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Devon Nicholson sues WWE for wrongful dismissal over Hepatitis C

A picture from one of the bloody matches Devon Nicholson had with Abdullah The Butcher.  Photo via <a href=""></a>.
A picture from one of the bloody matches Devon Nicholson had with Abdullah The Butcher. Photo via

Devon Nicholson, a name that at the start of the year would only be familiar to the most hardcore of fans as the real name of Hannibal, the top star and promoter of the Ontario based Great North Wrestling, is back in the news again.  He sprung to the headlines in the run up to WrestleMania 27 with his accusation that WWE Hall Of Fame inductee Abdullah The Butcher had given him Hepatitis C during a match where Abdullah had used the same blade to cut himself with and then Nicholson.  At the time, Nicholson also revealed that his Hepatitis C infection had caused WWE to rescind their offer of a developmental contract in 2009 after he impressed WWE scouts at a Florida Championship Wrestling tryout camp held earlier that year.  This led to Nicholson suing Larry Shreve (Abdullah's real name) in late July for $6.5 million over his allegation that Shreve's negligence, assault and battery during a bloody wrestling match caused him to contract Hepatitis C and consequently cost him his job with WWE.

So what is the latest surprising development in this story?  Well, Nicholson has now filed a similar high priced lawsuit against WWE for wrongful dismissal and breach of contract, claiming that he was unfairly discriminated against for having Hepatitis C.  In the suit, Nicholson claims that both WWE's cardiovascular consultant Dr. Bryan Donahue and WWE's Medical Director Dr. Joseph Maroon that they would clear him to wrestle due to WWE's "no blood" policy.  However, the job offer was still rescinded by WWE's talent relations department because five states in the U.S. would refuse to give Nicholson a license to wrestle due to him having Hepatitis C.  On paper, this seems like a tough argument for him to win, but there is the inherent unfairness that if a bigger star than Nicholson contracted Hepatitis C or a similar blood borne disease that would course licensing issues in a handful of states, then WWE would surely find a way to work round those issues and keep using that top star.

That's not the only big news from Nicholson of late.  On Friday September 30th he announced via YouTube (see the video of the announcement after the jump) that he is retiring from wrestling and that his last match will be this Saturday in Renfrew, Ontario against the giant Darko.  Of course, you have to be sceptical when anyone announces their retirement from professional wrestling, as 99% of them will comeback at some point and have plenty more matches in the future, but Nicholson does seem genuinely ready to move on from the business he loves, knowing that his dream of working for WWE or TNA will now never be fulfilled unless a miracle happens and his Hepatitis C is cured.

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