Wrestler of the Day – January 11: Abdullah the Butcher

Today’s is a wrestler that is much more about the legacy than any individual accomplishments: Abdullah the Butcher.

Abdullah is a guy who took on an entirely different persona than he actually lived. Born in Canada, he took on the persona of a crazy man from the Sudan who never spoke in America and had handlers to do his talking for him. He never stuck around in one place for too long, meaning he was never going to win much more than a regional title. More often than not his story was that he was brought in by a big heel to take care of a big face, meaning this is going to be a different kind of look today. Basically I’ll just be looking at a handful of random matches from around the world, as Abdullah has been everywhere other than the WWF.

First up we’ll look at a match from World Championship Wrestling in the 1970s. Now a lot of you must be saying WCW didn’t exist in the 70s and if you only know of one WCW, you would be correct. This is World Championship Wrestling from Australia. I’m not sure on a date but the promotion closed in December 1978 so it’s before then at the latest.

Mark Lewin vs. Abdullah the Butcher

This is a called a war match so I’m assuming this is an old feud. Lewin is a guy most famous for his brawling so it should be a good fight. Butcher headbutts him into the corner and chokes away but Lewin comes back with some hard right hands to the head. More right hands knock the Butcher around before Lewin whips him into the corner over and over. Now it’s Butcher with right hands as this has been almost nothing but punches. Lewin grabs his sleeper finisher but has to dropkick Butcher’s handler Big Bad John. Butcher ducks a charging Lewin to send him into the ropes, tying his head in the cables for the eventual DQ.

Rating: D. This was exactly what it was supposed to be, though I’ve never heard of a war ending on a disqualifications. Lewin was a guy who was only going to work in the old system of wrestling. He wasn’t bad but it was all character instead of much to see in the ring, which was perfect for the 70s.

Post match King Curtis Iaukea (top star of the territory) comes out for the save but is sent into the buckle to put him down. Butcher goes after the referee but Iaukea gets up and fights Butcher off. Lewin declares the war is still on.

Now it’s off to Japan in 1982 for a match with a guy you may have heard of: Hulk Hogan.

Abdullah the Butcher vs. Hulk Hogan

Hogan looks far less cut up here. He’s still big and muscular but there’s nowhere near the definition. A LOUD Hogan chant starts up but Butcher shoves him away. Hulk shoves him right back but no one goes anywhere off running shoulder blocks. A jumping knee is enough to send Butcher to the floor though as the crowd is way into this. We hit the bearhug from Hogan for a change and he lifts the 400lb Butcher up in a nice power display.

Butcher finally goes to the eyes to escape and sends Hogan outside with one shot. They brawl on the floor with Hogan taking over and putting on a sleeper back inside. A running clothesline puts Butcher down but Hulk’s splash hits legs. Not knees, but legs as Butcher doesn’t raise anything. Butcher goes to the forehead and you can see Hogan blade.

A fork shot to the cut has Hogan’s blood all over Abdullah’s ample stomach and he rolls to the floor. Back in and Butcher hits a brainbuster and the elbow for two but it’s time to Hulk Up (not yet perfected). Hogan punches him to the floor and they head into the crowd for a double countout.

Rating: D+. Eh it’s Hogan against a monster with a hot crowd so what else are you expecting? Butcher would have been great as a heel of the month against Hogan on the WWF house show circuit but he never came to the company. Hogan was his usual self here instead of being the different guy he normally was in Japan.

To avoid the scorn of certain commenters, here’s a match against Andre the Giant from Puerto Rico at the WWC’s first anniversary show on September 13, 1983.

Andre the Giant vs. Abdullah the Butcher

Andre easily knocks him out to the floor with ease before bringing him back inside for some HARD right hands and chops in the corner. The Butcher stops a “charging” Andre with an uppercut in the corner before headbutting him down to the mat. Choking ensues but Andre comes back with chops to the chest. Abduallah pulls something out of his pants and jabs Andre in the throat before they lay on each other in the corner. Andre gets tired of this fighting stuff and just goes off on the Butcher, knocking him out through the ropes and into the crowd for a double countout.

Rating: D-. The wrestling sucked but watching Andre beat on people is always worth seeing, especially when he could still move. It’s not a good match at all but the fans were into seeing the EVIL Butcher get what was coming to him from someone he couldn’t push around. More fun than good and there’s nothing wrong with that.

We’ll stay in Puerto Rico with an ultra rare Zeus match from the 1990 anniversary show on July 7, 1990. And yes, it’s that Zeus.

Zeus vs. Abdullah the Butcher

In case you’ve never heard of him, Zeus was an actor that was brought in as a monster heel against Hogan, only for everyone to realize that he’s an actor, meaning he can’t wrestle. It’s a brawl on the floor to start as the fans are INSANE for this match. Zeus mauls the Butcher on the floor before the bell and poses in the ring but that just warms Abdullah up. We go inside with Butcher, apparently a crowd favorite here, staring at Zeus as trash is thrown into the ring.

Zeus chokes away in the corner before putting on an awkward looking bearhug. Butcher gets pounded down in the corner as Zeus clearly can’t do more than one or two moves. Again, not his fault as he’s not a wrestler. The Butcher comes back with a shot to the throat but Zeus pounds away with left hands and chokes Abdullah into the corner. Abdullah won’t go down though and pulls out his trusty fork, only to have Zeus take it away and put on another bearhug.

Butcher finally remembers those Hulk Hogan tapes he watched and goes to the eyes to escape and Zeus is in big trouble. The elbow (signature move) only gets one on Zeus and it’s back to the choking. No one goes anywhere off some shoulder blocks so Zeus chokes some more. Butcher comes back with a single right hand to put Zeus on the mat and it’s off to a nerve hold.

Zeus glares his way out of the hold and monkey flips Abdullah (seriously) down for some more choking. A few kicks to the ribs put Zeus in more trouble and they slug it out some more. Butcher knocks Zeus outside but he puts on a bearhug from the apron. They head outside and Zeus blasts him with a wooden podium as we get a double countout.

Rating: C. That rating only works if you look at it as ANYTHING other than a wrestling match. This was a spectacle instead of a match and that’s the best way it could have worked. Zeus wasn’t a wrestler and couldn’t do much more than bearhugs and chokes but you can’t hold that against him. Incredibly fun stuff here.

We’ll close things out with one of only three matches from Butcher’s most famous run in America. It’s the Chamber of Horrors match at Halloween Havoc 1991, which is a huge team match but when else am I going to get to talk about this?

Cactus Jack/Abdullah The Butcher/Diamond Studd/Big Van Vader vs. Steiner Brothers/El Gignate/Sting

Oh boy it’s the Chamber of Horrors. Now if you’ve never heard of this, clear some room off your list of absurd gimmicks. This is inside a cage similar to the Cell, although there’s no top on it and the holes in the cage are bigger. Inside are coffins, skeletons and a few weapons. The idea of the match is that everyone is fighting at once and at some point during the match, an electric chair will lower from the ceiling. Someone must be placed in the chair, strapped down and someone from the other team has to throw a switch, “electrocuting” them. And somehow, it’ll be even dumber than it sounds.

Oh and Gigante is replacing the injured Windham and Cactus is replacing Oz, although Oz will be in a match later and apparently Oz replaced Jack in that match. No idea why they made the switch. Jack comes out with a chainsaw minus the chain. Sting is US Champion here and yes, this is really what they’re using him for. Cactus jumps Sting on the ramp and Abdullah helps, but Rick comes out for the save. This is before we’re even in the cage. Well Rick was but he left because it’s just a cage so why should it be hard to stay inside?

In the ring Scott kills the Studd with a Tiger Driver while Gigante fights Vader. Sting gets a kendo stick to pound away on everyone he sees. Well everyone that isn’t on his team that is. Or the referee either. Speaking of the referee, he has a camera on his head here which is really more annoying than anything else. That could be an interesting idea for an angle but it never went anywhere.

People in masks pop out of those caskets. They don’t do anything but they pop out anyway. Sting clotheslines Vader to the floor and Gigante pulls Studd off of the cage wall. The Steiners hit their top rope DDT on Cactus as the chair is lowered. Vader knocks Rick into the chair but Rick clotheslines his way out of it. Sting throws a casket lid up in the air so it lands on Cactus’ head.

Now we have ghouls coming out with a stretcher. Again they don’t do anything but they’re there. Scott shatters a kendo stick over Cactus’ head, breaking him open. Cactus and Sting climb the cage and ram each other into it, which is one of the few actual clear brawls in the match. The rest of it is too hard to call because of the awful camera work. Sting has the stick now and stabs Hall with it.

It’s pretty much impossible to call this match as everything is all over the place and it’s just random brawling. Sting is busted open, as is Abdullah. Cactus goes for the switch as Rick is put in the chair, but the future Freakzilla makes the save. The heels get Rick into the chair for a second but he fights out of it pretty quickly. He gets put in there again and Cactus goes for the switch. Steiner suplexes Abdullah into the chair instead and after Cactus takes FOREVER to stand next to the switch, he throws the lever and Abdullah gets “electrocuted.”

Rating: W. As in wow, what were they smoking, or why. You can pick whichever you like and I think it’ll be fine. This was a huge mess but to me, this is pure nostalgia. I haven’t seen this match in years but I still remember about 80% of the commentary word for word. The match is terrible and incredibly stupid but it’s a fond memory for me so I can’t hate it.

Cactus checks on Abdullah post match but the Butcher gets up and beats up the ghouls that brought out the stretcher earlier.

Abdullah the Butcher is one of those guys that doesn’t have a definitive history because he was the traveling attraction of the old days. As I said, he never was around in one place all that much and if it was he was little more than a bigger villain’s hired goon. He’s a guy who lived off his reputation and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of on the History of In Your House at Amazon for just $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GV3KXSE

And check out my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

11 comments

  1. Killjoy says:

    No Abdullah The Butcher vs Carlos Colon? For shame, KB.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I put in two Puerto Rico matches and you’re still not happy?

    Those were a bit longer than I wanted to do for these. That and I saw these first.

    Killjoy Reply:

    Just messing around. Those two beat each so many times it was ridiculous. First thing a Puertorican learns about wrestling is Abdullah’s unhealthy fork habits and his favorite victim.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I’ve heard. I still need to find a full WWC show to do.

  2. Killjoy says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2_Paughs4Q

    It has Bobby Heenan and Hugo Savinovich on commentary. But it’s not all WWC.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Eh I’m not huge on compilation tapes like that. I’ll find one I’m sure.

    Killjoy Reply:

    I found an official channel where they upload their episodes. Sadly it’s 5 pieces each and no supercards. Then again, they never release those.

    http://www.bumbia.com/wwc/

    That’s the link. If you feel brave.

  3. noahconstrictor says:

    No comment on him having Hep C and being a fucking moron about it?

    Killjoy Reply:

    He doesn’t. Do you know how many people would actually be infected if he did?

    roger Reply:

    Wasn’t that cowboy bob orton?

  4. Conor says:

    Wow, did Abdullah ever have a match with an actual finish? Nice to read about stuff from a way different era.