Hannibal Comments On Seriously Injuring Referee At Independent Wrestling Event
Hannibal has spoken about the incident
Devon Nicholson, aka Hannibal, has commented for the first time since he seriously injured a referee at an independent wrestling event.
In a planned spot gone wrong, Nicholson, who performs as The Blood Hunter inside the ring, repeatedly stabbed referee Lando Deltoro with a spike during a post-match attack at World Class Pro Wrestling's 'Christmas Star Wars' event in Irving, Texas on Saturday, December 11. Deltoro suffered a torn artery as a result of the spike and he later required surgery and several staples in his head.
Hannibal spoke about the incident for the first time on his own YouTube channel on Monday.
Nicholson claimed Deltoro was hired for the sole purpose of bleeding at the event and the referee was supposed to use a razor blade. Hannibal also claimed that in some of the footage he has seen "it certainly appears that he's [Deltoro] covering his head and slicing himself with a razor blade."
Speaking about the spike, Nicholson further claimed it was given to him by World Class Pro Wrestling and it was a spike used by Dusty Rhodes and Kevin Sullivan during the 1980s. Hannibal said that while he was stabbing Deltoro's head with the spike, Nicholson thought the bottom of his hand was covering Deltoro's forehead, protecting him from the spike. Hannibal admitted, though, that his mask was "not the easiest to see out of" before claiming he would have stopped if the referee had said he was stiffing him.
"He was supposed to be bleeding, I'm wearing a mask with mesh over the eyes. I'm feeling the blood, I can't see the cuts. I'm thinking I'm protecting him and if he's not saying, 'Hey, you're stiffing me,' how am I supposed to know?" Nicholson said.
Hannibal also claimed he spoke to Deltoro the next day to apologise and the referee said they were "cool."
As previously noted, the referee for The Blood Hunter's match against Carlito but not the official who was attacked, identified as Colby Cowperthwaite, revealed on Reddit the original plan was for Nicholson to beat down Deltoro in a post-match attack, during which Deltoro would bleed.
However, it appears the referee did not start bleeding and Nicholson attacked Deltoro with the spike after choking him out. Nicholson then repeatedly stabbed Deltoro with the spike, which left him bleeding profusely.
Emergency services were subsequently called and statements were given to police while Deltoro was taken to hospital. Kevin Sullivan, The Blood Hunter's manager, also allegedly told Cowperthwaite to "kayfabe the cops."
An anonymous source speaking to Fightful criticised Sullivan and booker Eric Embry's reaction to the incident.
"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?' 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," they said.
Cowperthwaite also alleged that Hannibal was "messed up" prior to the match and a source told Fightful they saw Nicholson with a beer in his hand two hours before his match and he "smelled like booze" later in the evening. Nicholson did not comment on if he had consumed alcohol.
Nicholson also claimed that he quit World Class Pro Wrestling on Sunday, sharing an email within his YouTube video. World Class Pro Wrestling Promoter Jerry Bostic previously said the promotion would never work with Hannibal again.
No charges have been filed against Nicholson but Fightful noted it's "still a possibility."