Skip to main content

Referee recovering from multiple head wounds inflicted by wrestler


Referee Lando Deltoro is recovering from multiple lacerations suffered at the hands of indie wrestler Devon Nicholson during a World Class Pro Wrestling show in Irving, Texas, Saturday.

Nicholson, in a mask and wrestling under the name Blood Hunter, had planned a spot with Deltoro where the referee was to be bloodied up after a run-in following Nicholson's match with former WWE star Carlito. Instead, Nicholson lacerated him using what appeared to be a spike of some sort, hitting his head repeatedly and tearing an artery in the process.

Nicholson posted the video on his own YouTube channel, but later removed it although it has popped up elsewhere. Deltoro shared an image of the bloody hospital bed where he was stitched up and an image of himself after the work was done. His daughter happened to be in the crowd that night as well.

The promotion announced Sunday that they will no longer use Nicholson and will do a benefit show in the future to help with his medical bills. A GoFundMe has been started to help with Deltoro's medical bills.

Charges have not been filed against Nicholson and he has not addressed the matter on social media even though he has posted videos and tweets since then.

Colby Cowperthwaite, the referee for the match, posted on Reddit that he knew something was "off" with Nicholson even before the match started and told Carlito to end things quickly. He said he observed Nicholson stumbling, both before he came out and coming into the ring and that no one could find him backstage for nearly ten minutes before he was set to go out.

After Cowperthwaite went to the back as intended during a post-match brawl, Deltoro was sent out for the attack spot which was the only reason why he was there. It's believed Deltoro used his own blade, but that it didn't work as anticipated. Cowperthwaite said he thinks Nicholson was upset that he wasn't bleeding from his own attempts so he decided to do it himself with his own device.

Cowperthwaite called 911 when he got to the back and later spoke to police who were on site for nearly an hour even though he said booker Kevin Sullivan told him to "kayfabe the cops." He believes Nicholson hid the 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."

Fightful spoke with several wrestlers on the show who placed the blame on both Sullivan and fellow booker Eric Embry for a lack of empathy and trying to keep the situation quiet. Another corroborated Cowperthwaite's account of Nicholson being impaired, noting he was in his RV until it was time for the match and he "smelled like booze."

Nicholson is known for winning a $2.3 million lawsuit against Abdullah The Butcher after the former claimed to have contracted hepatitis C following a match together which resulted in a WWE offer being pulled as a result.