wwe com looks back iron sheiks view beginning hulkamania
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WWE.com looks back at Iron Sheik’s view of the beginning of Hulkamania

ironsheik_bioWWE.com takes a look back at the Jan. 23, 1984 match where Hulkamania was born. hulk hogan defeated the Iron Sheik for the WWF title at Madison Square Garden 30 years ago today, ushering in the first of Hogan’s two lengthy WWF title reigns.

Full interview online: Click here.

WWE.COM: After you beat Bob Backlund for the WWE Championship, did you think anyone could defeat you?

IRON SHEIK: Well, like all my wrestling fans round the world know, I was the first Iranian come to America. I was in Minnesota, and  Mr. McMahon called me up to New York. Like everybody know, six years, nobody beat Mr. Bob Backlund. I beat him in most famous arena in the world, Madison Square Garden. And all of a sudden, hulk hogan come to New York, and I lost on one bad day, lost my belt to Hulk Hogan. But all the intelligent wrestling fans around the world, WWE fans and Iron Sheik fans, they know: Without Iron Sheik, no Hulkamania.

WWE.COM: How much did you know about Hogan going into the match?

SHEIK: Only thing I notice about him, I had started in [the AWA in] Minnesota. I left Minnesota, I heard Hulk Hogan was in Minnesota and he was a big bodybuilder wrestling in Minnesota. I’m in New York, but I didn’t know nothing about Hulk Hogan. Only thing I know is he was a bodybuilder and a big man. But I was real Iranian, and my background come from wrestling background, Olympics in Munich, Germany and Olympic coach. And I was most hated wrestler in America because I had the Ayatollah picture on my flag. I was the most hated wrestler in WWE, No. 1 company in the world. But I only heard about Hulk Hogan until I met him in New York.

WWE.COM: Did you think Hogan was worthy of stepping into the ring with you?

SHEIK: Like I said, I was three times All-American AAU champ when Mr. Hulk Hogan never competed in the AAU. No. 1 wrestling company in the world was WWE. But Hulk Hogan, the only thing he had was he was a bodybuilder and going to gym, work hard with the dumbbells. But he didn’t have that Iron Sheik background, because Mr. Bob Backlund grew up with wrestling and I grew up with wrestling all my life. But Hulk Hogan, only thing he had was luck. I have one bad night I lost my belt to Hulk Hogan.

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