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Bruce Prichard on Infamous Story of Verne Gagne Offering The Iron Sheik Money to Break Hulk Hogan’s Leg, What Sheik Told Vince McMahon About It

January 6, 2020 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
The Iron Sheik Ring Riffs

– On the latest Something to Wrestle, Bruce Prichard discussed the famous story of AWA promoter Verne Gagne offering The Iron Sheik $100,000 to break the leg of Hulk Hogan and leave WWF with the World Heavyweight title back in January 1984. This was the match where Hogan beat Sheik at Madison Square Garden to win the title and saw the birth of Hulkamania. Below are some highlights:

Bruce Prichard on truth of the alleged story: “Well, I think the story made the rounds, big time, at that time. So, it was one of those where there was smoke, there was probably fire. I’ve heard the story directly from the Sheik. And Sheik telling that he was going in and everyone knew that Hulk was gonna be the guy. Verne was pissed off that Hulk had left the AWA and gone to the evil New York Vince McMahon motherf***er. So, Vergne was upset, and the — I don’t know if it actually happened or not — but legend has it that Sheik was offered a lot of money humiliate and break Hulk’s leg because if he wanted to break Hulk’s leg, there wasn’t much Hulk was going to be able to do about it. And I think Hulk would tell you that as well, but Sheik went to Vince beforehand and said, ‘Mister Vince, you so good to the Sheik. You take care make champion. I beat jabroni Bob Backlund. I no break his neck. I no break Hulk Hogan’s leg. I put jabroni over for love of you, and you take care of Sheiky.’ And that’s how the story goes.”

Prichard on what Vince McMahon told him about what The Iron Sheik told him before the match: “And Vince has even told me the story of Sheik coming to him before, and Vince wondering, ‘Is Sheik telling me this now to hold me up? And say, OK. I’ll put him over, but I need X amount of money.’ And Sheik didn’t do that. Sheik just told him, ‘I just want you to know before I go in the ring, yes, I was approached. And yes, I was offered money, but I’m not gonna do it. I’m gonna go out and do my job, and I’m gonna put Hogan over.’ [Prichard imitates Iron Sheik] ‘That jabroni. F*** him.'”

Prichard on Iron Sheik’s professionalism: “There’s a sense of professionalism, and in the old days, the old timers that were tough and knew their way around, I guess that maybe they could get away with it to a point. But there’s always somebody else tougher on the other side. Somewhere down the line, you’re gonna get your ass kicked, and you’re gonna get taken out one way or another. And it was just better to be professional. If you didn’t want to do it, then figure something else out, but that wasn’t the case. And Sheik just wanted to clear the air to let everyone know that he was not there to hurt Hulk, and he was there to do business and make this as big as he possibly could.”

Prichard on having Hogan beat The Iron Sheik instead of Bob Backlund: “It’s a bigger win. It’s a bigger win for Hulk Hogan and all American and American Made, Hulkamania, and what have you to beat the evil Iron Sheik from Iran. So, that’s why it was done, so that it would be a heel victory. And [the idea of] Hulk beating Bob Backlund, Bob was still very popular, and there was going to be a big chunk of the audience that’s gonna say, ‘F*** Hulk Hogan then.'”

“The whole reason for bringing him and doing the title switch the way that they did was to get Hulk Hogan over. And that’s waht they did. So, they used Iron Sheik, and you have the credibility of Iron Sheik being amateur Olympian, Pan American champion, all this other s*** that the Sheik has done, real credentials, now he has credentials of being a former WWE champion. And to that audience, that was a huge deal, and you made two stars in that process. You got your brand-new babyface over in Hulk, and you created a formidable opponent and foreign terror in The Iron Sheik.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something to Wrestle with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.