Devon Nicholson, a Canadian indy wrestler, has revealed that there were several false promises made to him regarding NXT tryouts and he was deprived from the oppurtunity to join the Performance Center. The revelations came on an interview at ‘Hannibal TV’, a Youtube channel owned by Nicholson himself.
Better known as ‘Hannibal’, Nicholson started his amateur wrestling career at an age of 18. The success as an amateur, helped him to turn into a professional wrestler. In the interview, Hannibal stated that he was supposed to recieve a tryout for NXT in 2014, which was cancelled due to some unknown reasons :
"It was a tryout to get a tryout in NXT, and it was Gerald Brisco and Jim Ross that were scouting that tryout on behalf of the WWE. And they told me out of that tryout, that they were going to recommend me to WWE. Particularly Gerald Brisco told me this, and he told me I'd be hearing back that September if I was accepted or not. But he personally was gonna put me through for an NXT tryout. I never heard back”.
Hannibal added that he met WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair last year in August and Flair was supposed to recommend him for the tryouts. But, to quote Devon, “nothing came out of those recommendations” as well.
He got in touch with WWE agents again this year and attempted to earn a shot at the Performance Center. Hannibal discussed that he came across Billy Graham, who helped him with getting in touch with Brisco again :
“So Billy said 'just call him up and asked whatever happened with that tryout and offer to send him something new to see if you can get another tryout.' And I called him up and reminded him of who I was, sent him some new material, and he said he was gonna recommend me for this tryout this past May 2016. I sent him my medical papers and everything, and was later told that I was accepted into the NXT tryouts, was given my itinerary and everything for the tryout.”
This time also, he was deprived from the opportunity. According to Nicholson, the multiple failed attempts for a tryout made him feel ‘un-invited’ :
"Just over a week before the tryout I received an e-mail on a Sunday night from WWE Talent Relations indicating to me that, they're sorry for the confusion but I'm no longer invited to the tryout. I received no information other than that on why I was no longer invited after already being accepted into the tryout. And I recently saw Gerald Brisco again in person just last month, and I asked him what happened. So he doesn't know, and he says he feels for me on that one. And I believe him, he has no reason to lie to me.”
Nicholson does appear to have a knack for getting into controversies and as fans will remember, his major claim to fame previously was his real life battle against Hepatitis C, a disease he contracted through a blading incident wrestling against Larry Shreve, better known as Abdullah the Butcher. Nicholson later successfully sued Shreve and was awarded $2.3 million in damages by an Ontario court.
It remains to be seen whether stirring up this controversy would work out in his benefit, however.