Chris Jericho recently interviewed WWE Hall of Famer the Iron Sheik for his podcast Talk is Jericho. Below are some highlights.
Sheik on dropping the world title to Hulk Hogan: “Well, I didn’t mind because I have a lot of respect for Mr. McMahon and his family. And whatever he told me, I did it for them because Mr. McMahon is the number one promoter in the world.”
Iron Sheik on Verne Gagne asking him to break Hogan’s leg: “That’s legit because over there at that time, Hulk Hogan was in Minnesota and from Minnesota he [came] through to New York. And Mr. Verne Gagne, one night before [the match with Hogan], he called me and told me, ‘Khosrow, don’t drop the belt to Hogan. Come back to Minnesota. I [will] take care of you and [give you] $100,000. And Jimmy Crockett [is] going to take care of you’ because, at that time, they had the competition from each other.”
Sheik on assuring Vince McMahon Sr. and Jr. he would not break Hogan’s leg and leave with the title: “I [told] them [about] my conversation with Mr. Gagne. ‘He called me. He told me don’t lose the belt. Break his leg [and] take the belt to Minnesota. But I want to let you know, you guys, [because of the] respect [I have] for you and [the] respect [I have] for [getting] a break in New York. I can’t do that and I’m not going to go.’ And then they hugged me in appreciation. And [it is a] true story.
Sheik on his difficulties starting in the business and performers being scared to work with shoot fighters: “A lot of professional wrestlers at that time were scared to work with a shooter. You know I was a shooter. I was a real wrestler and I had a rough time [trying] to get booked because they [didn’t] want to work with me.” The Iron Sheik continued, “they didn’t want to work with me because they thought maybe I would stretch them.”