Downed On The Farm: Top WWE Developmental Prospects That Never Made It…Part 33

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Brian Damage

The WWF/WWE has had some type of developmental system for years now. Whether it was the USWA, Ohio Valley, Power Pro, Heartland, Deep South, Florida Championship Wrestling or NXT…many of the company’s top superstars got their start in at least one of them. While some developmental names like John Cena, Kurt Angle, Randy Orton, The Miz, Brock Lesnar and Charlotte Flair all made big stars of themselves by first training in developmental, others never got to see the light of day. This series will focus on those wrestlers…the ones that at some point were a lock to get called up to the main roster and never quite made it. What once was hot, suddenly became a “not” as a WWE superstar.

Rudy Parker

Adam Atherton started out his career being trained in Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2009. This was after WWE had pulled out of OVW as a developmental territory. Despite that, WWE still had a friendly relationship with the promotion and scouted heavily there. Atherton wrestled under the moniker of ‘Asher Knight.’ After just 7 months in OVW….Atherton was signed to a WWE developmental deal in March of 2010.

After signing his WWE contract, Atherton was renamed ‘Rudy Parker’ and was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling in Tampa, Florida. Parker stood 6 ft 4 inches tall, weighed 220 pounds and had solid in ring skill and charisma. While competing in FCW, Parker wrestled the likes of G-Rilla (Brodus Clay), Alberto Banderas (Alberto Del Rio) and Derrick Bateman (EC3). Parker lost a majority of his singles matches in FCW…but actually challenged Alex Riley for the FCW heavyweight title in a losing effort.

In November of 2010, WWE announced that the company parted ways with Atherton. It was later revealed by Atherton on social media that he had quit the company himself and was not released. He said, “Answering the question that seems to be on most people’s mind…I RESIGNED b/c the WWE didn’t give me the raise that I had been told about when I signed the contract. When I wasn’t making enough to pay back my student loans, I had no choice but to resign.” So Adam Atherton resigned from the WWE over money issues.

Since he walked away from his developmental deal, Atherton also walked away from professional wrestling. Adam Atherton is currently working as an online guidance counselor for Eastern Kentucky University. He has also done some acting and modeling and resides in the “Blue Grass” state.

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