The Iron Sheik transitional champion

Ouutch!!!  It must hurt!!  We are miles away from the half-asses Steiner Recliner.

Bob Backlund vs The Iron Sheik, WWF, 1983-12-26

The Iron Sheik (managed by “Classy” Freddie Blassie) challenges Bob Backlund (managed by Arnold Skaaland) for the World Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Championship on December 26, 1983.  Then, Iron Sheik became the WWF World Champion in 11:50.

During his brief title reign, The Iron Sheik wrestled against Backlund, Chief Jay Strongbow, Pat Patterson, and Tito Santana before dropping the belt just four weeks later to Hulk Hogan. 

Following a series of rematches with Hulk Hogan, the Sheik moved on to the tag team ranks, and later the ranks of low-mid card wrestler.

To this day, the Iron Sheik still proclaims himself as the greatest world champion of all-time and the maker of the Hulkamania.  The always colorful Sheik stated: “Everybody know I made Hulk Hogan to be the Hulkamania. Without Iron Sheik there was no Hulkamania”.

Face vs. face wasn’t an option at the time.  And Bob Backlund refused to turn heel and didn’t wanted to lose his beloved title to a wrestler without a legit amateur wrestling background.  The Iron Sheik fits the bill.  He was a foreigner, a heel, and a scientific wrestler.  The perfect transitional wrestler between the old-school Backlund era and the birth of the Hulkamania.

Hulk Hogan vs. The Iron Sheik: The Birth of Hulkamania

WWF LJN 5-back figures

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