A master showman, an internationally infamous villain of popular culture, a “pioneer of mayhem”, the godfather of hardcore professional wrestling, was a Lansing native. Born June 6, 1926 to Lebanese immigrants Edward George Farhat was known to fans and enemies alike as “The Sheik”. He created a character which has been described as the Wrestling’s Greatest Villain. That is the title of a new documentary about this unique businessman who made his impact in sports entertainment by poking opponents in the forehead with taped pencils and hitting them with folding chairs.
For decades “The Sheik” ruled Big Time Wrestling, based in the beautiful, air-conditioned Cobo Area in Detroit. Before the nationalization of professional wrestling in the 1980s local organizations hewed regional boundaries, mostly by television market. The Detroit enterprise was an industry leader in pandemonium. Farhat, not only a multiple and long-time champion, was also the owner and CEO. His longtime nemesis was “Bobo Brazil” aka Houston Harris. They wrestled hundreds of times. In later decades, Farhat worked for various national and international wrestling organizations.
Farhat died on January 18, 2003.
For the full article, see “Wrestling’s Greatest Villain – A Lansing Native”, Lost Lansing, Capital Area District Librry Blog, July 4, 2010.