Wrestling legend and WWE Hall of Famer Abdullah the Butcher should be enjoying his retirement from the squared circle after giving fans such memorable moments over the years. Instead, he is speaking out about being “ripped off” financially claiming he will be destitute very soon.
The 82-year-old spoke to Local 4 News about his plight.
“I sit in my room a lot of times and I say that I’ve worked for nothing,” Abdullah told reporter Victor Williams. “All of what I had worked for in the wrestling business by acting crazy, beating my head against the wall, doing this, doing that — I might not have nothing pretty soon.”
Abdullah alleges that his troubles began when he lost a $2.3 million lawsuit in Canada. In 2014, wrestler and promoter Devon Nicholson won a suit against Abdullah claiming he contracted Hepatitis-C from Abdullah when they were cut with the same blade in a match. Nicholson stated that the WWE wouldn’t hire him because of his health status. Evidence submitted to the court showed that Nicholson and Abdullah both contracted a rare Genotype 2 strain of Hep-C.
Devon Nicholson told Slam Wrestling at the time: “For the past four years, I’ve been called a liar by Mr. Shreve publicly, and obviously that really bothers me, because not only did he lie about saying that he didn’t cut me, but he lied about not having hepatitis C, which he did have and it wasn’t really able to come out publicly until now. I’m happy that everyone finally knows basically that what I was saying was true. That’s the biggest relief to me for this, because it’s been a long, long journey trying to get justice for this over the last four years.”
Nicholson was eventually cured of Hep-C.
“I’m definitely not glad the hepatitis C thing happened because it really was an awful nightmare, and there were many points in the whole situation where I had very negative thoughts going through my head, but I did pull through it and I’m glad that I at least stopped Abdullah the Butcher from wrestling — because as far as I’m aware, he never wrestled again after these allegations went public,” said Nicholson. “I learned a lot about myself. I think I became a more humble person out of it all, and I’ve learned to use my brain more. I was always a big, athletic person, so when I was going through the treatments, and lost all my weight, and had no energy, I guess I realized what it’s like to have a handicap for the first time in my life. I think overall, I became a better person out of this ordeal — but I do not want to be known as the ‘hepatitis C wrestler’ for the rest of my life,” he told Slam Wrestling.
According to Maclean’s, Abdullah balked at the lawsuit.
“Devon’s the promoter. He’s the one who told me what to do. I’m a professional. If somebody did not want to do nothing, then I did not do nothing to them,” he said.
Macleans reported: “In recent months, however, the old wrestler has gone silent, parting ways with his counsel and refusing to respond to calls and letters. He has 30 days to launch an appeal.”
In the Local 4 News report, Abdullah admitted that he doesn’t know how to read or write and says that is part of the reason he is in the position he is in.
“His sister called from Canada and said ‘Abdullah, do you realize you lost some lawsuit in Canada?’ And he said ‘What lawsuit?’” Malikah Marshall, Abdullah’s assistant told Local 4 News.
“You got a lot of people who try to take what you worked all your life for,” Abdullah said to Local 4 News. “In my opinion, I’ve been ripped off so bad it’s unbelievable, and (I’m) still getting ripped off.”
Abdullah told the outlet that his situation is so bad he had to sell his WWE Hall of Fame ring. Abdullah closed his Abdullah The Butcher’s House of Ribs and Chinese Food in 2016.
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