Titus O’Neil is a prime example of a football player getting scouted by WWE due to his impressive size. The 39-year-old is six feet, six inches tall, weighs 270 pounds, and is never ashamed to talk about his time as a Florida Gator defensive lineman from 1997-2000. It took him nine years after that to realize that professional wrestling was going to be his career path, starting at the age of 32.
For the first few years, O’Neil made his way up through the WWE developmental territory at the time, Florida Championship Wrestling. He then proceeded to become a Rookie on the NXT series when it was simply a weekly competition, with the winner getting a title shot. O’Neil did not win the season and was not received well for his performance. In one challenge, he tripped and fell while holding a keg, being embarrassed as a result.
It took two appearances on the NXT show, as well as being a part of multiple storylines when NXT started to become more of a developmental wrestling show, for fans to gain interest in O’Neil and WWE to give him an opportunity to hone in his character. It took his alliance with old NXT rival Darren Young to really gain some traction and eventually be called up to the main roster.
The Prime Time Players were a charismatic tag team on the main roster. With their “Millions of Dollars” tagline, the villainous duo ended up earning the adulation of the fans; so much, that the pair won the WWE Tag Team Championship at the Money in the Bank pay per view in 2015. This title win came after some shoddy decisions by the WWE Creative team, splitting them up for O’Neil to turn heel, then teaming O’Neil up with Heath Slater and realizing that was a flop.
For some reason, WWE decided once again to split the team up earlier this year. While this may have been prompted by the infamous 60-day suspension due to unprofessional behavior (via WrestleZone) after pulling the arm of Vince McMahon during the aftermath of Daniel Bryan’s retirement speech, O’Neil’s career never bounced back from there. He returned to be utilized in a midcard feud against then-United States Champion Rusev, but ended up on the short end of that feud looking like a glorified enhancement talent.
Now, O’Neil is a heel, after turning on his former tag team partner Darren Young who is now trying to be Made Great Again under the tutelage of former WWE Champion and Hall of Famer Bob Backlund. Seemingly, this was yet another opportunity to make him a strong heel on the Raw brand. However, with his unimpressive win-loss record since the turn, many wonder why the decision was made to split the team in the first place. Especially, since both are currently showcasing dead-end gimmicks.
O’Neil’s attempt to become relevant is so desperate, that he had an inset promo during his match against Sami Zayn trying to market a phantom brand that has no rhyme or reason being explained. What made matters worse, WWE posted a tweet of a press conference held by O’Neil after Raw. His audience? One person – WWE analyst Tom Phillips.
At this point, it would be a long and difficult process to try to salvage the singles career of Titus O’Neil. As a tag team competitor, he has done well in the past feeding off the energy of Darren Young, making them a very popular team. On the contrary, his solo career has done nothing to help his overall tenure for the company. It would probably be best for WWE to reunite the Prime Time Players for yet a third time in hopes to add a much-needed dynamic to a skeletal Raw tag team division.
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