Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- Height: 5'11
- Weight: 247 lbs
- Birthday: June 11,1924
- Obituary Date: January 18, 2003 (heart failure)
- Hometown: The Syrian Desert (gimmick hometown, born in Lansing, Michigan)
- Trained By: ???
- Professional Debut: 1950
- Previous Identities: The Sheik of Araby
- Previous Manager(s): The Princess, Abdullah Farouk (Ernie Roth), Eddy Creechman
- Finishing/Signature Move(s): Camel Clutch, Fireball
- Movie(s): I Like to Hurt People
He was born to a family of Lebanese immigrants in Michigan and was actually a star high school football player and served his country in World War II before he became "The Sheik of Araby" or later, just "The Sheik." His calling card was his tendency for violence and foreign weapons, pencils being his favorite. He did not speak at all on camera, relying on his flaboyant managers like Abdullah Farouk and later Eddy Creechman (who was Jewish) to get his message across. He had many strange habits. He would often lock on a hold that is normally mundane but he would not let go, forcing the opponent to give in. Concealed pencils were also common; however, his most feared tactic was his use of fireballs. In desperation, he would light the fireball and toss it into the face of his opponent. Very few people ever got up from the fireball, not even André the Giant could go on after being hit by the Sheik's fireball during a match at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, which led to a Sheik victory over the giant legend in 1974, 15 years before Hulk Hogan supposedly broke André's winning streak at Wrestlemania III.
The fans also feared The Sheik. While many wrestlers of the era had to start all over again when they entered a new territory, the Sheik's reputation preceded him. His wild facial expressions and his ability to roll his eyes into the back of the head added to his violent repertoire frightened fans and made them hate him. He was an explosive, crazy heel and to some people, the embodiment of insanity and cruelty. The character of the madman from Syria had universal appeal and Sheik was a top drawing heel all over the country and in Japan. His favorite haunts in North America were Detroit, Los Angeles, and Toronto. He had major feuds with the likes of Bobo Brazil , Abdullah the Butcher, Pampero Firpo, Mark Lewin, Tiger Jeet Singh, Terry Funk and Fred Blassie.
Outside of his in-ring role, he took control of the Detroit promotion, pushing himself on top as the United States Champion until the promotion died in the early 1980's. Sheik wrestled into his 70's but also found the time to train future stars such as his nephew Sabu, Rob Van Dam and Scott Steiner. In 2003, he passed away, leaving behind his legacy as a trailbazer for the oncoming hardcore movement, a top national draw and as one of the most respected athletes in the history of the Detroit area.
Championships and Accomplishments
- 12-Time United States Heavyweight Title (Detroit)
- 3-Time United States Heavyweight Title (Toronto)
- 1-Time NWA Americas Heavyweight Title
- 1-Time United National Heavyweight Title (Tokyo)
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