Titus O’Neil (born Thaddeus Michael Bullard) boasts a long and storied journey to the WWE. The one-time child delinquent, after being sent to a boys’ camp by his single mother, turned his life around and graduated as one of the country’s top college football recruits. His dreams of being a top athlete were dashed when an NFL injury sidelined him from the gridiron.
“I tore my ACL (with the Jacksonville Jaguars) early on, and I was actually going to be done playing football altogether,” said O’Neil. “I was driving one day in south Tampa, and it’s been noted that Dave Bautista (Batista) and I are really close friends, and he had talked to me before about possibly trying to be in WWE. ... One day I saw the school, walked in the back door and talked to someone about possibly becoming a WWE superstar. ... Two weeks later, I was learning how to become a WWE superstar.”
O’Neil and his tag-team partner Darren Young (they comprise the Prime Time Players) debuted on the main roster of WWE in April 2012. The pair immediately connected with audiences as “heels,” or villains, and the powers-that-be took notice.
“We naturally had a chemistry so they gave us an opportunity to go out there and entertain and we did just above everything except get the tag team titles,” he said. “Maybe this time around, we’ll not only get the opportunity (at the titles) but also seize the opportunity and do what we both feel we rightfully should get.”
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The duo have recently reunited after a dramatic break last year, and this time their focus is squarely on the tag team titles.
O’Neil said the Prime Time Players are poised to be the top tag team in the WWE. Their skills will be put to the test in an eight-man match at the May 15 WWE Live event at the Bryce Jordan Center.
“You can expect the roughest, toughest, most entertaining tag team the Prime Time Players to be in action,” O’Neil said. “We have a fatal four-way tag team match with us vs. Tyson Kidd and Cesaro vs. the New Day (the current WWE tag team champions) vs. the Ascension. Hopefully we can walk in there with the hopes of being tag-team champions but walk out of there with the reality of being tag-team champions.”
Fans are encouraged to bring their families to the event, as O’Neil promises a good time for all ages.
“People should buy a ticket because you get an opportunity to see one of the greatest shows on Earth,” he said. “We have people from all different backgrounds on all different kinds of levels. They’re going to laugh, they’re going to boo, they’re going to get upset, they’re going to be happy. Kids are going to have a really great time as we’re a family-friendly product. At the end of the day, it’s an opportunity to bring families together, to spend some time together. ... I don’t think there are too many events greater to do something like that than a WWE Live event. You’ll never forget it, never.”