One of the most violent men in professional wrestling, Abdullah The Butcher, has been the centre of controversy when it comes to his in-ring violence, his WWE Hall-of-Fame induction and a $6.5 million lawsuit against him.
For the first time ever Wrestling Observer has released not only a shoot interview DVD with The Butcher, but two other bonus discs along with it. One featuring Butcher’s matches against Carlos Colon, Giant Baba, Bruiser Brody and many others from Puerto Rico’s World Wrestling Council promotion. There is also a War Games match that did not take place in World Championship Wrestling. The last disc is a soundtrack of all the music used in the DVD.
For a little over two hours Butcher, along with his manager Honest John, explain in the interview how it was a rough life for Butcher growing up with seven other siblings. Begging and working people at an early age was ways for Butcher to survive. Butcher explains how he got his big break wrestling in Vancouver, his time working with Stu Hart and how he became one of the biggest stars in Japan.
At times Butcher and his manager seem to be working the host when they get upset at how he smiles or how he could ask questions that upset Butcher. For the most part though, Butcher does answer the majority of the questions and through out it all he maintains that he is a professional and always has been.
Despite the recent lashing he received from Superstar Billy Graham over the accuscations of Butcher passing on Hepatitis C to other wrestlers, Butcher has nothing but respect for Graham in the DVD since the interview was conducted the year before WrestleMania 27 in Atlanta. Butcher explains how he had not been asked to be in the WWE HOF, although he definitely believed he deserved to be in there with a good pay day.
Devon Hannibal Nicholson is only mentioned when the subject of Butcher’s last match in Montreal occurred in 2009. Butcher talks about how someone called the police when he nailed Hannibal with a coffee pot causing Hannibal to bleed heavily.
While at times arrogant, Butcher strongly believes WWE missed out on a big money opportunity by never having him in WWE to feud with Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker, even though Butcher knew both men and both of them wanted him to join the federation. Butcher briefly touches on his time wrestling in North America as his feuds and moments in Japan outnumbered them by far. The DVD gets quite emotional when Butcher talks about meeting Brody’s wife at the airport and being the one to tell her that her husband is dead.
For a first shoot DVD, Wrestling Observer give fans interested in the career and life of Butcher a lot to enjoy. Over 80 minutes of Butcher’s matches, a trip to Butcher’s House of Ribs restaurant in Atlanta that has seen many wrestlers pass through there, and English commentary for Butcher’s matches. The match with Brody does have some tracking issues, Butcher has had more memorable matches, unless you know Wrestling Observer you have no idea who the host is as he only introduces himself off-camera for the play-by-play commentary, and the second disc might make you wish the third disc was also filled with matches.
Still if you’re a fan of Abdullah The Butcher and want more of the raw excitement he provided, this DVD is worth checking out.
The Life & Times of Abdullah the Butcher (A Wrestling Observer Shoot DVD)
Wrestling Observer and Tier 2 Films
Released on Apr. 26, 2011
Run time of 257 minutes