Former WWE world champion The Iron Sheik rocked the foundations of what is knowable earlier this morning with a tweet about daredevil Felix Baumgartner’s successful skydive from the stratosphere.
"the (sic) Felix Baumgartner never sold out madison square garden,” the Iron Sheik tweeted, “ He no legend like the sheikie baby. fuck him and fuck space for putting him over."
To those familiar with the jargon common to the pro wrestling industry, the implications of this angry diatribe are enormous. In just 108 characters, this wrestling legend has accused the vastness of space itself—which meausres at a minimum of 28-billion light years in diameter that we currently know of--laid down, took a dive, or jobbed out to a 43-year-old Austrian skydiver.
Even if we limit the scope of The Iron Sheik’s definition of space to only include our own Solar System, it would mean that something taking up over 14 trillion kilometers or 100,000 astronomical units knowingly and purposefully went down 1-2-3 in the middle of the ring to a much smaller opponent.
Sheikie Baby’s bromide may have consequences for the fields of religion and philosophy as well as for astrophysics. What the Iron Sheik is saying here is that the universe we live in "does business," in that it will negotiate with often greedy and shortsighted promoters to elevate more photogenic stars. One would be tempted to summon the overly used phrase Lovecraftian to describe this, but the scope is so much more staggering than anything dreamed up by science-fiction author H. P. Lovecraft.
With this one tweet The Iron Sheik has transcended to the level of an Aristotle or 16th Century French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes—thinkers who not only defined what is knowable, but the very nature of knowledge itself. The Iron Sheik first won the WWF (now WWE) world championship on December 26, 1983 at Madison Square Garden in New York in front of a sold-out crowd.
Bob Calhoun is the author of the punk wrestling memoir "Beer, Blood & Cornmeal: Seven Years of Incredibly Strange Wrestling" (2008, ECW Press). He is currently working on a book on conventions and tradeshows. You can follow him on twitter at @bob_calhoun.