My childhood hero was tougher than yours

KUSA - Who did you pretend to be when you were a kid? John Elway? David Thompson? Joe Sakic? Todd Helton?

I was Abdullah the Butcher. Surely you remember the Butcher. He was one of the most brutal and feared professional wrestlers of all-time. Abdullah was always introduced as "hailing from the Sudan", but actually grew up in Windsor, Ontario, just a few miles from my family's home in Detroit. He frequently wrestled during the 1970's at Cobo Arena in Motown, where my father would take me, my brother, Marc, and my friend, Mike Feldman to watch Bobo Brazil, Chief Jay Strongbow, Pampero Firpo and many other colorful characters carve each other up on Friday nights.

Abdullah the Butcher weighed nearly 400 pounds, was always covered in blood and had a spectacular finishing move called "the Sudanese Meat Cleaver," a flying, pointed elbow drop to the throat. In mid-air, he would clap his hands together, just moments before the elbow made contact with his opponent's Adam's apple.

My brother and I used to drop Sudanese Meat Cleavers on each other when one of us was sleeping and the other wanted to start a brawl.There was nothing more terrifying than waking up to that little clap noise, knowing your throat was about to be destroyed in a fraction of a second. We both learned to sleep on our stomachs.

Abdullah's real name is Larry Shreve, but I didn't learn that until today, when news broke that he lost a $2.3 million lawsuit to another wrestler, Devon "Hannibal" Nicholson, who successfully proved that he contracted Hepatitis C from Shreve during a 2007 wrestling match. Turns out the Butcher produced all that blood by cutting his opponents with a tiny razor blade taped to his finger.

Armed with that fresh piece of information, I can't wait 'til the next time Marc falls asleep on the couch.

Shreve has 30 days should he decide to launch an appeal, or a flying elbow.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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