Sunday, July 29, 2007

Abdullah the Butcher, part 2

In addition to his successes in North America, Abdullah the Butcher would also become a true international superstar while performing in the Far East, Europe, the Caribbean, Australia, Africa, and practically everywhere else across the globe. On March 12, 1974, he traveled all the way to New Zealand, where he captured the prestigious British Empire Commonwealth Title by defeating the nation’s legendary champion John DaSilva. Furthermore, Abdullah would also establish himself among the premier attractions in Japan, where he competed as part of the round-robin tournament that ultimately crowned Giant Baba as All-Japan’s inaugural PWF Heavyweight Champion in February 1973. On October 18, 1978, Abdullah himself won the prestigious PWF belt when he defeated European legend and former AWA champion Billy Robinson; and then on October 13, 1980, he also beat Jumbo Tsuruta to capture the NWA United National Heavyweight Title. His feud with Terry Funk is still considered one of the hottest feuds in Japan, and Funk claims to have a personal top 3 all time greatest match with Abdullah the Butcher. Shreve is almost always paired with a manager (most notably "Playboy" Gary Hart in Texas, Georgia, and Florida, and Hugo Savinovich in Puerto Rico) and never speaks in U.S. territories. He has spoken in Japanese interviews, where promos aren't as important to get a wrestler over.

He arrived in World Class in 1986, where he subsequently defeated the Great Kabuki for the Texas Brass Knuckles Title while waging war against the equally wild Bruiser Brody. However, perhaps Abby’s most memorable encounters occurred in Puerto Rico, where he was billed as the very first WWC Universal Heavyweight Champion in July 1982 following three reigns as the Puerto Rican Champion between 1978-81. His violent battles against Carlos Colón and Hércules Ayala are legendary; and he still remains one of the area’s top attractions, as he recently defeated Carly Colón for his fifth Universal Title on January 3, 2004.

He was introduced in World Championship Wrestling in a giant, gift-wrapped box. This giant box was to be Sting's birthday gift from Cactus Jack. Sting unwrapped his gift and it turned out to be Shreve, leading to both feuding with Sting after the incident, culminating in a "Chamber of Horrors" match at Halloween Havoc 1991, in which Cactus accidentally "electrocuted" Abdullah in an electric chair. Afterwards, he had a brief feud with his old ally, Cactus Jack, in 1992.

Abdullah’s reputation as the most sadistic and bloodthirsty hardcore wrestler in history has established a legacy far greater than any single championship ever could. In addition, his dietary habits have also become the stuff of legend, as he has been known to eat announcer’s ties, whole raw fish, and he once even bit the head off a live chicken before a traumatized crowd! Moreover, his unpredictable, ultra-violent style is largely responsible for inspiring a future generation of wrestling madmen, including “Maniac” Mark Lewin, Kevin Sullivan, Cactus Jack, Kamala, and Sabu, among others; and at almost 70 years old, he still continues to compete on the independent circuit after a career that has now spanned six decades.

Abdullah worked in nearly every major wrestling promotion in the world, except WWE, but never stayed in one place for very long. He has also taken part of Juggalo Championship Wrestling owned by the Insane Clown Posse. Even at his age, he still makes wrestling appearances and still works matches as brutal as he did in his youth accompanied by his signature fork.

Besides wrestling, Shreve owns two restaurants in southwest Atlanta called "Abdullah the Butcher's House of Ribs and Chinese Food." Shreve is often onhand to meet fans and sign autographs, and the restaurant has become something of a local attraction. Shreve and his restaurant make a cameo appearance in the music video for the song "Damn!" by Atlanta recording artists Youngbloodz. Shreve's restaurant was also referenced in the 2006 Film "ATL" during a scene where the character Ant (Played by Evan Ross) and two friends argue over local BBQ. This year the WWC's Aniversary show will be dedicated to the Butcher's legacy and contributions to WWC.

technorati tags: wcw, ecw, eddie guerrero, pro wrestling, wrestlemania, hulk hogan, ric flair, booker t, tna

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