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Independent Pro Wrestler Tests Positive For HIV

Friday 15th, April 2011 / 13:17 Written by

Andre Davis is an Ohio pro wrestler with HIVIf you thought the story about Abdullah the Butcher allegedly passing Hepatitis C to other wrestlers was bad, meet Andre Davis. Davis is an Ohio area independent pro wrestler who is HIV positive. Davis has been wrestling bloody matches and many of his former opponents are currently undergoing tests.

The story broke when Andre Davis was charged with second-degree felonious assault today. Davis is alleged to have had unprotected relations with women that weren’t aware of his disease. The charge stems from one person in particular, but a report says that there may be more victims.

The story gets scarier when it comes to Davis’ pro wrestling career. Davis, who wrestles as Andre Heart found out he was HIV positive in 2009 yet continued wrestling through 2010. Dave Meltzer reports that Davis was hired as a referee by the WWE. The WWE at some point withdrew their offer, likely because his tests came back HIV positive. Meltzer also reports that Davis was wrestling bloody matches during that time period. At least five area wrestlers are currently being tested.

Also in Meltzer’s report, “Area referee Brandon Tolle noted that at least five area wrestlers are being tested because they worked bloody matches with him, and Tolle refereed bloody matches with him.”

How ironic that this story comes just several weeks after a documentary accuses Abdullah the Butcher of carrying Hepatitis C and passing it to other wrestlers through matches. I received a lot of reaction to the story, most sickened if the allegations were true. Needless to say the pro wrestling world has to be in complete disarray with this story.

I think this is a big wakeup call for independent pro wrestlers. Quite honestly I am surprised that a story like this hasn’t been reported before. Here is the thing about independent pro wrestling, or should I say just about every wrestling company other than the WWE in America. These companies don’t test anyone, yet there are hundreds if not thousands of matches involving blood every year on the independent pro wrestling scene. At this point you would have to be a fool to get cut or allow your opponent to bleed in a wrestling match in 2011 without prior testing.

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Hardcore pro wrestling grew big time on the indy wrestling scene when ECW closed in 2001. Independent promoters took the concept and bastardized it to the point where fans can watch a guy bleed buckets in 2011 and not think anything of it. It would be unfair to lump just independent pro wrestling companies. Blood has been a big part of pro wrestling for the last forty years. How many guys bled buckets throughout the 70s and early 80s on the territories that were never tested for any diseases? The fact that it took until 2011 for these kinds of stories to be reported is almost unfathomable.

I think it is time for independent pro wrestlers to wake up, band together, and refuse to participate in anymore of these bloodbaths. Some wrestling promoters will stop but most will continue as hardcore wrestling is still a viable product to a small crowd of wrestling fans. A $150 payday and the adoration of 350 people that won’t be around to pay your medical bills after the show is over isn’t worth the risks associated with such a match. The WWE does testing and unless the independent promoters or state athletic commissions start to do the same, it is time to put a moratorium on bloody hardcore pro wrestling matches.

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About the author

Eric Gargiulo is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia.

View all articles by Eric Gargiulo

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