This is the 223rd installment of the ‘Wrestling with Sin‘ series. A group of stories that delves into the darker, underbelly of pro wrestling. Many of the stories involve such subjects as sex, drugs, greed and in some cases even murder! As with every single story in the Sin series, I do not condone or condemn the alleged participants. We simply retell their stories by researching interviews, newspapers, magazines and various other sources of media.
Former WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts recalled the malicious “ribs” or practical jokes he would suffer through while on the road with the company. According to Roberts, they weren’t friendly ribs, but more harassment and assaults. Roberts claims that the two biggest perpetrators were Chris Benoit and Jamie Noble.
Roberts claims that Noble was more of a sidekick or bag carrier for Benoit, who seemed to be the more aggressive one. Justin Roberts remembered one time while walking through an airport, Benoit and Noble stopped him. They then allegedly threw Roberts to the ground and Benoit gave him a ‘crippler crossface,’ while Jamie Noble held Roberts legs. He said both Noble and Benoit were laughing the whole time, but were applying real pressure to the move.
The pain he felt was real and despite tapping out and giving up…the two wrestlers refused to let go of him. Roberts claimed that both Noble and Benoit would harass continually for no other reason than he was an easy target.
Blood, Sweat and Fears
Devon Nicholson was a tremendous Canadian amateur wrestler turned pro who was trained by both the Hart and Rougeau families. He was so talented, the WWE offered him a developmental contract in 2009. The contract offer was later rescinded after Devon tested positive for Hepatitis C. The diagnosis opened up a flood gate of lawsuits and accusations by Devon Nicholson who blamed his contracting the disease after a bloody match with the legendary Abdullah the Butcher.
Nicholson would win the lawsuit and be awarded 2.3 million dollars from Abdullah. Devon has since revealed that he has been cured of the disease.
Locker Room Talk
Current NXT wrestler and Marine Lacey Evans was called out and accused of being racist and homophobic. Lacey posted Twitter pics of her child in a Halloween costume that included blackface and was called out on it as being racist. Furthermore, independent wrestler Effy Gibbes accused Lacey of being homophobic. He claimed that when Lacey was working the independent scene, she allegedly refused to share the same locker room with Gibbes because he was gay.
Effy Gibbes is an openly gay wrestler. To be fair, Effy apparently heard that second hand from a group of wrestlers and the promoter. As for Lacey’s kid in blackface, as stated it was a Halloween costume and she was supposedly dressed as a werewolf. Lacey Evans hasn’t commented on any of the accusations.
Showtime For the Apollo
El Gran Apollo was a Cuban born wrestler who worked mainly in the Puerto Rican and Florida territories. He became a pretty big star in those regions and made a few commercials along the way. When he started out his career, however, he wasn’t exactly well beloved by everyone. Promoter Carlos Colon loved Apollo and groomed him to be the next big star in Puerto Rico.
The problem was, Apollo started getting an ego because of that and started dictating to both management and other more seasoned wrestlers what he would and would not do. On one occasion, Colon asked Apollo to lose to a veteran in ‘Kangaroo’ Al Costello. Apollo allegedly became livid and refused to wrestle the match if he did not win and the match was placed better on the card. In response to Apollo’s attitude, Al Costello decided to take matters into his own hands.
When the match went on, Costello proceeded to “shoot” on El Gran Apollo and was allegedly stiffing him with kicks, punches and stretching him out in the middle of the ring. After the match had ended, Apollo was completely beat up and exhausted. He was told after the match that this was a lesson in humility and if he continued with his brash attitude…a lot worse could happen.
You can read all previous ‘Wrestling with Sin’ pieces here.