Abdullah The Butcher

Real name: Lawrence Robert Shreve

Birth date: January 11, 1941

Trained by:

Ring Names: Abdullah The Butcher, Kuroi Jujutsushi, Saladin Pikens, The Madman from the Sudan, Zeras Amala

Debut: 1958

Retired:

 
     
     
 

Championships and accomplishments

  • All Japan Pro Wrestling
    • NWA International Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Ray Candy
    • NWA United National Championship (1 time)
    • PWF United States Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
    • PWF World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
    • Champion Carnival (1976, 1979)
    • January 4 Korakuen Hall Heavyweight Battle Royal (2008)
  • Big Japan Pro Wrestling
    • BJW Deathmatch Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • Big Time Wrestling
    • NWA United States Heavyweight Championship (Detroit version) (1 time)
    • NWA World Tag Team Championship (Detroit version) (1 time) - with Killer Tim
      Brooks
  • Central States Wrestling
    • NWA Central States Tag Team Championship (2 times) - with Roger Kirby
  • Georgia Championship Wrestling
    • NWA Georgia Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
    • NWA Georgia Television Championship (1 time)
    • NWA Macon Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • International Wrestling Association
    • IWA International Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
  • Lutte Internationale
    • Canadian International Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • Midwest Wrestling Federation
    • MWWF Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
  • NWA All-Star Wrestling
    • NWA Canadian Tag Team Championship (Vancouver version) (2 times) - with
      Dr. Jerry Graham (1) and Armand Hussein (1)
    • NWA World Tag Team Championship (Vancouver version) (1 time) - with Dr.
      Jerry Graham
  • NWA New Zealand
    • NWA New Zealand British Commonwealth Championship (1 time)
  • NWA Southwest
    • NWA Texas Hardcore Championship (1 time)
  • National Wrestling Federation
    • NWF Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
    • NWF International Championship (1 time)
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI ranked him # 35 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the "PWI 500" in 1991
    • PWI ranked him #54 of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the "PWI Years" in 2003
  • Stampede Wrestling
    • NWA Canadian Heavyweight Championship (Calgary version) (1 time)
    • Stampede North American Heavyweight Championship (6 times)
  • Tokyo Pro Wrestling
    • TPW Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Benkei
  • Tokyo Sports
    • Match of the Year Award (1979) with Tiger Jeet Singh vs. Antonio Inoki and Giant
      Baba on August 26
    • Popularity Award (1978, 1980)
  • World Class Wrestling Association
    • WCWA Brass Knuckles Championship (1 time)
  • World Wrestling Council
    • WWC Caribbean Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
    • WWC North American Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
    • WWC Puerto Rico Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
    • WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship (5 times)
  • Trinidad and Tobago Wrestling Association
    • Trinidad & Tobago Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
  • Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
    • Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 1996)
  • WWE
    • WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2011)

In wrestling

  • Finishing moves
    • Bottom rope splash
    • Jumping headbutt
    • The Freight Train / The Butcher's Axe / Sudanese Meat Cleaver (Running
      pointed elbow drop to the throat)
  • Signature moves
    • Diving double foot stomp
    • Dropkick
    • Throat thrust
  • Managers
    • Paul Jones
    • Gary Hart
    • Oliver Humperdink
    • Buddy Colt
    • James J. Dillon
    • Jimmy Hart
    • Paul E. Dangerously
    • Paul Ellering
    • Skandor Akbar
    • Harley Race and The Sheik
    • Adnan El Kassey
    • Gentleman Jim Holiday
    • Hugo Savinovich
    • The Grand Wizard
    • Eddie Creatchman
    • Chicky Starr
    • Rico Suave
    • Rip Rogers
    • Tully Blanchard
    • Mike Rotunda
    • The Cuban Assassin
    • Frenchy Martin
    • Damien Kane
    • James Mitchell
    • Sir Dudley Clemens
    • "Honest" John Cheatum
    • Rock Hunter
    • "Playboy" Johnny Lee
    • The Mysterious Sheik
    • The Great Mephisto
  • Nicknames
    • "Kuroi Jyujyutsushi" (Japanese for the Black Shaman)
  • Entrance themes
    • "One of These Days" by Pink Floyd (Japan)

In popular culture

  • Shreve has appeared in Japanese TV commercials for Suntory, Daikin Industries, Denon,
    and Sapporo Ichiban.
  • Shreve starred with Hiroyuki Sanada in the kung fu action film Roaring Fire.
  • Characters in Japanese anime or manga are frequently designed to resemble Abdullah the
    Butcher, often with his signature scars. Examples include Abdullah from Kinnikuman,
    Abdullah the Criminal from One Piece, and Mr. Heart from Fist of the North Star.
  • The character of Butcher in Tiger Mask 2 is inspired by Shreve.
  • Abdullah the Butcher appeared in the Acclaim video game Legends of Wrestling II and its
    sequel Showdown: Legends of Wrestling as well as Spike's King of Colosseum.
  • The character Saladin in the 1997 Nintendo 64 game WCW vs. nWo: World Tour is based
    on Shreve's likeness.
  • The character and final boss, of the Genesis game Wrestle War, Grand Kong, is based on
    Shreve.
  • In the 1994 Super NES game HammerLock Wrestling Abdullah appears as "Sid Bieniek". In
    the Japanese version, he is known as "Killer."
  • In the 1994 Super NES game "Super Fire Pro Wrestling 2" and "Special" Abdullah appears as
    "Abdoll The Danger".
  • Abdullah also appears as a hidden Create-A-Wrestler template in Super Fire Pro Wrestling
    X & X Premium
  • In the 1985 Arcade port of "Yie Ar Kung Fu" the character "Buchu" is based on Abdullah.
  • The Pok√©mon characters Machop, Machoke, and Machamp were inspired by Abdullah. All
    three have prominent ridges on their heads, resembling Abdullah's scars.
  • The character "A. Buchie" from the 1984 Arcade Wrestling game "Appoooh" is based on
    Abdullah.
  • The character "Karnov" from Data East's Fighter's History series was also inspired by
    Abdullah The Butcher.
  • In the PC Engine shooter "Hana Taaka Daka" Abdullah appears as the boss of level one.

 

 
     
     
 

Lawrence Robert Shreve (born January 11, 1941), better known by the ring name Abdullah the
Butcher, is a semi-retired Canadian professional wrestler. He has a reputation for being involved in
some of the most violent and bloody hardcore wrestling matches of all time.

One of Shreve's trademarks is a series of divot-like scars on his head that he has due to excessive
use of blading during his career. The scars are so deep that, according to Mick Foley, Shreve is able
to put gambling chips into them. An amateur martial artist, Shreve also has knowledge of judo and
karate, often including this knowledge in his wrestling matches. This knowledge was mainly displayed
by him using judo throws and karate chops.

Early life

Shreve was born on January 11, 1941 and raised in Windsor, Ontario, as part of a family of ten
people in a deeply impoverished household. He learned karate and judo as a youth and, teaching
fellow children in the backyard, claims to have eventually earned the title of seventh-degree
grandmaster.

Professional wrestling career

Standing 6 feet tall and weighing 360 pounds, Shreve caught the attention of Montreal promoter
Jack Britton, and he soon made his professional wrestling debut at age 17 in 1958. He initially
competed in numerous independent territories in Canada under such various monikers as Pussycat
Pickens, Kuroi Jujutsushi (The Black Wizard) and Zelis Amara. However, he ultimately created his
gimmick of an evil Arabian sadist; and in a match against Gino Brito (Jack Britton's real-life son),
the Abdullah the Butcher character first distinguished himself as one of the world's most feared rule
breakers when he broke a chair over Brito's head and then beat him senseless with the leg.

Since his gimmick required that he speak no English (though it was in actuality his native tongue),
he possessed a number of managers over the course of his long career, including Gary Hart, Paul
Jones, Eddie Creatchman, Black Baron, The Grand Wizard, J.J. Dillon, Damien Kane, Larry
Sharpe, Chicky Starr, Oliver Humperdink, Buddy Colt, George Cannon, Bearcat Wright, Big Bad
John, Tony Montana, Gentleman Jim Holiday, and Rock Hunter, who were all portrayed as
"handlers" commissioned to control the Sudanese madman, while also doing most of the talking in
promos and interviews. He has, however, spoken for himself in promos while in Japan.

As a result of his frequent traveling, Abdullah the Butcher usually served as more of a special
attraction than as a consistent championship contender. Accordingly, Abdullah never did win a
World Heavyweight Championship, though he would capture myriad regional titles during his career.
He won his first major championship on October 23, 1967, when he teamed with Dr. Jerry Graham
to defeat John & Carlos Tolos for the NWA's Canadian Tag Team Titles in Vancouver. A few years
later, he ventured to the Montreal region, where he had three reigns as the IWA International
Heavyweight Champion between 1969 and 1972, feuding against Ivan Koloff and Johnny Rougeau.
He later served as one of the premier rule breakers in Calgary's Stampede territory, capturing the
NWA Canadian Championship, as well as having six North American Heavyweight Title reigns during
the early 1970s. On June 24, 1972, he defeated Ernie Ladd in Akron, Ohio, to capture his first of
two NWF Heavyweight Championships. During the mid-1970s, he frequently performed in Detroit,
Michigan's Big-Time Wrestling territory, where he engaged in a rivalry against The Sheik. He teamed
with "Killer" Tim Brooks to win the region's version of the NWA World Tag Team Titles before
defeating Bobo Brazil on February 8, 1975, for the NWA United States Championship.

In addition to his successes in North America, Abdullah the Butcher also performed in the Far
East, Europe, the Caribbean, Australia, and Africa. On March 12, 1974, he traveled all the way to
New Zealand, where he captured the British Empire Commonwealth Title by defeating the nation's
champion John DaSilva. Abdullah also established himself as one of 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 won that same PWF belt when he defeated European former AWA champion Billy
Robinson; and then on October 13, 1980, he also beat Jumbo Tsuruta to capture the NWA
United National Heavyweight Title. He also feuded with Terry Funk in Japan, and Funk claims to
have had one of his top three all-time greatest matches with Abdullah the Butcher.

He arrived in World Class Championship Wrestling in 1986, where he defeated The Great Kabuki
for the Texas Brass Knuckles Title and waged war against the equally wild Bruiser Brody. In Puerto
Rico, he was declared the very first WWC Universal Heavyweight Champion in July 1982 following
three reigns as the Puerto Rican champion between 1978 and 1981.

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 Abdullah attacked
him, leading to both Abdullah and Cactus feuding with Sting after the incident. The feud culminated
in a "Chamber of Horrors" match at Halloween Havoc 1991, in which Cactus accidentally
electrocuted Abdullah in an electric chair, leading to a brief feud between the former allies.

In 1993, Abdullah arrived in ECW, where he participated in a storyline with Kevin Sullivan, Terry
Funk and Stan Hansen, and wrestled at Ultra Clash and Bloodfest.

In October 1999, Abdullah took part in the ill-fated Heroes of Wrestling pay-per-view with a
match against the One Man Gang. The match ended in a double count-out.

In late 2002, Abdullah made a one-night appearance in Ring of Honor as Homicide's partner, facing
the Carnage Crew in a bloody Bunkhouse Brawl at ROH's Night of the Butcher.

In 2007, the WWE and Jakks Pacific released an Abdullah the Butcher "WWE Classic Superstars"
figure complete with the blade marks on top of his head. A DVD was also released named The
Triumph and Tragedy of World Class Wrestling which included a bloody cage match between
Abdullah and his famous rival Bruiser Brody.

The 2007, WWC's anniversary show was dedicated to Abdullah the Butcher's contributions to
WWC. On December 13, 2008, Shreve wrestled against Balls Mahoney in Bayamon Puerto Rico
during the annual event WWC Lockout.

During July 2009, he wrestled in Dragon Gate and Hustle. He also wrestled at the New Japan
Pro Wrestling supershow Wrestle Kingdom IV in Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2010, as well as
wrestling for Japanese independent promotion Osaka Pro Wrestling.

In 2009, Abdullah made an appearance at the Decatur Book Festival, facing off against author
Michael Muhammad Knight. Abdullah pummeled Knight with chairs, forks, and a water cooler, not
even stepping into the ring. Knight was taken from the festival in an ambulance and received 46
stitches. It was Right After Wrestling in March 2011, hosted by Arda Ocal and Jimmy Korderas,
that Abdullah admitted his favorite wrestler to face was actually Lou Thesz.

On April 2, 2011, Abdullah the Butcher was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.

Also in 2011, Abdullah returned to Georgia Championship Wrestling as a mentor and adviser to a
local wrestler known as The Congo Warrior.

In early 2012, Abdullah the Butcher appeared on the Wrestling Marks of Excellence radio show and
said that he had given away his Hall of Fame ring to his brother, saying that he had been in the business
and drew people from all over the world and should have been inducted decades ago.

Personal life

Shreve previously owned two restaurants (one in Atlanta, Georgia and one in Japan) called
Abdullah the Butcher's House of Ribs and Chinese Food. Shreve was often on hand to meet fans
and sign autographs. The restaurant and Shreve appear in the music video for the 2003 song
"Damn!" by Atlanta hip hop group YoungBloodZ. It was referenced in the 2006 film ATL during
a scene where three characters argue over a local barbecue. On July 24, 2016, it was reported
that Shreve had quietly closed his restaurant in Atlanta.

Following Shreve's WWE Hall of Fame induction in 2011, Superstar Billy Graham requested his
name be removed from the Hall, saying: "It is a shameless organization to induct a bloodthirsty
animal such as Abdullah the Butcher into their worthless and embarrassing Hall of Fame and I want
the name of Superstar Billy Graham to be no part of it." Graham noted that Shreve had never
wrestled a match with WWE. In February 2015, Shreve announced on his Facebook page that he
would be selling his WWE Hall of Fame ring.

Shreve has been accused of infecting other wrestlers with hepatitis C through sharing a blade and/or
cutting wrestlers without their knowledge. Canadian wrestler Devon Nicholson, who said he
contracted hepatitis C when Shreve bladed him without consent, pursued legal action. On June 3,
2014, an Ontario court ruled in favor of Nicholson and ordered Shreve to pay $2.3 million in
damages. The Fulton County Court of Georgia ruled that the Canadian Judgement would be upheld
in the state of Georgia where Shreve resides.

 

 
   
   

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