On January 23, 1984, Hulk Hogan becomes the first wrestler to escape the “camel clutch”—the signature move of reigning World Wrestling Federation (WWF) champion Iron Sheik—as he defeats Sheik to win his first WWF title, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Only one month earlier, the Iron Sheik—born Hossein Khosrow Vaziri in Tehran, Iran—had defeated the celebrated Bob Backlund in a controversial match, ending Backlund’s WWF-championship reign of almost six years. A rematch was scheduled, but Backlund was injured, and Hulk Hogan–born Terry Gene Bollea in Augusta, Georgia–was given his spot. Six-foot-eight and around 300 pounds, with long blond hair and bronzed skin, Hogan entered the ring to his theme song, Survivor’s hit “Eye of the Tiger,” electrifying the Garden crowd.
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