May 24, 2005
Cochrane's 'Kid' coming home for more Karnage
By DARRYL MILLS - Cochrane Times
Devon Nicholson is a big, big man, and he has a big task on his hand on Saturday, June 4 -- trying to topple his arch-rival Karnage at the Stampede Wrestling "Brawl to Settle It All" event at Spray Lake Arena in Cochrane, Alberta.
It's a return match from their bout in April in Cochrane, and this one is a No Holds Barred affair, where a winner must be declared.
"We've been feuding for the past three years," Nicholson, known professionally as Kid Nichols says.
"He's my biggest enemy in the ring, and we don't like each other much outside of the ring either."
Nicholson calls Cochrane, Alberta home, and he is hoping a solid dose of hometown fans will help propel him over the 6'8", 310-pound Karnage.
He is hopeful that he can wear down his opponent on Saturday to the point where he can apply his signature finish, "the claw," inspired by the legendary Baron Von Raschke of the old AWA.
"I have yet to defeat him, but he always cheats," contends Nicholson.
Ah, so Kid Nichols must be a good guy then, always being knocked down by one of "Portugese Man-Of-War" Karnage's dirty tricks?
Well, not necessarily.
"I'm not very well-liked in Calgary because we're both bad guys," he admits. "But, I fight him at the out-of-town shows and I am well-liked because I am so much smaller, but in Calgary we don't face each other -- we're both bad guys."
Alas, it hasn't always been that way for the 6'3", 280-pound, 22-year-old Kid Nichols. When he first came to Stampede Wrestling, he was one of the good guys, but it didn't last.
"I was when I first started but the fans never really took to me, so I stopped trying to suck up to them."
And, don't think that Nicholson is just a big guy who can throw a body slam or two -- this guy knows wrestling.
He went to high school in Ottawa, and it was then that he started wrestling -- amateur, Olympic-style wrestling.
He got quite good at it, including winning provincial titles and a national title in his final year.
But, it was professional wrestling that he wanted to pursue, so after graduating from high school in 2001, he came to Calgary to train with the legendary Hart family and compete in Stampede Wrestling.
But, and this won't endear him to Calgary fans...
"I didn't really like Calgary, but I thought Cochrane was really nice so I moved here."
And, wrestling isn't paying the bills yet for Nicholson, so he has a couple of other jobs to tide him over as he continues reaching for the big time.
He works with people who are handicapped, doing respite/relief and outreach work, and he is also a security guard at the Pengrowth Saddledome.
But, his dreams remain firmly in the big time, whether that be in North America or overseas.
"My main goal is to make a living at wrestling, have it as my career," he says.
"I'd like to make the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), but there's a lot of money to be made in Japan too. "
But, he is confident that his chances are good with the WWE. They are coming to Calgary next month, and he is hopeful he can get a try-out.
He is hoping many Cochranites will be ringside to cheer him on in a good-old '80s-style match, without the swearing and other stuff that is so prevalent today.
The Stampede Wrestling show starts at 7 pm. Other matches signed for the show are: The New Karachi Vice ("Tiger" Raj Singh & Gama Singh Jr.) vs Fast & Furious (Phoenix Taylor & Pyro Pete Wilson) and "Nasty" Nattie Niedhart vs Anna Marie. Tickets are $12-$8 advance.
Editor's Note: This story originally appeared in the Cochrane Times on Wednesday, April 20, 2005.