WWE fans are mourning a legend.

On Wednesday, the family of former pro wrestler Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, known worldwide as The Iron Sheik, shared the sad news that he has passed away at age 81.

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“With his larger than life persona, incredible charisma, and unparalleled in-ring skills, he captivated audiences around the globe,” he family said in a statement on his Twitter account. “He was a trailblazer, breaking barriers and paving the way for a diverse range of wrestlers who followed in his footsteps.”

“Beyond the glitz and glamour of the squared circle, The Iron Sheik was a man of immense passion and dedication,” the statement continued. “He embodied resilience. He overcame countless challenges in his life, both inside and outside the wrestling ring. His journey from a small village in Iran to becoming one of the most recognized figures in the world of wrestling is a testament to his unwavering dedication.”

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Vaziri was a legendarily hated heel in the wrestling ring, facing off against big names like Hulk Hogan, Sgt. Slaughter and Bob Backlund.

He joined WWE in 1979, going on to become a World Heavyweight Champion, and famously going up against Hogan in a 1984 match at Madison Square Garden. In 2004, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

In recent years, the Sheik earned himself a big following on Twitter, where he shared his unfiltered opinions on a variety of subjects.

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