Sheik Week Day 5: Ending Sheik Week With Hilarious Tweets

Thanks for joining me this week for Sheik Week, a collection of the Iron Sheik’s funniest tweets.  Reader Brian Richards said “hell yeah!” when I suggested this as a week of “filler” posts.  Unless you’re a jabroni, then you have enjoyed these past five days of the Sheik’s most hilarious tweets.  From song lyrics to current events to pop culture, the Shiek has capslock commentary on them all.  Follow the Sheik on Twitter and check out some of his classic WWF matches.


Less than a year after the cocaine incident with Hacksaw Jim Duggan, the WWF deemed the public’s memory short and the Sheik made a triumphant return defeating “jobbers” (the guys who always lose to the bigger names).  He bounced around other wrestling organizations, came back to the WWF in 1991, and then wrestled the independent circuit for almost a decade.  Today he enjoys a pop culture status as a minor icon.  In 2013 he challenged then-Toronto mayor Rob Ford to a match.  Both men were caught doing cocaine during their professional careers.  He has even appeared on the Canadian television program Kenny Vs. Spenny, attempting to sodomize Spenny with a bottle when he mentioned Hulk Hogan as one of his favourite wrestlers.  We love ya Sheiky!


Sheik Week Day 4: The Iron Sheik Still Hates Hogan

When I said “should I do a Sheik Week?” reader Brian Richards said “hell yeah!”  It’s Sheik Week at mikeladano.com bubba!  This week, we are enjoying some of the Sheik’s most hilarious tweets.  From song lyrics to current events to pop culture, the Shiek has capslock commentary on them all.  And he haaaates Hulk Hogan to this day.  This series will run Tuesday to Saturday this week.  Let’s hear it for the Sheik!


It was kind of a big deal when the Iron Sheik was caught doing cocaine while rival Hacksaw Jim Duggan was smoking weed in a car on the way to a match.  For the WWF, an impact of this was that the Sheik was caught partying with his supposed enemy.  This destroyed the illusion.  The WWF let the Sheik go, and Duggan also temporarily left the organization.

Sheik Week Day 3: The Sheik Suplexes Your Thursday Into Submission

With the support of reader Brian Richards, it’s Sheik Week at mikeladano.com!  This week, we are reading some of the Sheik’s most hilarious tweets.  From song lyrics to current events to pop culture, the Shiek has capslock commentary on them all.  His grudge against Hulk Hogan is just as heated as ever.  This series will run Tuesday to Saturday this week.  Let’s hear it for the Sheik!


Fans of 80s wrestling know the Sheik best for his tag team partnership with Nikolai Volkoff.  Under the management of “Classy” Freddie Blassie, the Sheik and Volkoff took the WWF Tag Team Championship from the U.S. Express on March 31, 1985.  The U.S. Express took the title back on June 17 of that year.  The angle here was the US/Iran/Russia political rivalry, played out in the ring,

Sheik Week Day 2: Hilarious Sheik Tweets Aplenty

You can thank long time reader and recent pal Brian Richards.  It’s Sheik Week at mikeladano.com, you jabroni!  This week, we are examining some of the Sheik’s most hilarious tweets, bubba.  From song lyrics to current events to pop culture, the Shiek has capslock commentary on them all.  He really seems to hate Hulk Hogan.  This series will run Tuesday to Saturday this week.  Let’s hear it for the Iron Sheik!


The Iron Sheik’s real name is Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri. Unlike many “foreign” WWF wrestlers, Vaziri was actually born where he was billed from: Iran.  In his early years, he worked as a bodyguard for the Shah of Iran.

Sheik Week Day 1: The Best of The Iron Sheik’s Twitter

Thanks to long time reader and recent pal Brian Richards…welcome to Sheik Week at mikeladano.com, bubba!  For the next five days we will be looking at some of the Sheik’s most hilarious tweets.  From song lyrics to current events to pop culture, the Sheik has capslock commentary on them all.  And he really, really, really still has a grudge for Hulk Hogan.  This series will run Tuesday to Saturday this week.  Let’s hear it for the Iron Sheik!


The Iron Sheik won the WWF World Heavyweight Championship from Bob Backlund on December 26, 1983 due to Backlund’s manager throwing in the towel during a vicious camel clutch.  Sheik lost the title January 23, 1984 to Hulk Hogan and his atomic legdrop.  Hulkamania had begun.

Sunday Screening: The Soviet national anthem as sung by Nikolai Volkoff

One of the greatest “heel” tag teams of all time were Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik.  It was the height of the Cold War, and what could be more antagonising than the Russian national anthem sung in the middle of Madison Square Gardens?  Only the Sheik declaring “Russia #1, Iran #1!” and spitting on the USA.  In reality Nikolai (Josip Hrvoje Peruzović) was from Yugoslavia and was known as a really nice guy.  By contrast, the Sheik (Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri) actually is from Iran and might be a little psychopathic!  Or it could all be an act, who knows?

Even though Nikolai’s anthem was designed to irritate, I actually like it.

In 1990 Nikolai switched sides, turned “face,” and was gifted an American flag by “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan.  (Incidentally, Duggan and Sheik were once caught doing cocaine together, a tremendous scandal as they were supposed to be sworn enemies!)  Nikolai used “The Stars and Stripes Forever” as his entrance music when he turned “face”, waving his new American flag.

But I’ll always remember him as one of the greatest villains, singing that Russian national anthem as only he could!

Sunday Screening: Interview No-Shows: Mean Gene Okerlund edition

Having recently joined the “interview no-show” club, let’s have a look at some other no-show related interviews. Things go off the rails when Mean Gene has to interview a missing Captain Lou Albano. He also has to confront Kamala the Ugandan Headhunter about some interviews he missed up in St. Louis.  Have a look at the WWF when things go off the rails!


Sunday Chuckle: Bum Gum

I was brainstorming some stories this week when I suddenly remembered one involving best buddy Bob, one of the Jedi masters who instructed me in the ways of rock.

It was early 1986, and Bob and I were gearing up for Wrestlemania II:  Hulk Hogan vs King Kong Bundy in a cage match!  We went to the park and wrestled in the snow.  We pretended to be Hogan while one of the snowbanks was King Kong Bundy.

Another kid from the neighborhood showed up, Billy Seabrook.  Neither of us liked Billy Seabrook.  He wrestled a bit with Bob, who bodyslammed him into a snowbank.  Suddenly Seabrook dropped his pants and said “Look at this!”  There was a piece of poo in his underpants.

Bob started making fun of him for pooing his pants, and that was when Billy claimed it was just a piece of gum that he saved there.

Bum Gum.  I don’t think that’s an actual thing!


#376: The Rock n’ Rasslin’ Connection

“Piledriver” by Koko B. Ware

#376: The Rock n’ Rasslin’ Connection

My dad turned me on to wrestling.  He grew up with golden age greats — guys like Mad Dog Vachon, Sweet Daddy Siki, Little Beaver and many more.  I was raised on re-runs of those old matches (on the rare occasions they were on) and of course Vince McMahon’s WWF.

For me, it all began around 1985.  McMahon had been boosting the WWF with cross promotions into music and movies.  Hulk Hogan became pop star Cyndi Lauper’s “bodyguard”, and she began making appearances at WWF events, until “Rowdy” Roddy Piper assaulted her, kicking off a feud with Hogan that culminated in Wrestlemania I with Mr. T!  It was a fun time to watch wrestling.

WWFThe wrestling characters looked like rock stars.  Some, like the Demolition and the Ultimate Warrior, didn’t look too different from bands like Kiss.  Most of the guys had long hair.  It was easy to see the visual connection.

McMahon released The Wrestling Album in late ’85, capitalizing on his music connections.  Wrestlers were given the chance to sing campy theme songs, while rock star Rick Derringer contributed a legitimate rock track called “Real American” for Hulk Hogan, for which a music video was made.  This was followed by a second album called Piledriver, on which Derringer recorded a heavy metal theme song for the tag team Demolition.

“Real American” by Rick Derringer

Ozzy Osbourne appeared in Wrestlemania II, by the side of the British Bulldogs for the tag team championship. Wrestlemania III, even bigger than the first two, was attended by Alice Cooper in the corner of Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Roberts was facing off against a music-based character, an Elvis impersonator called the Honky Tonk Man. While Roberts lost the match, he and Cooper exacted revenge by dumping a huge python named Damien all over Honk Tonk’s manager, “Colonel” Jimmy Hart (himself a musician – Hart had a Top 5 hit in 1965 with the Gentrys on a song called “Keep on Dancing”).

PILEDRIVERThe next step was a Grammy-style WWF awards show called the Slammy Awards. I caught the 1987 installment, billed as the “37th Annual” even though it was only the second. The wrestlers were given the chance to lipsynch their songs while chaos ensued backstage between “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and “King” Harley Race. It was plenty stupid, obviously completely fake, and a lot of fun.  I actually watched it again not too long ago and made it all the way through!

The family went to WWF events about once a year.  They were held at the Auditorium, and the seats were shitty, but we did get to see Randy “Macho Man” Savage when he was the champion of the world!  It was Boxing Day, Dec 26 1988.  All my shitty camera captured of him was a red and black sequinned blur.  You can see Miss Elisabeth’s hair and arm holding the ropes for him.  Both these stars are dead now.  Savage was facing off against Akeem (formerly One Man Gang) in a non-title match.  I also have some pictures of “Canada’s Greatest Athlete” Iron Mike Sharpe, and Axe and Smash (the Demolition with manager Mr. Fuji) from the same night.  A magical blur, these pictures are!  Emphasis on the blur.

I don’t follow wrestling anymore, and I haven’t since the 80’s.  If I see an old match from my day, I still stop and watch it.  Just like a good song, an old classic wrestling match sure can bring back the memories.

Who was my favourite, you ask? André Roussimoff, better know as André the Giant. Known for his huge size and equally huge heart, the Giant used to wrestle and defeat multiple opponents at the same time. Author of the Princess Bride, William Goldman said, “André was one of the gentlest and most generous people I ever knew.” For those reasons, he always will be my favourite wrestler.  Second to André would be his friends in Demolition, Axe and Smash, who you can see in the pictures below battling the Powers of Pain.

“Demolition” by Rick Derringer

MOVIE REVIEW: The Running Man (1987)

Mick Fleetwood and Dweezil Zappa appear in this cheesey 80’s classic!


THE RUNNING MAN (1987, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, directed by Paul Michael Glaser)

It’s hard to believe that, as goofy as The Running Man is, it came so close to predicting what aspects of our society would be like in the future. We still have a few years before we hit 2019, perhaps we are right on track for our 2019 to match this version!

The Running Man is loosely (and I mean, very very very loosely) based on the novella by Richard Bachman, otherwise known to his “dear readers” as Stephing King. Where the King book involved a desperate man who needs money to buy medicine, and a game where he can travel anywhere in the world, the movie scales things back. Ah-nold, at his one-liner best, is Ben Richards, a former pilot who disobeyed orders and refused to fire on an unarmed mob. He is imprisoned but escapes, and is now about to appear on “The Running Man”, a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week television show (hmmm, Big Brother?) and fight for his life. The prize is a full pardon for your crimes, a loss means death.

This story was recently ripped off in a lil’ smash hit movie called The Hunger Games.  Perhaps you’ve seen it, or a 13 year old girl wearing a Peeta shirt?

Society is now a police state (hmmm?) and the people are distracted by endless game shows on television (hmmm?). News is heavily censored and “edited for television” (hmmm?). Ben Richards’ crime of disobeying orders has been spun by the networks — they show a fake video of him firing on the unarmed crowd, earning himself the nickname “The Butcher of Bakersfield”. Now he will have the chance to win his freedom on The Running Man, but the odds are well stacked against him. By his side, also fighting for their lives, are two captured freedom fighters.  These guys are hoping to use their capture to find the source of network transmissions.  Then they could jam it, and broadcast the truth of what the world has become….

The Running Man is not a great film. It’s an 80’s Arnold film.  If you’ve seen one, you know what you’re getting.  Lots of action. Arnold must battle “Stalkers” on The Running Man. Much like the gladiators on American Gladiators, these stalkers will do everything they can to stop Arnold from winning. They include:

* Sub-Zero, as played by Professor Toru Tanaka (weapons include hockey stick blade and exploding pucks)
* Fireball, played by Jim Brown (flamethrower, jet pack)
* the opera-loving Dynamo (who has a punk-rock-looking suit that can fire electricity; sings)
* Buzzsaw (so named for his use of chainsaw and motorcycle)
* the retired Captain Freedom (Arnold’s friend Jesse Ventura)

The show is run by Damien Killian (subtle!), played by former Family Feud host Richard Dawson. Nobody could have played this role better than Dawson. While playing a game show host was not a stretch for him, Dawson was absolutely flawless in the role. Other famous names include Yaphet Kotto (Alien) as another Running Man contestant, Mick Fleetwood as former-musician-turned-freedom-fighter named Mic (I like to think Mick is just playing the future version of himself) and a very young Dweezil Zappa.

The blu-ray disc has enough bonus features to keep you going after the film has ended, including audio commentaries and featurettes. The audio is really nice, mastered in sweet, sweet 7.1 surround. When Arnold is in that little pod heading down to The Running Man’s play area, the sound was awesome. If you have 7.1 at home you need to check this out. I really enjoyed the sound.

If you like other cheesey Arnold Schwarzenegger movies such as Total Recall or Commando, add The Running Man to your collection. If you like movies with a stirring plot and dramatic acting, avoid at all costs. Regardless of your feelings on this film, do try to read the book. I have always felt that a remake of this film, following King’s book, is well overdue.

3/5 stars