Referee Stabbed by Pro Wrestler During North Texas Event

Wrestler “Hannibal” stabs Lando Deltoro with an iron spike. | Image from YouTube.

A referee was stabbed repeatedly in the head with an iron spike by a professional wrestler in a choreographed stunt gone wrong.

The incident happened during a World-Class Pro Wrestling event in Irving, Texas, on December 11. The event was part of the annual “Christmas Star Wars” series.

The referee was Lando Deltoro, 50, a disabled Navy veteran who served in the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War. Deltoro is now recovering at home but told The Daily Beast that the incident sparked his PTSD, stating he had not seen that much blood since his time in the military.

WFAA reported that Deltoro suffered hypovolemic shock, which is extreme blood loss that can cause organs to fail, as he was being rushed to an emergency room in Dallas. Doctors had to use staples and surgery to repair a torn artery in Deltoro’s skull, according to a GoFundMe set up in his name. Deltoro says doctors told him he lost nearly three pints of blood.

The wrestler who committed the gruesome act was Devon Nicholson, 39, known by his stage names “Hannibal” and “Blood Hunter.” Nicholson turned on the referee after losing a match. According to Deltoro, it was scripted that Nicholson would only simulate stabbing him in the forehead with the spike.

Deltoro was to cut himself on the forehead with a razor blade for the appearance of blood. However, Deltoro believes that Nicholson did not like the amount of blood his self-inflicted wound produced and instead allegedly went off-script to deliver the assault that left him hospitalized.

The following day, CEO of World Class Pro Wrestling, Jerry Bostic, announced Nicholson would be banned from participating in future events.

“World Class, moving forward, will not be associated with Devon Nicholson… in any way, shape, form, or fashion,” Bostic said in a video statement posted to Facebook. “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 and it was one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen.”

In the days following the incident, Deltoro has posted updates on his recovery to Twitter. The day after the incident, he tweeted, “recovering at home, still a big fuzzy and pain, yes lots of pain. But I’ll live.”

On Tuesday, Deltoro tweeted that he was diagnosed with a blood infection, and on Wednesday, he tweeted that he was sent to an emergency room in Fort Worth for additional testing.

According to a TMZ report, Nicholson posted and then deleted a video on his Youtube page addressing the incident. In the video, the wrestler claimed he never meant to hurt Deltoro and believed the referee was in on the act. He also claimed he would have stopped if Deltoro had asked him.

Deltoro responded to Nicholson’s claim by tweeting in part, “it’s very hard to talk when there is a 300lbs man’s knee on your back… while being stabbed repeatedly in the head with an iron spike.”  

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