15 Patriotic moments we salute

Sgt. Slaughter battles Iron Sheik in a Boot Camp Match

On June 6, 1984, the very symbol of American patriotism in WWE, Sgt. Slaughter, faced off against his ultimate foil in the guise of the markedly anti-American Iron Sheik in a legendary Boot Camp Match.

Just three years removed from the end of the Iran hostage crisis, the image of the former champion Sheik railing against the USA was too much for the WWE Universe to take, and it fell to Sgt. Slaughter to defend the honor of his country against one of WWE’s greatest villains.

The two combatants engaged in a series of brutal battles throughout spring 1984, culminating in a Boot Camp Match at Madison Square Garden in June. That bout is remembered as one of the most legendary the WWE Universe has ever seen, and is a perfect representation of nationalistic warfare.

The Boot Camp Match was a no-holds-barred, anything goes, nightmare of a contest, and even the referee stayed as far from the action as possible — he stuck to the outside of the ring, in fact, entering only to count a pinfall.

Chants of "USA! USA!" could be heard from the opening bell, and fans in attendance waved American flags in support of their hero. It was nothing short of a war inside the ring, as "Sarge" went to work on his foe with the swagger stick, then headbutted the villainous Iron Sheik with a military helmet. However, his curl-booted rival was more than game for such a fight, savagely whipping Slaughter with his belt.

In the end, it was Sgt. Slaughter who was victorious, giving the capacity New York City crowd a moment they'd never forget.