Cochrane bout a bloody mess
Abdullah the Butcher and Devon Nicholson square off in main event that turns ugly
CORY PYTLARZ - Cochrane Times
|Devon Nicholson drives a bloody Abdullah the Butcher into the ring stairs.
- photo by Angela Anderson
A chaotic match was promised, and a chaotic match was delivered. Such was the spectacle witnessed by approximately 600 fans during the main event of last Friday's Stampede Wrestling show at Spray Lake Sawmills Family Recreation Centre between Cochrane wrestler Devon Nicholson and Abdullah the Butcher.
Storming the 69-year-old Abdullah outside the ring before the match even began, Nicholson, 23, says the 15-minute blood-filled brawl with his childhood hero was even more gruesome and lengthy than he had anticipated.
"I didn't expect it to be that violent of a match," he says, admitting he had a case of the jitters before entering the ring. "I thought he'd maybe have settled down a bit over the years, but he certainly didn't."
While not hesitating to carve up Nicholson with his trademark fork, the 400-pound Madman from the Sudan even went as far as using the same utensil on the referee, which led to the eventual end of the match, a no decision.
"Eventually (Abdullah) retreated to the back, and I tried to get him to come out and finish the match, but he wouldn't," says Nicholson, adding that he had to make a trip to the hospital for a series of stitches at the end of the evening. "Pretty much the match was just thrown out. It went way too far."
While the sport of professional wrestling certainly has its critics, Nicholson maintains his match with Abdullah was legit.
"Anyone that says wrestling's fake just has to watch that match," he says, "because no one in the crowd thought that match was fake. It was about as real as it gets. I think a lot of people loved it, but a lot of people were disgusted by it."
Thus was the crescendo to an evening of body slams, acrobatics and trash talking that also featured the likes of Lance Storm, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)-bound Harry Smith and the Honky Tonk Man.
The highlight of the evening for many was the antics of the 53-year-old Honky Tonk Man, who garnered some of the loudest cheers as he worked the crowd wearing his classic Elvis-like jumpsuit.
"I think everyone enjoyed listening to him sing," Nicholson says. "They were all singing along."
One glitch to the evening saw veteran Lance Storm without an opponent as former WWE wrestler Rhyno backed out the morning of the event.
"I was very disappointed that Rhyno cancelled on me," says Nicholson, the event's organizer. "I don't think anyone cared because the whole show was excellent. I don't think anyone came home disappointed that saw that show."
If there was one disappointment, however, it was the lack of Cochrane fans among the Stampede Wrestling faithful in attendance, according to Nicholson.
"I think they were mostly Calgarians," he says. "I was a little disappointed with that because I thought there would be more people out there from Cochrane to help cheer me on."
But with this event behind him, the six-foot-four, 285-pound Ontario native now plans to join a wrestling tour next month in Japan, and will be moving back to Puerto Rico, where he recently held the Intercontinental championship and where Abdullah the Butcher also still wrestles.
"Abdullah and I, I'm almost positive will be having a rematch there," Nicholson says. "We definitely didn't settle our little feud here."
But his ultimate goal continues to be the WWE, with whom he'll be trying to earn a spot next week in a trio of try-outs in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Bakersfield, Calif.
"I think I deserve it by now," he says. "I've really accomplished everything I've wanted to accomplish, outside of WWE."
Devon Nicholson / Hannibal story archive
PHOTO GALLERY OF THE COCHRANE SHOW