The other half of Hulkamania: The Iron Sheik discusses January 23, 1984

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January 23, 2014

'Break his leg'

WWE.COM: Is there any truth to the rumor that Verne Gagne offered you a bribe before the match?

SHEIK: Absolutely. Like I said, I started in Minnesota and after I was assistant coach in Olympics Munich, Germany ’72. I started ’73 with Ric Flair, Greg Gagne, myself in Minnesota. Mr. [Verne] Gagne was our coach. After I break in this business, Mr. Gagne give me the ring truck, I have to drive the ring around Minneapolis; Chicago from Minneapolis to Winnipeg and Denver, Colorado all over Midwest. I had the truck with the ring. I have to put up the ring, pick up the ring, [act as] referee and wrestle, I had the toughest job in my life. From Shah of Iran bodyguard and All-American AAU champ, I had some rough jobs. But I know that someday it gonna be changed and I’m not always gonna drive the truck and put up the ring, pick up the ring, referee.

Story: The sensational history of the AWA

All of a sudden, everything change when – God bless – Mr. McMahon call me and I come to New York. Everything made sense for me and I cannot forget Mr. McMahon and all the people in New York. Mr. Gagne call me, “Khosrow, Kaz, give me a favor. Mr. McMahon take Hulk Hogan from our company to New York. I like you to break the jabroni’s leg, take the belt, come to Minnesota. I take care of you and Jimmy Crockett take care of you, Bill Watts gonna take care of you, we gonna give you money, anything you want.” He told me, “We’re gonna take care of you with money. $100,000, break his leg, bring the belt to Minnesota and you have a job the rest of your life.”

Watch: Legends of the AWA in action | Hogan's AWA run

I said, “Coach let me think about it, I’ll call you back.” I talk to my wife about it and my good friend Sgt. Slaughter. I said, “Coach called me and he told me break the Hulk Hogan leg, take the belt to Minnesota.” But the hand feed me, I cannot bite that hand. Mr. McMahon was the first promoter in the world give me a break at World Championship. I cannot double-cross that company. I didn’t go and I didn’t lose my respect next to Mr. McMahon, Sr. and Jr. I thank him before I go in the ring. I thank him in the locker room and I tell him, “He call me last night and told me don’t wrestle that jabroni Hulk Hogan, just break his leg, take the belt and come back to Minnesota.” But I said, “No, I cannot do that.” Even now, bad ankle, bad knee, but at least I respect myself next to God and Jesus. I didn’t double-cross my company WWE.

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