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Former WWE Superstar Adnan Al-Kaissie Dead at 84

Al-Kaissie was integral to one of the most controversial WWE storylines of the early '90s.

By Chris Phelan
Portrait of Adnan Al Kaissie

The world of sports entertainment has lost a WWE Superstar with ties to one of the most controversial storylines ever. Adnan Al-Kaissie – known to the WWE Universe as General Adnan – passed away on September 6 at 84.

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WWE took to Twitter account to announce Al-Kaissie's passing:

According to WWE's official statement on its website, while Al-Kaissie had a short stint on the top of the card in WWE in the early '90s, his illustrious career was composed of countless experiences in other wrestling promotions. 

"Debuting in 1959, Al-Kaissie wrote in his biography that he was born in Baghdad," read WWE's statement. "He had an amateur wrestling career in Iraq and attended Oklahoma State University. Beginning his career as Adnan Kaissy, he competed for a number of promotions under many names. He was Billy White Wolf in WWE, where he won the WWE World Tag Team Championship in 1976. He later joined WWE again as General Adnan. He was Sheik of Sheiks of Baghdad in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. He was also an in-ring competitor and manager Sheik Adnan El Kaissy in the American Wrestling Association and World Class Championship Wrestling."

What is Adnan Al-Kaissie's lasting WWE legacy?

The master of the Indian Deathlock, a devastating finishing move similar to an inverted figure-four leglock, Al-Kaissie made his WWE debut in 1991 and immediately made waves as a manager for the polarizing tag team of Sgt. Slaughter and Colonel Mustafa. Arguably, the pinnacle of Adnan Al-Kaissie's WWE career was headlining SummerSlam 1991 in an unforgettable climactic handicap match. The 1991 version of The Biggest Party of the Summer boasted a main event that saw Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior teaming up against the Triangle of Terror: an unholy alliance of Sgt. Slaughter, Colonel Mustafa, and General Adnan. 

The handicap match was set up after Sgt. Slaughter shockingly turned against the United States and became an Iraqi sympathizer, which, at the time, was one of the most controversial storylines in WWE history. After basing his entire persona around being a dedicated U.S. serviceman, the WWE Universe was shocked when Slaughter turned his back on his country and began aligning with Colonel Mustafa and General Adnan.

The 1991 SummerSlam main event gave the WWE Universe everything it could have wanted from a match involving Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior. General Adnan and his tag team partners played their roles perfectly, ultimately succumbing to the power of Hulkamania (and a bit of well-aimed talcum powder). Any fan interested in paying respect to Adnan Al-Kaissie should seek out this match on Peacock – although a truncated version is available on WWE's website.

While Al-Kaissie never became a permanent fixture in WWE's main event scene, he nevertheless played an integral part in one of the more memorable storylines in professional wrestling history – something not all WWE Superstars can boast. There aren't many athletes who can boast they main-evented a major pay-per-view against the likes of Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior – but Al-Kaissie can.

In 2023, the WWE Universe is likely more familiar with General Adnan from his appearance in the highly-rated WWE 2K15 and 2K16 video games. He was a playable character in both titles through special downloadable content packs.

The WWE Universe Pays Their Respects to Adnan Al-Kaissie

WWE Superstars, Hall of Famers, and members of the WWE Universe alike took to social media to pay their respects to Adnan Al-Kaissie once news of his passing broke. Sgt. Slaughter penned an incredibly moving tribute to his one-time tag team partner:

USA Insider passes along our utmost sympathy to Adnan Al-Kaissie, his family, and his fans. 

You can tune in to Peacock to watch WWE's Fastlane on October 7. In the meantime, catch up on all things WWE Universe on Peacock.

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