Downed On The Farm: Top WWE Developmental Prospects That Never Made It…Part 73

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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.

Mickey Keegan

Max Pelham was trained by the legendary Killer Kowalski who trained the likes of Triple H, Chyna and Perry Saturn. He debuted in 2005 and wrestled for several years on the New England independent circuit. In 2012, Pelham signed a WWE developmental deal and was assigned to NXT. He was initially given the ring name of Axl Keegan, but was later altered to Mickey Keegan.

Keegan wrestled the likes of Bo Dallas, Percy Watson and Trent Barretta usually losing in those efforts. Keegan formed a team with Aiden English which was the forerunner to the Vaudevillians tag team. They faced the Ascension and the Wyatt Family in tag matches. Before his NXT career could really take off, he suffered a neck injury and an MRI revealed he was suffering from Spinal stenosis. The diagnosis effectively ended his active pro career. After his retirement, WWE hired Pelham as a part of NXT’s creative team. In 2014, Pelham left the company altogether.

Since leaving the life of professional wrestling, Mex Pelham is now working as Director of Management Training for a Café franchise chain. He currently resides in Arizona.

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