Downed On The Farm: Top WWE Developmental Prospects That Never Made It…Part 64

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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.


Sara Lee grew up in Michigan and competed in powerlifting contests. In 2015, Sara auditioned and made the cut in season 6 of WWE’s Tough Enough competition where the winner would receive a WWE developmental contract worth $250,000. Viewers chose Sara as the winner of the competition beating out such notable names as Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville and Chelsea Green.

Sara Lee was then sent to WWE’s Performance Center where she received additional training from WWE’s head female trainer Sara Del Ray. Sara Lee began wrestling for NXT under the ring name of ‘Hope.’ Most likely a homage to her hometown…Hope Township, Michigan. She wrestled against the likes of Aliyah, Dana Brooke and Liv Morgan.

Her wrestling career would come to an abrupt stop when she announced she was pregnant with fellow WWE developmental wrestler Wesley Blake’s baby. In 2016, she was released from her developmental contract and many believed it was punishment for her pregnancy, but the official reason was her lack of progression in the ring.

Sara Lee would go on to marry Wesley Blake and the couple would have a second child. She and her family now reside in Florida. Sara Lee continues to powerlift and has recently returned to training for a potential return to pro wrestling.

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