Devon Nicholson, who wrestled under the name Hannibal in several independent federations, filed a $6.5 million lawsuit against former professional wrestler and WWE Hall of Famer Abdullah the Butcher back in 2011.
Nicholson claimed he contracted Hepatitis C, an infectious disease that attacks the liver, from Abdullah (real name Lawrence Robert Shreve) during an independent match in 2007. Nicholson testified that Shreve had a piece of razor blade taped to his finger during the match — known as “blading” in the industry — and cut himself and Nicholson open during the match.
Today, a judge ruled that Abdullah must pay Nicholson $2.3 million in damages. Abdullah has publicly denied he has the disease and has 30 days to appeal.
Nicholson found out about his Hep C in the worst possible way — during a tryout with the WWE.
Nicholson said he was offered a three-year contract with WWE, the largest professional wrestling company in the world, after a 2009 tryout camp. The WWE cancelled his contract less than three weeks later when the company found out Nicholson had hepatitis C.
After a lengthy legal battle, Nicholson said it’s good to finally have the truth on the record. “Mr. Shreve himself has been saying all along that I’m a liar, that he doesn’t have hepatitis C, he didn’t cut me, and I believe the judge made it very clear that, yes, he did cut me … and yes, he does have a history of hepatitis C,” Nicholson said.