WWE legend The Iron Sheik has responded negatively to news that Thor star Chris Hemsworth will play his old rival Hulk Hogan in an upcoming biopic. Just yesterday it was revealed that Netflix is going forward with a film detailing the life of Hogan, with Hemsworth as the somewhat surprising choice to star.
Once upon a time Hogan was a mere mortal named Terry Bollea, but in the 1980s the former Bollea became a veritable superhero after shooting to fame as a wrestler in what was then known as the WWF (the wrestling organization would later change its name to the WWE). Hogan would become the biggest star in the wrestling world thanks to events like Wrestlemania, where he once famously body slammed the massive Andre the Giant, later crossing over into the mainstream with a Saturday morning cartoon and appearances in movies like Rocky III. In recent years however, Hogan has become more a figure of controversy than celebration thanks to his highly publicized legal war against the website Gawker.
With Chris Hemsworth preparing to play Hogan in a Netflix biopic, one of the Hulk’s greatest wrestling rivals has decided to weigh in on Twitter with his own thoughts. The Iron Sheik himself took to the social media service to go after Hemsworth, threatening to execute a wrestling move on the actor after he signed on to play Hogan. However, in a rare show of restraint, The Iron Sheik did not threaten to break Hemsworth’s back or make him humble. See the tweet below:
CHRIS HEMSWORTH YOU JABRONI I SWEAR TO JESUS I SUPLEX YOU WHEN I SEE YOU REMEMBER WHO MAKE THE HULKAMANIA AND IS THE REAL LEGEND OF THE EARTH— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) February 20, 2019
It’s of course no surprise to see The Iron Sheik reacting strongly to news of the Hogan biopic. During the glory days of the WWF in the 1980s, The Sheik and Hogan often found themselves on opposite ends of titanic matches, with the Sheik representing “evil foreigners” while Hogan stood for everything American (his theme song “Real American” summed up his patriotic wrestling persona). In fact, the start of Hogan’s rise can be traced directly to a classic moment at Madison Square Garden when he defeated the Sheik to claim the WWF championship belt, and the Sheik has often taken credit for making Hogan's name. In later years, the Sheik has carried on his public feud with Hogan via Twitter and through several hilariously profane appearances on The Howard Stern Show.
Of course, as with all things wrestling related, it’s hard to tell how much of the feud is real and how much is being carried on for the sake of show. That being said, there’s plenty of reason for The Iron Sheik and others to harbor genuine mixed feelings about the idea of Hemsworth portraying Hulk Hogan in a biopic. Though Hogan remains an iconic sports entertainment figure, it’s also true that he’s made some overtly racist remarks over the years, and many see him as a villain after his efforts, partly funded by billionaire Peter Thiel, to take down Gawker over their publication of his sex tape. Netflix is now being accused by some of seeking to sanitize Hogan’s image with their biopic starring the popular Hemsworth, with Hogan himself acting as an executive producer.
Source: The Iron Sheik/Twitter