Sunday, March 14, 2010

Reinventing the Sheik

The Good
Since his infamous shoot interview where he first revealed another side of himself, Khosrow Vaziri aka The Iron Sheik has been an internet pro-wrestling phenomenon.  From Youtube clips of him freaking out at conventions to his eventual hook-up with Howard Stern, the Iron Sheik has been reinvented as a controversial character.  His drunken anti-Semitic, homophobic, misogynistic tirades where he threatens to "humble" his enemies through sodomy may not be seen as high comedy to some and this shoot interview takes a unique look at this carefully crafted character.  He is a drug addict, he is an alcoholic, he is totally broken down physically and practically penniless after being a near millionaire at one point, yet he has been made this vulgar and maniacal babyface through his own brilliance and the guidance of his carny-inspired agent Eric Simms.  Here, the two of them talk about their complicated relationship and how it has helped the Iron Sheik regain some of his former fame.  They go into the original shoot interview; his true feelings about Brian Blair, Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior; his struggles with "the medicine" and how much of his persona is a work.  This is fascinating rather than exploitive as two crazy characters are unveiled in a totally different type of shoot interview.

The Bad
If you hate this new Iron Sheik character, you probably won't care for this.  The character is explained, rationalized and demystified to an extent.  While it is a part of the real man, it is largely a fabricated character who rants and raves to capture interest.  Eric Simms, however, has always seemed like a scumbag and while he takes the edge off a bit, he still seems like a profiteer on the Iron Sheik's unfortunate situation.  He explains away securing drugs, videotaping him talking to a drug deal (from an infamous RF Video shoot) and providing him with anything he demands.  This could reinforce some negative feelings people have about the new Sheik for sure.

The Rating: ****1/4

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