Yesterday, Devon Nicholson won a judgement of 2.3 million Canadian dollars against WWE Hall Of Fame legend Abdullah The Butcher, aka Larry Shreve, when the judge ruled that Shreve had given Nicholson Hepatitis C during a bloody wrestling match in Cochrane, Alberta, on May 26th, 2007, by cutting him with a razor blade that he had already used on his own forehead.
Part of the reason that the damage award was so high is because in 2009 Nicholson had a developmental contract offer from WWE rescinded when he was diagnosed with a Hepatitis C infection by their medical screening program.
The favourable judgement for Nicholson is the result of a lengthy, three year, legal battle against Shreve.
In very shrewd timing designed to maximise publicity for his story, Nicholson first publicly accused Abdullah The Butcher of giving him Hepatitis C one day before he was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame on the weekend of WrestleMania 27.
In late July 2011, Nicholson backed up his words with action by filing a $6.5 million lawsuit against Shreve for his "negligence, assault and battery" during a wrestling match together that caused him to end up contracting Hepatitis C.
That was quickly followed up by another $5.85 million lawsuit against WWE for wrongful dismissal and breach of contract, where Nicholson claimed he was unfairly discriminated against for having Hepatitis C.
However, the war between Abdullah The Butcher and Devon Nicholson may not be over, as Shreve has 30 days to appeal the ruling.
Despite knowing that the fight wasn't quite over yet, Nicholson left the courtroom feeling relieved and vindicated, according to quotes from SLAM! Wrestling:
"For the past four years, I've been called a liar by Mr. Shreve publicly, and obviously that really bothers me, because not only did he lie about saying that he didn't cut me, but he lied about not having Hepatitis C, which he did have and it wasn't really able to come out publicly until now. I'm happy that everyone finally knows basically that what I was saying was true. That's the biggest relief to me for this, because it's been a long, long journey trying to get justice for this over the last four years."
Unfortunately for Abdullah, when medical documents and video footage prove otherwise, this was one situation he couldn't talk his way out of.
Even before the court victory, the future looked bright for Nicholson. He was cured of the disease in late 2013 after undergoing a second round of intensive and expensive chemotherapy like treatment and since then he has started wrestling again on Canadian independent wrestling shows under the moniker Hannibal. Next month, he will have another tryout with WWE (which presumably means he's quietly dropped the lawsuit he had filed against them).
Nicholson was most definitely glad that this scary chapter of his life is finally coming to a close:
"I'm definitely not glad the Hepatitis C thing happened because it really was an awful nightmare, and there were many points in the whole situation where I had very negative thoughts going through my head, but I did pull through it and I'm glad that I at least stopped Abdullah the Butcher from wrestling -- because as far as I'm aware, he never wrestled again after these allegations went public. I learned a lot about myself. I think I became a more humble person out of it all, and I've learned to use my brain more. I was always a big, athletic person, so when I was going through the treatments, and lost all my weight, and had no energy, I guess I realized what it's like to have a handicap for the first time in my life. I think overall, I became a better person out of this ordeal -- but I do not want to be known as the 'Hepatitis C wrestler' for the rest of my life."
We at Cageside Seats would like to wish him the best of luck in his imminent WWE tryout, but even if he is sadly unsuccessful in landing his dream job, he should remember that he is still a victor in life for overcoming such a terrible disease and getting justice for himself.