Wrestler "Hannibal" Devon Nicholson Attacks Referee Causing Hospitalization

WARNING: The video above is graphic in nature.

The oft-controversial Devon Nicholson is in hot water.

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The 39-year old wrestler and Youtube personality was a part of World Class Revolution's "Christmas Star Wars" show in Irving, Texas that saw a planned spot go awry. Nicholson, under a character named "Bloodhunter" was planned to attack a referee. Nicholson took the spot way too far, and left the referee, Lando Deltoro, required medical attention due to numerous lacerations. Nicholson had to be pulled off of Deltoro.

Despite comments and speculation from people who had nothing to do with it, the situation was absolutely not a work or planned to happen the way it did. Nicholson briefly posted the ringside video to Youtube, before deleting it, furthering those unfounded conspiracy theories.

A referee at ringside (identified as Colby Cowperthwaite on IG) posted his recounting of the situation to Reddit:

What's up guys. I was the ref in the match. NOT the ref that got fucked up, but the actual match referee. Bloodhunter/Hannibal refused to listen to me, and I could tell something was off, and immediately told Carlito to gtfo and finish the match. Bloodhunter went totally off the hinges and refused to listen to me. He tore the other referee up, then hid the weapon he used to do it.

Cops were called, I gave a full statement about what I believed happened. Kevin fucking Sullivan told me to kayfabe the cops.

Full disclosure, this is absolutely NOT on the company that had the event, this is 100% on Bloodhunter/Hannibal.

I told the cops what I thought. I believe it was absolutely assault. He went way above and beyond working. There was no safety on his part. And as a ref, the most critical thing I can offer the people I work with is that I will make sure they are safe, and I feel like I completely failed at that. I should have stopped the match immediately when I noticed something was off. I apologize for that.

And another thing. I started screaming at Hannibal backstage, before the cops showed up, that he had just murdered the other ref, and he seemed like he was going to come yell? at me, and friggin Jacob Fatu stepped up and was threatening to beat his ass, despite having no clue what had happened. Massive props to Fatu.

Let me give you guys a full breakdown, start to finish, 100% real. Couple of things, Andrew Anderson is also managed by Sullivan. One of their gimmicks is to bring out this spike and threaten to use it against opponents. Cool.

So, the owner of the company hired 2 refs to work the show. Myself and another gentleman. Hannibal decided he wanted his own ref because he wanted to make a ref bleed, but the owner didn't want his working refs to bleed.

Prior to the match, I kept trying to figure out what was supposed to go down in the match. That's pretty common for us refs to do. Go over anything the wrestlers need from us. All I was able to find out was that Bloodhunter and Kevin Sullivan had everything planned and that the other ref knew what he was supposed to do. So I went to talk to the 3rd ref about what he needed from me, and he was busy making and getting his blade ready. He was taking a blade job, It was 100% planned for him to bleed. I need everyone to understand that.

So we finally get to the match and no one can find Hannibal. It takes a good 7 or 8 minutes of stalling by the Ring Announcer before anyone ever finds him. I'm standing in gorilla trying to talk to Kevin Sullivan about what's supposed to be happening. I see Bloodhunter finally around the corner and start to head out to tell the RA we are good to go. But I noticed Bloodhunter/Hannibal is stumbling. First clue.

I get to the ring and tell the RA we are good to go. It took Bloodhunter a solid few minutes to get to the ring during his entrance. And what I mean is that it looked like he was stumbling, and just really meandering to the ring, not paying a ton of attention. 2nd clue.

Finally he gets into the ring, and tries to climb the turnbuckles to taunt the crowd, and its incredibly apparent he's messed up. He was struggling just to keep his balance on the ropes. Definitely not normal, and not good.

Carlito gets to the ring and I tell him my thoughts, that I think BH is messed up, and to finish the match ASAP. I get it, Carlito was in the WWE and is a professional, but dude, he handled the situation incredibly well.

So, BH wins via the shittiest roll up I've ever seen. 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.

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For those asking about why charges weren't pressed, we're told that's still a possibility. In asking those who worked the show, we're told that Nicholson had personally reached out to Deltoro to set up the spot.

Fightful also heard from several people who worked the show, who shared their experiences and first hand recountings of the situation.

"They planned a blade spot but Hannibal took it MUCH further. I guess the ref's blade wasn’t working and Hannibal began stabbing him in the head multiple times. The ref went immediately to the hospital. We all thought he was going to die. Many of the guys in the back were very visibly shaken up from it. Hannibal gave zero fucks. He acted like it wasn’t a big deal. He was in his RV pretty much the whole time before his match. The ref that reffed his match believed he was intoxicated and warned Carlito, who was working Hannibal, to be careful and end the match ASAP," wrestler Clayton Bloodstone told Fightful.

Many people that we spoke to pointed a finger at Embry and Kevin Sullivan trying to protect Nicholson.

"The police questioned him, Colby (the ringside referee on the scene) and management. Eric Embry (the booker) was saying 'I don’t know why that ref would say what he did. When do wrestlers talk about their matches, right?'" An anonymous source stated. "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."

To make things worse, the situation is compounded with the fact that Deltoro's daughter was in the crowd, and he'd lost his wife this past Summer. Another source, who will remain anonymous, reached out to Fightful.

"I saw Hannibal walking backstage with a beer in-hand about two hours before the incident. He was hiding in his RV until it was time for his match, which he took five minutes to arrive to and smelled like booze. You would think that people backstage would be a little bit concerned but they were more interested in protecting Bloodhunter (Nicholson)," the anonymous source state. "I legitimately looked in that man’s eyes and thought he was dead. He just lost his wife in the summer and his daughter was in the crowd (as well as children)."

Commentator Brittani Nikole Houghtlen provided more detail on the situation.

"(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 (a valet), 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 (at first) because no one knew (the spot) but the ref and Hannibal. Even the promoter (claimed he) 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," Houghtlen said.

Several people working the show stated Lando Deltoro went into shock after attack and had a torn artery.

World Class Pro Wrestling CEO Jerry Bostic stated on Sunday that World Class Pro Wrestling is severing ties with Nicholson.

Deltoro posted the following to Twitter after his return home from the hospital.

Numerous wrestling veterans unrelated to this particular incident reached out to Fightful speak about their poor experiences with Nicholson in general, who is perhaps best known for suing Abdullah the Butcher and winning a $2.3 million lawsuit against him. Abdullah was blamed for Nicholson contracting Hepatitis C after Nicholson's WWE offer was rescinded after the he tested positive. He's since turned up negative tests after treatment.

Fightful will continue to monitor the situation and will update you on any additional information we gain.

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