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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Hardcore Legends Part 1: Abdullah the Butcher
March 23, 2006 by James Watts


This will be a series of articles about the most extreme athletes to ever set foot inside a wrestling ring. I will check on the feedback from this article before I write the others. The other athletes I will write about will be Bruiser Brody, Terry Funk, The Sheik, Sabu and "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes. This column is about Abdullah the Butcher. Born Lawrence Shreeve on November 2, 1936 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Abdullah the Butcher is world renowned as one of wrestling's most deranged and dangerous individuals. He has been involved over his fifty year odyssey in some of the most brutal and barbaric match-ups known to man.

Born Lawrence Shreeve on November 2, 1936 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Abdullah the Butcher is world renowned as one of wrestling's most deranged and dangerous individuals. He has been involved over his fifty year odyssey in some of the most brutal and barbaric match-ups known to man.

His long and illustrious career has seen him spend very little time on American soil, preferring instead to do battle in Japan and Puerto Rico. He has feuded with some of the biggest names of professional wrestling, as well as some of the most dangerous. Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, Terry Funk, Dusty Rhodes, The Sheik, Mick Foley, Sabu, Carlos Colon, Bruiser Brody, Giant Baba; the list goes on and on, but one thing holds true: every one of those wrestlers has bled at the hands of the Butcher.

Abdullah is well known for bringing foreign objects to his matches, hidden inside the deep pockets of his wrestling gear. When he has the advantage over his opponent, Abdullah would reach into those pockets and pull out a spike, a razor - or his personal favorite - a fork, and go to town on his opponent with it, often busting them wide open. His matches were in fact so brutal that for a long time he was actually banned from wrestling in the US.

It was these heel antics that made Abdullah one of the most feared wrestlers of his time by his peers, and one of the most hated by the fans. Back in the '70s and '80s, wrestling was taken very seriously, and heel wrestlers were often attacked by fans. One instance in Mexico saw woman killed when a fan tried to assassinate the late, great Gory Guerrero (patriarch of the Guerrero dynasty) and the bullet struck her instead.

Abdullah was no different. In Japan, he was often attacked by fans when he and his opponent brawled out into the crowd (unless he was against Bruiser Brody, in which case fans fled for fear of being punched by Brody, a habit which he developed). Some of the scars on Abdullah's body aren't from wrestling matches, but from fan attacks. He has a scar on the side of his head from a fan who struck him with the sharp edge of a folding chair. He has a scar on the inside of his left forearm from a fan that slashed him with a razor blade. He has even been stabbed by fans.

Of course, the most prominent scars he owns are the grooves in his forehead, the results of being smashed into the sharp edges of ring posts countless times in Japan. In fact, in a story that Mick Foley loves to tell, Abdullah used to freak people out in casinos by inserting gambling chips into his forehead grooves.

Today, Abdullah leads a quieter existence. He owns a restaurant in Atlanta, Georgia, called "Abdullah the Butcher's House of Ribs and Chinese Food, and he takes the time to keep going back to his roots in Windsor, in order to keep himself "down to earth".

Yet, despite all of this, Abby still wrestles to this day. He recently appeared in MLW against Terry Funk in a blood-soaked brawl, in which Abdullah smashed a beer bottle and sliced Funk's forehead open with it. The legend of Abdullah the Butcher is one that will probably live on long after he has left this world, because he truly is a hardcore legend.

If ,when you leave feedback, you could tell me who to write about next, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

by James Watts ..


Kevin Roberts wrote:
Excellent job, James. I am a big fan of old-school stuff and I can really appreciate the works of Abdullah and many others who I consider to be hardcore legends. Abdullah The Butcher IS, without a doubt, the most dangerous hardcore wrestler EVER. He embraced the violence of professional wrestling. He enjoyed what he did, which was inflicting as much pain as humanly possible without killing anybody. I feel that if a wrestler wanted to see how tough he was, he wrestled Abby. Abby could pull your card in heartbeat, and I could just imagine the jaw-dropping experience of having an already vicious human being, pull out a fork and attack someone with it. Abby had to be one of the original "bladers" in the business and Im actually kind of surprised that so many people liked working with him because he was so brutal. I cant think of many current wrestlers who would be excited about working with Abby in a hardcore match. Before there was an ECW, there was Abdullah, and every match he wrestled in was an ECW-style match. However, because of his brutality, I think people often underestimated Abby's wrestling ability. The guy really could wrestle and quite athletic for a man his size. He had an arsenal of martial-arts hand strikes and could even pull off a few slightly-modified dropkicks. Abby showed some athleticism that, at the time, had yet to be seen by someone his size. I feel that Abdullah The Butcher is one of the most underrated wrestlers of all time, but he IS most definately respected by his peers and true fans like myself, and I know to him thats what matters most. Abdullah The Butcher is not only a hardcore legend, but a wrestling legend ....... period.

P.S. I know everyone has written something on Mick Foley. But perhaps you could elaborate on the "mystique" behind the "faces of Foley." What about New Jack?
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