Slaughter vs. Sheik (Part 2)
The first two battles between The Iron Sheik and Sgt. Slaughter had settled nothing. All they had proved was that both men were out to destroy each other. Both men continued wrestling various preliminary opponents, preparing for their upcoming rematches. During this time, Sgt. Slaughter continued to train his protégé Terry Daniels, escorting him to ringside and observing his matches from there.
The Slaughter/Sheik rematch took place in Madison Square Garden (MSG) on May 21, 1984. The Iron Sheik, accompanied by his manager “Ayatollah” Blassie immediately began shouting “Iran, number one” into the microphone, much to the disgust of the fans. Then “The Marines’ Hymn” played and MSG erupted into cheers as Sgt. Slaughter and his flag-bearer Private Terry Daniels walked towards ringside. Slaughter dismissed Daniels and entered the ring.
Sgt. Slaughter and The Iron Sheik sized each other up as the Sheik’s manager hovered ominously on the mat apron, waving his cane. The Sarge turned his back on the Iron Sheik and it looked like the Sheik was going to ambush him. Fortunately for Slaughter, the fans alerted him to his Iranian opponent’s perfidy and he turned around. Slaughter and the Sheik faced each other. Then in a complete show of disrespect, the Iron Sheik spit on Slaughter, not once, but twice.
If this wasn’t insulting enough, The Iron Sheik began slapping Slaughter in the face. This paintbrush treatment continued until the Sarge responded with a slap of his own, knocking the former WWF World Champion down to the mat apron.
Slaughter immediately went on the offense, demonstrating the Marine fighting spirit. He delivered a dropkick to The Iron Sheik, putting his nearly three hundred pound frame behind it. Then in a surprising move, Sgt. Slaughter appeared to load up one of his boots, similar to how The Iron Sheik loaded up his boots. Slaughter kicked The Iron Sheik and the Sheik looked as if he’d been shot. Referee Danny Davis checked Slaughter’s boot for a sign of any foreign object but found none. Sgt. Slaughter followed up by loading his boot again and kicking the Sheik.
Again, the referee checked him but could find no sign of any cheating. Sgt. Slaughter then fired off a series of punches at his foe, knocking him down and taunting his opponent. Slaughter threw The Iron Sheik over the top rope where he crashed to the concrete floor. When the Sheik returned to the ring, Slaughter dealt out more punishment. With his opponent weakened, Slaughter covered the Sheik only to lift his shoulders up. It was clear to ringside announcers Gorilla Monsoon and “Mean” Gene Okerlund that Slaughter was out to hurt his opponent, not to pin him.
Slaughter’s failure to put the Sheik away came back to haunt him when The Iron Sheik reversed an Irish whip and sent Sgt. Slaughter flying out of the ring. Referee Danny Davis tried to restrain The Iron Sheik from exiting the ring but eventually the Sheik did and he immediately went about punishing Slaughter, tossing the Sarge headfirst into the announcer’s table.
Risking disqualification, the Sheik grabbed a chair from ringside and cracked it over Slaughter’s back. When the action returned to the ring, the Sheik continued beating down Slaughter. Slaughter mounted a brief comeback but the Sheik stopped him with an elbow to the face that sent the Sarge out of the ring. Once again, the Sarge returned to the ring but he was clearly in trouble. To make matters worse, the Sheik loaded up his boot and kicked Slaughter in the face, bloodying him.
Slaughter was bleeding heavily and the Sheik meant to make him bleed even more by repeatedly striking his opponent with the points of his boots and even biting Slaughter in the forehead. With Slaughter seemingly done, The Iron Sheik climbed to the top turnbuckle and leaped off, presumably to drop a boot on Slaughter and end the match.
However, Slaughter somehow summoned up the strength to roll out of the way. Slaughter threw a couple punches at the Sheik but the Sheik went to stop Slaughter’s counter-offensive by suplexing him. Knowing he had to block the move, Slaughter stopped the Sheik and reversed the suplex. From there, both men began exchanging punches but it was clear that Slaughter was feeling no pain. Slaughter then delivered the Slaughter Cannon to the Sheik, knocking him senseless. Slaughter then attempted to take one of the Sheik’s boots off. When referee Danny Davis stepped in, Slaughter knocked him back. The Sheik and Slaughter fought over the boot and again, Davis was knocked back, this time by the Sheik. Davis called for the bell as several wrestlers entered the ring, trying to stop things before they got any further out of control.
Wrestlers Rene Goulet and Tony Garea got Slaughter Cannons for their efforts as Slaughter took the Sheik’s boot. Wrestler B Brian Blair entered the ring and the Sheik managed to grab his boot, running back to the dressing room with it.
After the bout was declared a double disqualification, an irate Sgt. Slaughter grabbed the microphone and shouted “USA, number one.” He then told the fans that he had no trouble bleeding for his country but he was tired of bleeding for the Sheik. Slaughter vowed to get a rematch with the Iron Sheik or this would be his last appearance in MSG.
The Iron Sheik decided to get back at Sgt. Slaughter through Slaughter’s Cobra Corps inductee Private Terry Daniels. Terry Daniels had been successful against preliminary wrestlers but now he had to face a true challenge in the form of The Iron Sheik. Daniels started off the match strong but his inexperience showed through when he threw the Sheik into the ropes for a back body drop and lowered his head too early, allowing the Sheik to deliver a vicious boot to the head. From there the Sheik pummeled Daniels mercilessly.
The Sheik even loaded one of his boots and blasted Daniels with it. With Daniels down on the mat, the Iron Sheik went to the top turnbuckle. However Sgt. Slaughter threw him off of the top turnbuckle, costing Daniels a disqualification loss.
It was time for one last match. On June 16, 1984 The Iron Sheik and Sgt. Slaughter main evented MSG in a Boot Camp Match. Ring announcer Howard Finkel explained the rules succinctly-“anything goes, everything goes”. Sgt. Slaughter ran to the ring, wearing a combat helmet while the Iron Sheik and Fred Blassie waited in the ring.
Eager to attack the Sheik, Slaughter took off his helmet and blasted his opponent with it. With no holds barred and anything allowed, Slaughter took his swagger stick to the Sheik, whipping him across the back and jamming it into the Sheik’s throat. Slaughter continued blasting The Iron Sheik with his combat helmet, using it to headbutt the Sheik. However just as in their last match, the Sheik gained the advantage when an Irish whip sent Slaughter into the corner and outside of the ring. The Sheik went out after Slaughter, ramming his head into the mat apron and then clobbering him across the back with a chair. The Sheik covered Slaughter for the pin outside the ring but Slaughter kicked out. When the action returned to inside the ring, The Iron Sheik took a belt and began whipping Slaughter’s back with it. The Sheik then began choking Slaughter with the belt but Slaughter managed to whip The Iron Sheik out of the ring.
When The Iron Sheik returned to the ring, Slaughter whipped him with the belt. From there, the match became a see-saw battle with neither man sustaining an offense. At one point, Slaughter appeared to be ready to deliver the Slaughter Cannon but the Sheik stopped him and kicked him with his boot. The Iron Sheik took advantage of his loaded boot, stomping it on Slaughter and eventually busting open Slaughter’s head. Once again, the Iron Sheik had drawn first blood on Sgt. Slaughter. However, this seemed to motivate Slaughter and he mounted a comeback, battering The Iron Sheik around the ring. At one point, Slaughter was even able to jump off the second rope and nail The Iron Sheik in the head, busting him open. It seemed like neither man could continue but somehow they found the inner strength to continue.
The Sheik hit a salto followed by a suplex on Slaughter, covering him for the pin. Slaughter kicked out and the Sheik went for the coup de grace. The Iron Sheik unlaced one of his boots and loaded it up before swinging it at Slaughter. If the Sheik connected with the boot, the match was over.
Slaughter ducked out of the way though and then nailed The Iron Sheik with the Slaughter Cannon. Exhausted from their loss of blood, both men collapsed to the mat apron. They began crawling towards the boot but Slaughter got to it first, delivering the finishing touch to The Iron Sheik by blasting him in the head with the boot. Slaughter covered the Sheik for the pinfall.
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The Slaughter/Sheik series had ended in MSG but it would continue on the house show circuit with both men meeting one another in regular matches along with Boot Camp Matches and Steel Cage Matches. Slaughter also competed successfully against WWF heels such as “Dr. D” David Schultz, Paul “Mr. Wonderful” Orndorff, and “Cowboy” Bob Orton. Slaughter competed for the WWF Tag Team Championship alongside Terry Daniels and even Andre the Giant. However, the Sarge and his partners were unable to wrest the belts from champions Dick Murdoch and Adrian Adonis.
Even though Hulk Hogan was WWF champion, Slaughter’s popularity rivaled (some have argued exceeded) Hogan’s. The WWF was fortunate to have two immensely popular stars. However alleged arguments over finances led to Sgt. Slaughter parting ways with the WWF and the Sarge headed to the American Wrestling Association (AWA). The WWF attempted to clone the Sarge with a wrestler named Corporal Kirchner but the experiment proved to be a failure. It would have been interesting to have seen how Slaughter would have fit in the WWF during its The Iron Sheik would continue on in the WWF, teaming with fellow foreign heel Nikolai Volkoff. Manager Freddie Blassie would lead the Big Russian and the Iron Sheik to tag team gold when they defeated the U.S. Express (Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda) for the WWF Tag Team Championship at the inaugural Wrestlemania.
If you want to check out the first Slaughter/Sheik rematch, it can be found on The Greatest Wrestling Stars of the 80’s while the Boot Camp Match can be found on The Best of WWE at Madison Square Garden.
Thanks again to Graham Cawthon for his awesome resource page The History Of WWE .