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.
Nick McNeil grew up in Leland, North Carolina dreaming of playing football in the NFL. McNeil played linebacker for the University of West Carolina. After not getting drafted by an NFL team, McNeil signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers but didn’t make it past their practice squad. He would sign with the Green Bay Packers and then the New York Giants, but McNeil never received a roster spot.
After playing in an independent league, McNeil decided to try his hand at professional wrestling. McNeil grew up a big wrestling fan and felt that transitioning from the grid iron to the squared circle was just natural. In 2009 he received a try out with WWE and was signed to a developmental deal.
McNeil was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) based in Tampa, Florida. His name was tweaked to Chris McNeil and he formed a tag team with Darren Young called the South Beach Party Boys. Eventually, his character was changed to ‘Showtime’ Percy Watson. He was selected to be a part of the second season reality competition show NXT. Watson worked with MVP as his mentor, but was eliminated finishing 5th overall.
When FCW changed over to NXT, Watson competed against the likes of the Wyatt Family, Jinder Mahal and Leo Kruger. Watson was ultimately released in 2013, and started to compete on the independent circuit. He would eventually be invited back to NXT, but this time as a color commentator. McNeil would leave that position in 2019 to pursue outside ventures.
Currently, Nick McNeil works in commercial fuel equipment installation and maintenance. He resides in the Tampa, Florida area where he is married and has a child.