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Mick Foley says there’s good heat and then there’s bad heat. 

Good heat puts butts in the seats.

People chanting you suck at a hundred decibels. USA. USA. USA.

Bad heat gets you in bar fights in every city you set up shop in. 

Brings a gun to the autograph session.

Spits in your face. 

Calls you a dirty stinkin' A-rab to your face.

To your wife’s face.

To your daughter’s face.


Bad heat gets a hold of your home address and home phone number. 

Leaves messages about how they’re gonna blow up your home. 

And behead your daughter. 

Threatens to send you and your towelheaded family of commie terrorists back to where you belong. 

In a box. 


U-S-A. U-S-A.


Mick Foley says, Sheik, now… shakes his head, gives away a wry, knowing smile.

Sheik had himself a little bit of both. 

Iron Sheik’s real name is Hossein Khosmon Ally Vasiri. He is actually from Iran. That is his actual Iranian accent you hear when he says, Iron Sheik numma wun. Iron Sheik wohld cham-peen, bist eva. Iron Sheik feck you in da ahss.

Iron Sheik was a real actual wrestler-wrestler not just a rassler.

The number three wrestler in all of Iran, though he never made it to the Olympics.


Whereas the number one wrestler in all of Iran who did make it to the Olympics, became a national hero, became famous all over Iran for his gallant efforts, became the Shah’s right-hand man.

No one ever remembers him.

Because one day the Shah had him assassinated for becoming too powerful, for asking for the Shah to do too many things for his countrymen.


Which was all the sign that the Iron Sheik needed.

A warning to realize that becoming numma wun wrestler in all of Iran was not such a good idea. 

He packs up his family and comes to America instead. 

Land of freedom, land of opportunity, land of dreams.

Where Sheik pretty quickly finds a new purpose in life: rassling.

Where Sheik finds some kind of fame as the ultimate heel and some kind of fortune as the guy everybody loves to hate or hates to love.

Where Sheik suddenly finds access to all the kinds of drugs rassling has to offer.

Jake the Snake says he regrets it almost as much as he regrets everything terrible he’s ever done to friends and family:

Introducing Sheik to cocaine.

That movie—The Wrestler. The one that won all them awards for showing the ugly side of wrestling, that was largely based on Jake the Snake and how much drugs he did and how shitty he was to his family as a result of his drug abuse.

That’s how much Jake the Snake regrets turning Sheik onto coke.


If Sheik likes you and respects you, he calls you Bubba.

If Sheik does not like you, he calls you Jabroni.

As in: You know who I am, Jabroni. Iron Sheik. Numma wun, wohld champeen, best eva.

As in when Sheik makes a video calling out The Rock: Hey Rock, you no-ting but a lying Jabroni, you stole everyting from Iron Sheik.


Or sometimes, when Sheik dislikes you he tells you he’ll fuck you in the asshole. 

For example: Hey Charlie Sheen, Mister Winning man, I fuck you in da asshole, Charlie Sheen

Or You want me fuck you in da asshole, Justin Beiber? 

Or sometimes simply: Fuck you motherfucker, fuck you right in the da asshole, muthafucka.

Or sometimes he just says things like FUCK THE MONDAY!


All that but it was Sheik who finally agreed to put Hulk Hogan over, to be the team player, to lose his championship belt to Hogan for the betterment of the company.

To play the foreigner heel to Hogan’s all-American babyface.

Bob Backlund had refused for years. He didn’t respect Hogan. He didn’t think Hogan had earned it, had paid his dues.

Backlund and everyone else had told Sheik not to do it.

Screw Hogan, they’d told him. Screw McMahon, they’d told him. 

But Sheik was a man of his word. He was a man of real honor in a fake sport.

Or rather, a predetermined sport, in which actually trying to win is cheating.


Or when Sheik was the one to fall on his sword again, to take one for the team again, years later, when he and Hacksaw Jim Duggan got busted for drugs and driving drunk on their way to wrestle each other in WrestleMania.

That it was Sheik who fell on the grenade, took the demotion for making the headlines, for breaking kayfabe? Babyface and heal—drinking and doing drugs together? Really what kind of all-American babyface gets caught on the Jersey turnpike driving drunk and doing drugs with a dirty commie A-rab terrorist.

A full kilo of coke stuffed in his duffle bag.

And what did Sheik get? 

Duggan pinning the drugs all on him, Duggan making a deal with the cops, a deal with Vince and WWF, now WWE.

Duggan spending his entire career chanting USA-USA! and holding up that two-by-four while Sheik would be relegated to undercards and local rednecks spitting in his face on the way to the ring. 

USA, USA! Go back I-ran, you dirty commie A-rab. You godless terr’ist son of a bitch. Stick that flag where the sun don’t shine.


Sheik’s love for coke growing fonder with every knee surgery, with every backbreaker, with every blown-out ankle or ACL or all that knee cartilage he’d had removed over the years.


There’s good heat and bad heat, Mick Foley says. 

Wrestle long enough and it gets tougher to tell the difference.

Wrestle long enough and it doesn’t much matter. 

What matters is how hard it is to walk, to get up in the morning.

How hard it is to transition to getting the mail and picking up the kids from school.

How hard it is to give up the heat and the coke 

And the fans shouting Die you dirty A-rab, Die!

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