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.
Brian Norton was born and raised in Belfast, Ireland. At the age of 19, Norton began training to become a professional wrestler. He wrestled under the moniker of ‘Tron’ and competed in local promotions around Ireland. At 23 years old, Norton had a tryout with WWE while the company was on tour of the United Kingdom. Brian Norton was signed to a WWE developmental deal and assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling based in Tampa, Florida.
Standing over 7 feet tall and weighing close to 350 pounds, Norton was a physical specimen to look at. He was given the ring name of ‘Jason Mullen.’ After signing with WWE in 2011, Norton was quoted as saying that his biggest goal in WWE was “to become the greatest Irish Superstar of all time.” Jason Mullen wrestled against other developmental recruits such as Brad Maddox and Colin Cassidy. After 10 months in FCW, Brian Norton was released from the company.
Norton returned home to Ireland where he continued wrestling on the Irish independents. His nickname became ‘The Northern Irish Nightmare.’ Norton was hired by the producers of ‘The Game of Thrones’ where he worked as a stand in for the character of Hodor portrayed by actor Kristian Nairn. While Norton still wrestles on weekends, his first job is now that of an administration officer for the Civil Service.