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Ref hospitalized after wrestler goes too far with planned blade job at indie show

GoFundMe for Lando Deltoro

An incident unfolded at an independent show in Irving, Texas on Saturday night (Dec. 11) that seems destined to covered by Dark Side of the Ring.

The main event of World Class Revolution’s Christmas Star Wars featured Carlito and Devon Nicholson, who works in wrestling and on YouTube as Hannibal, and who worked this show with a masked gimmick under the name “Bloodhunter”. It ended with a referee, Lando Deltoro, needing medical attention for multiple lacerations after multiple people pulled Nicholson off of him.

We won’t be posting it here, but video of the scene is available online, mostly because Nicholson posted it to his YouTube channel for a time over the weekend. Accounts of the events mostly come from another referee who worked Christmas Star Wars, Colby Cowperthwaite, on reddit, and others who’ve spoken to Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp about the night.

Cowperthwaite alleges that Nicholson was intoxicated, and showed signs of it during his entrance to the ring. He says he informed Carlito of this, and the ex-WWE star quickly and safely ended the match. Unfortunately, that still left a post-match angle involving another referee who was brought in by Nicholson and his manager` Kevin Sullivan specifically for “Bloodhunter” to attack.

While there was a plan, what happened is said to 100% not be a work. Per Cowperthwaite’s reddit post:

“Andrew Anderson comes out to brawl with Carlito, all planned. I follow them to the back. This is 3rd refs que to come in to get Bloodhunter to the back. All planned. Bloodhunter is to hit 3rd ref with his spike, safely, 3rd ref is supposed to blade, and bleed, and we all meet up in the back, good match, yay.

“Instead I look out and see BH wailing on 3rd ref. And I think, this is taking too long, so I go back out. 3rd ref hadn’t starting bleeding yet. So what I believe happened, is that BH got pissed off that 3rd ref wasn’t able to cut himself, so BH did it himself. First he choked the 3rd ref into unconsciousness. He was 100% in seconds. Then BH proceeds to hit him all over the head with his spike. Repeatedly. Without having watching the footage yet, I’m going to guess 20 or more times. Dude was bleeding profusely at this point. The entire time this is happening, I’ve decided this is too much and I was tryin to get BH off the dude. I refused to go into the ring, I absolutely did not trust him. So on the apron, I was pulling on BH’s leg and punching it while screaming at him to stop. Finally, Blaze, his other manager/real life GF gets in and pulls him off.

“That’s when I managed to pull 3rd ref out of the ring. I checked on him again here and he was absolutely out and still profusely bleeding. So I immediately run to the back saying to call 911 and I need as many people out there to help me with a) Hannibal and b) 3rd ref as possible, and I requested we try to find any EMT’s.

“3 wrestlers, 2 of them with some form of medical background follow me back out. By the time I got back to the back, cops were already there, and I spent the next 45 minutes or so giving my statement to them. I believe Bloodhunter hid his weapon, because as long as he told the cops that the 3rd ref was supposed to blade HIMSELF he was fine, but what ACTUALLY happened was the direct result of Bloodhunters actions.”

No charges have been pressed as of this writing, but Fightful says they’re still a possibility. Cowperthwaite alleges Sullivan told him to “kayfabe the cops”, and an anonymous Sapp source put the blame on the former WCW star and World Class Revolution booker Eric Embry:

“Sullivan and Embry showed a complete lack of empathy. They didn’t even TRY to seem at all concerned about what was happening with that man, who was bleeding so profusely I couldn’t tell where it was coming from.”

Another version of the event came from Commentator Brittani Nikole Houghtlen:

“[It went] way too far. There was supposed to be a small cut to just show some blood, then Hannibal took a spike to Lando’s head, which was not supposed to happen. [Nicholson] was pulled off by Blaze, also not supposed to happen, but she saw things had gone south. [Nicholson] then fought with the other refs, got back in the ring and started to stab Lando more. There was so much blood. No one knew things had gone too real because no one knew but the ref and Hannibal. Even the promoter didn’t know the spot. So it took everyone a second to react and realize this shit wasn’t supposed to happen. It was horrifying. Hannibal was pulled to the back and was talked to by police and then left before the wrestlers could get their hands on him. Then the hospital had to shave Lando’s head to close up all the wounds, it was terrible.”

Deltoro has posted an update...

... and a GoFundMe has been set-up to help cover his medical expenses.

Multiple wrestlers are commenting on the incident on social media today, mostly calling for promotions to stop booking Nicholson (whose previous claim to fame was successfully suing Abdullah the Butcher because he lost an offer from WWE due to testing positive for Hepatitis C after working with Abdullah) to be blacklisted. Fightful says Jerry Bostic of Oklahoma’s World Class Pro Wrestling has already stated he will no longer use Nicholson on his shows.