When I was a kid I owned a wrestling book called The Pictorial History of Wrestling: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. This book didn’t specifically feature WWE performers, but rather the most popular international wrestlers from around the world. It was my first introduction to guys like Bruiser Brody and the Road Warriors. There were a ton of guys who were showcased who would eventually go to WWE, but how was I to know at the time that Ric Flair was the “real wrestling champion” if it weren’t for the book?
Two men stood out to me because the book really focused on their bloody feud: Carlos Colon and Abdullah the Butcher. Each wrestler in the book had a one or two-page bio about them, but the photos of Colon and Abdullah really shocked me because of (a) the scars on their heads and (b) the blood in the photos. I mean, how could wrestling NOT be real??
One of Abdullah’s trademarks is the series of divot-like scars on his forehead. As unfathomable as it may be to really put it into perspective, he has these scars due to the excessive use of razor blades during his career. His gimmick was incredible for the time…being the “Sudanese Madman” that didn’t speak a word of English, Abdullah would always have managers in whatever territory he would visit (Gary Hart, Paul Jones, the Grand Wizard, Sir Oliver Humperdink, and Skandor Akbar were some of the more famous ones). He would ALWAYS end up turning his opponents into bloody messes, which he would make all the more frightening to watch because he would use forks in such a realistic way. When I finally saw him wrestle, I wasn’t really thrilled…but I was still in awe due to the fact that his reputation was worldwide.
Colon is seen as the biggest star in the history of Puerto Rican wrestling. It’s pretty hard to discount that fact, as he drew massive crowds throughout the 80’s in all parts of the Caribbean. Hell, he even defeated Ric Flair for the NWA title in 1983 (though the match was never sanctioned or made official by the NWA). In his heyday, though, it was his feud with Abdullah the Butcher that drew in the crowds. Colon has been quoted as saying, “Eighty percent of the blood I’ve shed in the ring I’ve shed because of Abdullah.” Whenever I saw the scars on Colon’s head, I was in shock. But his promo pictures always showed him with a smile on his face, so I always assumed that he was the “good guy”.
So today’s Throwback Thursday is a classic match between Abdullah and Colon. It’s not “classic” in the 5-star sense, but “classic” in the sense that it was the type of match that you normally saw from them. They were hardcore before hardcore was cool.