Forgotten Legends31: Sheik
We are not going to talk about Iron Sheik here but about Ed Farhat or The Original Sheik who came up the gimmick, the camel clutch and the hardcore style that made Mankind, Funks and Sabu, his nephew, famous.
Starting his career in the west, he slowly came up to face Lou Thesz for NWA heavyweight title but chickened out in the last minute knowing Thesz's reputation on Shooting Gimmick wrestlers like himself. Coincidentally, the same event shot his fame to the national scene as the cowardly, traitor, cheating heel.
It was used in WWWF well when he feuded with Bruno Sammartino and the likes in his initial run. A submission specialist, a rich wild man from Syria who cannot speak English well, a coward who carried a pencil to make his opponents bleed when the referee did not notice and throwing a fireball in the face of his opponents; all these were the staple items in his gimmick.
Of all his famous feuds, he had faced Blassie, Thesz, Sammartino, Bobo Brazil, Gene Kiniski, Billy Watson, Carpenter, Bowstrong and Andre the Giant who put an end to his undefeated streak.
His last big match was with Sabu and Jerry Lynn where he broke his leg in a spot he was not informed of earlier with a 49 year career behind him, all as a heel. Bringing blood and violence never seen before, he pioneered the hardcore style in wrestling.
With over 28 titles to his name and in three H.O.F, he is a forgotten legend, often mistaken for his namesake, Iron Sheik.
Don't fear the axe, fear the man