"Superstar Billy Graham" on Art of Cutting Forehead for Fame and Fortune

Houston Press
Abdullah the Butcher: WWE Hall of Famer.

​"Superstar Billy Graham," subject of our cover story this week, forwarded a press release this morning criticizing wrestling legend Abdullah the Butcher, who is going into the WWE Hall of Fame this weekend, for allegedly giving an independent pro wrestler Hepatitis C.

The wrestler, Devon Nicholson, claims in a new mini-documentary called Don't Bleed On Me that he caught Hepatitis C from Abdullah the Butcher. Butcher is famous as a "hardcore wrestler" who carried a fork in his trunks and "stabbed" people in the head during his matches. No, really.

Graham is unique amongst old-time wrestlers in that he has few visible scars on his forehead from "blading," or cutting his forehead with a razor blade to add "color" to a match. Graham told New Times several weeks ago that he used to cut his forehead horizontally so that his scars would blend in with the nature wrinkles on his forehead -- but, he says, he hated the barbarity of the act, and can't understand why aging wrestlers like Abdullah the Butcher and Ric Flair continue to do something so silly that is "dictated by promoters for real blood in a fake sport."

Graham has told us he loves Abdullah the Butcher, who he would take roadtrips with early in his career. But he doesn't understand why Butcher's matches are all "blade, blade, blade, blade."

At the Wrestle Reunion event in Los Angeles, where we caught up with Graham, wrestling icon Terry Funk bled in the middle of a Legends Battle Royal for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. "What's Terry Funk cutting his head open for at this age?" Graham asked afterward. "Everyone in there knows we cut our heads. Ric Flair in [Total Nonstop Action wrestling] cuts his head."

He doesn't understand how these wrestlers can consider their scar tissue "a badge of honor."

Abdullah the Butcher never has wrestled for WWE but is getting inducted into its Hall of Fame this weekend in honor of his contributions to the wrestling business. The event is hosted in his hometown of Atlanta. We have no opinion on whether he's sick or not, though he is a verifiable wrestling legend.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Gregory Pratt
Contact: Gregory Pratt