August 23, 2007
Orleans' Nicholson: 'I've got wrestling in my blood'
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
As a student at Cairine Wilson Secondary School, Devon Nicholson was an unbeatable amateur wrestler.
He won a gold medal at the 2001 junior national championships in London. He won the national trials in Vancouver. And he won the OFSAA high school championships. Nobody even scored a point on him.
Then there were scholarship offers. But he said no to everyone.
"I had no interest, I just wanted to be a pro wrestler," says Nicholson. "I've got wrestling in my blood and I can't get it out. I grew up in Orleans and put on shows in my backyard. I've been going to wrestling shows since I was in kindergarten. I've always wanted to wrestle in the Civic Centre. That was my dream."
Nicholson will live out his dream tonight at SuperEx Showdown: When Legends Collide. As the deranged Hannibal, he'll wrestle at the Civic Centre, facing Abdullah the Butcher ... and he'll be surrounded by a cast of wrestling superstars from past and present ... guys like A.J. Styles, Christian Cage, Jeff Jarrett, Sycho Sid, Kamala, Koko B. Ware, Pierre Carl Ouellet, Hotshot Johnny Devine, The Genius Lanny Poffo, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine (and a special appearance by Bret "Hitman" Hart.)
It wasn't exactly with his parents' blessing that Nicholson, the promoter for tonight's show, began his wrestling odyssey.
"My parents (Laura and Gwyn) aren't hating it as much now," says the 24-year-old, who as Hannibal established himself as a star in Puerto Rico. "But I think they thought I'd grow out of it."
He likes his psychotic character, certainly much better than the Kid Nichols character he had in Calgary's Stampede Wrestling. He also wrestled as Matt Lust in the short-lived Matrats promotion.
"Bushwhacker Luke gave me the name Hannibal. I really can be a mean person," says Nicholson. "And I don't like people very much."
Nicholson wants his shot at the big leagues, but he's also started training in ultimate fighting just in case.
"Here I am seven years later and I'm still waiting for the big payoff. I've been to 14 WWE tryouts. And they always tell me I'm doing a good job, just keep doing what I'm doing.
"But it can be annoying when you see other people get the jobs."