The Iron Sheik (or Sheiky to LAW fans) is alive and well stinking up indies across america, The Sheik who passed away was a huge draw in Detroit, Japan and Canada thru out the 60's and 70s.
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It"s very sad,the wrestling business has lost so many of the greats in recent years,i expect they"re having a huge Royal Rumble in the sky!
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Here a Bio of The Shiek taken from John Molinaro's Top 100 Pro Wrestlers of All Time book:

 

The Sheik

 

Often imitated but rarely duplicated, The Sheik is considered the most violent, gruesome and sadistic brawler in wrestling history and the godfather of ‘hardcore’ wrestling.

 

The Sheik was the number one heel in wrestling from the mid-‘60s to the late ‘70s, playing the role of a bloodthirsty Middle Eastern madman and creating new levels carnage wherever he wrestled. Complete with a Persian rug he would ‘pray’ on prior to his matches, ceremonial sword and Arabian head-dress and accompanied to the ring by manger Abdullah Farouk, The Sheik carved up his opponents with a wide range of weapons including metal chairs, fire balls, pencils, ice picks and forks.

 

A limited worker inside the ring, The Sheik, at five-feet-eleven and 228 pounds, was renowned for his short, bloody matches that saw him bludgeon wrestlers in wild brawls that lasted less than ten minutes. A favorite of promoters who brought him in to rejuvenate their stagnating territories in order to pop a good crowd and turn the promotion around, The Sheik was one of wrestling’s greatest journeymen.

 

As a result, The Sheik wrestled in virtually every major territory across the U.S. and Canada and took on some of the biggest names in the business. His gory, out-of-control, legendary brawls against Dusty Rhodes, Abdullah the Butcher, Bobo Brazil, Terry Funk, Freddie Blassie, Johnny Valentine, Mark Lewin and countless others set a new standard of violence inside the wrestling ring decades before ‘hardcore’ wrestling became a phenomenon in the U.S. with Paul Heyman’s E.C.W. and in Japan with Atsushi Onita’s F.M.W.

 

Born Ed Farhat in 1926 in Syria, The Sheik moved to Michigan where he went to high school in East Lansing and attended Michigan State University before entering pro wrestling in the early ‘50s. He became one of the great villains of the television network era as his wild and unorthodox style created pandemonium at the box-office, becoming one of the top drawing heels in the business.

 

Although he wrestled in Los Angeles, Toronto, New York and several other big territories, The Sheik is most closely associated with Detroit. It was there that The Sheik became a household name as the perennial U.S. Heavyweight Champion, holding the title 12 times between 1965 and 1980. As a promoter, booker and top star, he turned Detroit into one of the hottest wrestling cities in the U.S. as his main event matches drew consistent sellouts to the historic Cobo Arena.

 

In between shots in Detroit, he would headline for Frank Tunney in Toronto during the ‘70s, becoming the biggest gate attraction at Maple Leaf Gardens since ‘Whipper’ Billy Watson in the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s.

 

During the ‘70s he became one of the top foreign heels in Japan for Giant Baba. On December 15, 1977 he teamed with rival Abdullah The Butcher against The Funks during the Real World Tag League Tournament in one of the most memorable and wild brawls in wrestling history.

 

Back home, the Detroit territory folded in 1980 when The Sheik killed the city by pushing himself in main events long after his popularity had faded and after he burned fans countless times by advertising talent that no-showed big events.

 

Throughout the ensuing two decades, The Sheik would continue to wrestle and ‘defend’ his U.S. Title on the independent circuit across the U.S. and Canada and in Japan well into his seventies. The real-life uncle of Sabu, he was responsible for training the former E.C.W. star and current W.W.F. standout Rob Van Dam.

 

After suffering a serious heart attack following a 1995 match in Japan, The Sheik became gravely ill and scaled back his schedule. A retirement ceremony was held for him at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall on December 11, 1998. Even with a bad hip and shot knees, The Sheik rushed out to the ring with nephew Sabu and terrorized ringside photographers as he threw several fireballs and chased fans with his sword, reliving his glory days in All Japan in one final hurrah.

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