Sheik Adnan Kaissie: “Saddam (Hussein) didn’t do anything wrong”

Dec 9, 2019 - by Steve Gerweck


General Adnan tells VOC Nation that Saddam Hussein didn’t deserve to be executed.

Former WWE, NWA, and AWA star Sheik Adnan Kaissie (aka General Adnan from the famous Sgt Slaugher traitor angle) made a rare media appearance on VOC Nation’s Wrestling with History program with Ken Resnick, Bruce Wirt, and Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Brady Hicks. Here are some highlights:

On his start in pro wrestling: “I spent a lot of years in amateur wrestling, and I know my wrestling very well…so when I went to Oklahoma, I was right on top. They used me on the main event everywhere… Slowly I switched to the WWWF, and went over there and things got bigger and bigger….(after that) Japan came along, after that Australia, Manilla, Europe, you name it.”

On his friendship with Saddam Hussein and bringing pro wrestling to Iraq: “To be honest with you, after I turned pro (and became famous around the world) I went back home in 1971…he sent one of the biggest tanks with machine guns to my house; (the person who came to the door) said ‘your good friend Saddam Hussein wants to see you.’ So I got in the van and went to the palace and we cried. We were good friends. We went upstairs and sat down and talked about a lot of things. When he asked about politics in the United States I told him ‘I’m not interested in politics, I’m interested in wrestling.’ He asked me if I could start wrestling (in Iraq) professionally (and he was willing to pay for anyone that I wanted to bring in)…so I started promoting on every television, every radio station, every newspaper, every magazine; it was so popular that I couldn’t even walk in the streets… John F Kennedy said ‘it’s not what your country can do for you, it’s what you can do for your country.’ What can I do for my country? I (brought) pro wrestling and I united about five different minority groups. They all came to the matches. They all loved each other, and that is what Saddam loved about it. He loved it.”

On bringing Andre the Giant to Iraq: “I brought in Andre the Giant. Andre had never been in the states (at that point), he was only wrestling in Europe. I brought him (to Iraq)…when he walked in town, they had to get police (escorts). It was unbelievable…traffic would stop and people would run to see him…(Saddam Hussein) started transporting him in (military vehicles)…we did the biggest house you could ever hear about; the soccer stadium held 65,000 to 70,000 and we had the thing packed.”

On the US invasion of Iraq and the death of Saddam Hussein: “To be very honest with you I was very upset. He was one of the greatest politicians, and one of the greatest men you will ever find anywhere…smart, intelligent, and straight; if you were straight with him, he would be straight with you…When they grabbed Saddam and I found out they were going to kill him, I was really hurt. Saddam didn’t do anything wrong. It’s politicians and politics that are so dirty. It’s because he was so powerful in the whole middle east; they were all scared of him…from Saudi Arabia, to Dubai, Jordan, Kuwait…all of them were scared that he was so powerful, but he never did anything wrong to them. So the wars broke out and a lot of people got killed… I guarantee you one thing, they are so sorry about what they did to him in America; it was the wrong thing to do.”

On his catchphrase in the AWA: “I used to hear it back home in Arabic and I translated it to English. It was ‘the caravan will continue her mission, and the barking of the dog will never stop the caravan.’ I had a mission! I was trying to get the belt and go back home. That’s what I was saying to (Ken Resnick in AWA) and everyone else.”

On how the angle with Sgt Slaughter started in the WWE: “If you study history, Kuwait was inside the map of Iraq. The British took it and they started using it as a resting place when they travel. Later on, (the British) returned it to the people who lived there and all the sudden they had a war. America came in and attacked Saddam Hussein and it was a huge thing. I went to Vince and (told him my feelings on what was happening, and said that I should team up with) Sgt Slaughter and we could both team up and make some money.”

On the flag burning controversy: “We were burning the flag (at various shows). I was wrestling one time, five people came to the ring and wanted to talk to me. (They were) from the FBI and CIA. He said, ‘the White House if very upset (about the angle), but we cannot touch you. This is a free country. Do what you want, but I’m asking you to stop doing what you’re doing. Take the flag, put it away, and cool it down.’ We decided not to take the flag in the middle of the ring anymore.”

On fans being deeply invested in the angle: “They burned his house. The people hated him so much. They warned his wife and his kids (ahead of time). When they left, they burned his house….with Sarge and I, they believed everything we did.”

On his feelings about America during his WWE run: “That was legit, there was no bull***t about it. I am from Baghdad, Iraq. They bombed my country and they killed my family. They killed relatives from my family. Now (they are trying to) take Kuwait from Baghdad and they killed soldiers too. I mean I was really pissed.”

Wrestling with History is live every Wednesday night at 930pm ET on the VOC Nation Radio Network. Former WWE and AWA broadcaster Ken Resnick and VOC Nation Founder Bruce Wirt take listener calls, emails, and tweets, and talk to pro wrestling’s most interesting personalities.

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