A wrestler from World Class Pro Wrestling has been banished from the association after an incident Saturday in which he stabbed a referee in a stunt that went awry.
During an event called Christmas Star Wars held Saturday in Irving, Texas, wrestler Devon Nicholson — who went by “Hannibal” and “Blood Hunter” on the mat — repeatedly stabbed referee Lando Deltoro on his head with a sharp object after a match. Video of the incident shows Deltoro wailing in pain as Nicholson choked him from behind, while Deltoro lay prone on the mat. Nicholson is seen holding an object and repeatedly striking Deltoro on the head with it, leaving him with blood all over.
CEO Jerry Bostic posted a video Sunday to World Class Pro Wrestling’s Facebook page to issue a statement on the matter, apologizing for the incident and indicating that Nicholson will no longer be featured in the company’s events.
“I want to say that World Class, moving forward, will not be associated with Devon Nicholson … in any way, shape, form or fashion,” Bostic said during the video. “I cannot, will not, condone what happened last night. I didn’t see the actual incident. I didn’t see anything until I came out and Lando was laying on the ground. It was one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen.
“What happened last night is never OK in wrestling, ever, or in anything, to be exact. Someone wanted the business for themselves and took something too far and someone could have lost their life because of it.”
Nicholson responded to the matter in a video posted to his YouTube channel in which he alleged that World Class Pro Wrestling gave him a prop to use in a staged attack against Deltoro and said he thought he was only acting out a pre-planned stunt.
“That referee was hired because he was a bleeder,” Nicholson said. “He did not referee any other matches on the card. His sole purpose of why he was hired was to bleed.”
Nicholson added that he thought the prop did not have sharp edges and that he assumed Deltoro was cutting himself to draw blood. Nicholson also said because the mask he uses during matches has black mesh over the eyes, that it was difficult for him to see what was taking place.
“What happened, this referee was supposed to bleed from razor blade cuts,” Nicholson continued. “I assumed he actually cut himself with the razor blades.”
Nicholson also said that Deltoro never gave him an indication that he was in pain and asked him to stop and that the stunt called for other referees to pull him off of Deltoro — something Nicholson said the other referees failed to do.
Bostic said he spent the hours and day after the incident contacting people close to the matter to gather information before making his decision. He said he had no knowledge of Nicholson’s plan.
Deltoro had to be hospitalized, but is expected to make a full recovery.
“The main thing is that Lando’s going to be OK,” Bostic said. “That doesn’t make anything that happened OK … he probably needs all the love and support possible.”
Deltoro posted a message Sunday to his Twitter account, thanking those who reached out in support.
“Recovering at home, still a big fuzzy and pain, yes lots of pain. But I’ll live,” he wrote in the message. “Thanks you all for out pouring of love and support. I am a firm believer that if you put good out into the world, good will return to you #downbutnotout”
He attached a photo to the message that showed several gash wounds on his head, some of which required staples to shut.
In another message, Deltoro responded to people who were saying he could’ve told Nicholson to stop, and said that he passed out because of the injuries.
“I had heard that I could have said ‘stop’ at anytime,” Deltoro wrote. “I just wanted to say that’s it’s very hard to talk when there is a 300lbs man’s knee on your back and then being put in a choke hold while being stabbed repeatedly in the head with an iron spike, passed out shortly after.”
Bostic said the association would be putting together a fundraising show to help Deltoro pay for his medical bills resulting from the incident.
“I let people down,” Bostic said. “People involved with me, people that worked for me, the people that attended our shows, the people that brought their children and I don’t take that lightly. I never take that lightly. If you’ve ever been to one of my shows, then you know I put my heart into every one of my shows and last night, it was heartbreaking. I will never understand how somebody could do that to someone else.
“I apologize for anybody’s trust that I broke last night.”