Signature Moves: Weapon shots (fork), karate thrust to throat, flying elbowdrop
WCCW Titles Held: NWA Texas Brass Knuckles Title
Notable WCCW Feuds: Bruiser Brody/Red River Jack, Fritz and Kevin Von Erich.
Need to Know Facts: One of the all-time hellraisers of professional wrestling, Larry Shreve -- known in the squared circle as the Madman from the Sudan, Abdullah the Butcher -- was hardcore long before that term became popular among "smarks".
Born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada (sources differ on his date of birth, placing it anywhere between 1936 and 1941), Shreve began his long, blood-spattered career in 1958, wrestling for numerous promotions north of the border. Like his longtime foe and occasional tag team partner The Sheik (Ed Farhat), Abby compensated for a limited moveset by adopting the gimmick of a crazed Arabian, relying heavily on foreign objects (usually a fork, although he wasn't above utilizing any convenient ringside object that wasn't nailed down), occasional karate thrusts, and an elbowdrop to the throat -- a particularly devastating finisher when executed by the 300-pounds-plus Abdullah. His opponents nearly always left the ring wearing the crimson mask after facing him, as did the Butcher himself, who carries decades worth of deep scars on his head as a result...so thick is this mass of scar tissue, in fact, that Abby has been known to startle casino employees and fellow gamblers on occasion by inserting poker chips into the grooves!
Accompanied by everyone from the Great Mephisto to Mick Foley, Abby never let his gimmick grow stale, moving quickly from one territory to another (the most frequently used angle involved a hated manager bringing in the dreaded Sudanese maniac to annihilate the local lead babyface after all else had failed). In spite of this, he has won titles in a number of promotions, including the NWA, All Japan Pro Wrestling and Puerto Rico's World Wrestling Council. His bloody battles with such mat legends as the Funks, Shohei "Giant" Baba, Carlos Colon and Bruiser Brody -- with whom he would continue his long-running war in WCCW -- are still talked about by wrestling fans all over the world.
Before exploding onto the scene in World Class during the spring of 1986, Abdullah made at least one previous visit to the Dallas-Fort Worth area: a one-week run in August 1977 during which he was managed by J.J. Dillon, later of Four Horsemen fame. His 1980s appearances in WCCW, which began at a time when the promotion's shows were very sparsely attended due to local economic woes, mass defections and multiple injuries, often drew the largest crowds during that depressed period in Texas wrestling history.
After destroying a few lesser opponents in prelim matches (including Steve Simpson, who was attacked so viciously by both Abdullah and his manager Gary Hart on KTVT's Championship Sports that a near-riot erupted on camera), Abby resumed his longtime feud with perennial nemesis Brody, battling him all the way to the locker room area and back to the ring in one memorable televised encounter. Abdullah also took on Kevin Von Erich in several wild brawls throughout the summer and fall of '86, sometimes teaming with Dingo Warrior against Kevin and Bruiser; Kevin's father Fritz stepped in as a special referee for one Brody-Abby match, and later defeated the hated Butcher in a submission match at Thanksgiving Star Wars.
Abby came back to defeat Brody in a loser-leaves-Texas cage match on Christmas night...but, in WCCW's version of Dusty Rhodes' classic Midnight Rider angle, a mysterious masked cowboy by the name of Red River Jack soon debuted in Dallas/Fort Worth, frustrating Hart to no end as it was obvious to all -- but seemingly couldn't be proven -- that the hooded "newcomer" was actually Brody. This feud was Brody's last major run in World Class, continuing until the eventual departure of both men in late summer 1987.
Even today, the "Madman from the Sudan" continues to make occasional appearances in a number of promotions throughout the world, running the gamut from the WWC to the Insane Clown Posse's Juggalo Championshit [sic] Wrestling. In addition, the "bloodthirsty" Abdullah, who made the common household fork a feared weapon in the world of pro wrestling, now has many others putting that particular utensil to good use...in his acclaimed Atlanta restaurant, Abdullah the Butcher's House of Ribs and Chinese Food, where the soft-spoken hardcore legend often greets and chats with fans who stop by!