Lawrence Robert Shreve was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, on January 11th 1941. Shreve grew up in difficult circumstances, in his childhood home there were 10 people living there. Food was scarce, and life in general was anything but easy. At that time, it would have been difficult to believe that Lawrence Shreve would grow up to have a successful career as a professional wrestler, commonly known to his many fans by the name of Abdullah the Butcher, famed for his involvement in the most violent professional wrestling bouts that the sport has ever seen.
We’re going to look at the path which Lawrence Shreve took on his journey to become Abdullah the butcher.
As a teenage boy full of dreams, Shreve had aspirations to become a professional wrestler. One day, a young Lawrence took up karate and judo, but little did he know at the time that this would eventually become one of the key elements to path his way to success as a pro-wrestler. Abdullah the Butcher would WOW crowds by performing chops and throws on his fellow wrestlers. Shreve got to such a level in martial arts that he was good enough, and respected enough, to pass on his knowledge and teach other children in his backyard. Shreve also claims to hold the title of a seventh degree Grandmaster.
Still in his teenage years in 1958, Shreve got noticed by Jack Britton, a promoter from Montreal, who would offer Shreve the chance to make his debut in professional wrestling, at just the age of 17. Shreve would go on to compete in several independent territories across Canada, taking on the identity of several characters such as Zelis Amara, Pussycat Pickens, and Kuroi Jujutsushi aka The Black Wizard. Eventually, Shreve himself came up with the idea of a sadistic Arabian character by the name of Abdullah the Butcher, which he would first adopt in The Butcher’s debut match with Gino Britto, and hold onto for the rest of his career.
Abdullah the Butcher worked with more than a dozen managers over his five-decade long career, travelling all around the world. He would go on to compete in North America where he won the NWA Canadian Tag Team title with Dr. Jerry Graham, he performed in Europe, the Caribbean and Far East, Africa, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, where he won the British Empire Commonwealth title against John DaSilva.
Abdullah’s most notorious match came against One Man Gang, at Heroes of Wrestling, a PPV event in October 1999. During this epic match, both wrestlers subjected each other to high levels of punishment, beating each other with a variety of solid items including chains, chairs, and even forks! Both wrestlers were covered head-to-toe in blood, until the match finally ended as a draw, due to the double count-out rule.
Abdullah the Butcher is known as one of the bloodiest fighters in WWE. With that, you can imagine the injuries he picked up during fights – ones that would last long into fights he had to continue and after the fights too. He also inflicted injury, and in one case gave fellow WWE fighter Hannibal Hepatitis C via one of the cuts inflicted during a fight. That cost Abdullah the Butcher $2.3 million in compensation fees after the ensuing lawsuit.
However, one the most legendary in-fighting injuries he sustained was the infamous ‘Coffee Pot Incident Injury’. The scars are so deep on his head he can put casino chips into them.
Abdullah the Butcher created a legacy for himself, and the character went on to feature in video games and anime productions, either as himself or as another character strongly based on him. Most notably, in 2007 Abdullah the Butcher was released by Jakks Pacific and the WWE as a figurine for the WWE Classic Superstars range, it even came with the famed blade marks imprinted on his head.
Blood thirsty wrestling has long been a market or ticket on the sports books, and with online bookies so prevalent, the sport has also made its way over into the online casinos with the sport influencing some of the games. For example, Andre the Giant by Relax Gaming is a popular slot and Microgaming recently embraced wrestling with its WWE Legends Link & Win slot title. These games are available at any Interac casino Canada, which is an online casino that accepts the popular Canadian Interac Online payments or eTransfers.Who knows, since branded slots are becoming more and more popular in the USA and Canada too, maybe Lawrence Robert Shreve will get his own, dedicated branded slot games soon as well?
Abdullah the Butcher, and Lawrence Shreve’s proudest moment came in 2011, during the April 2, WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, when the wrestler was indicted into the Hall of Fame as recognition for remarkable career and service to the industry, joining 228 other big industry names like André the Giant, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair, and Stone Cold Steve Austin.