Bo Dallas in April 2014.
|Birth name||Taylor Michael Rotunda|
May 25, 1990 |
|Spouse(s)||Sarah Bäckman (m. 2014)|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Bo Dallas
|Billed height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Billed weight||215 lb (98 kg)|
|Billed from||Brooksville, Florida|
|Trained by||Florida Championship Wrestling|
Taylor Michael Rotunda (born May 25, 1990) is an American professional wrestler. He is signed to WWE, where he is working at the main roster as Bo Dallas. While at WWE's development territory NXT, Dallas was the longest-reigning NXT Champion in the championship's history at 280 days. He had previously held the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship three times and is a former two-time FCW Florida Tag Team Champion with his older brother Windham Rotunda (now known as Bray Wyatt).
Professional wrestling career
World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE
Florida Championship Wrestling (2008–2012)
In 2008, Rotunda signed a developmental contract with WWE and was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), where he debuted in December by defeating Caleb O'Neal. On December 16, 2008, Rotunda, wrestling under his real name teamed with Kris Logan to defeat Ryback and Jon Cutler in a tag team match. Throughout early 2009, Rotunda continued wrestling in tag team matches, and changed his name to 'Tank Rotunda' in February. In June, he began wrestling as 'Bo Rotunda' and later 'Bo Rotundo', and the following month he began teaming with his brother, Duke Rotundo. At the FCW television tapings on June 23, The Rotundo Brothers defeated The Dude Busters (Caylen Croft and Trent Barretta) to become the number one contenders to the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship. That same night, they defeated Justin Angel and Kris Logan for the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship. They went on to successfully defend the championship against Dylan Klein and Vance Archer and the team of Curt Hawkins and Heath Slater. At the FCW television tapings on November 19, the Rotundos lost the championship to The Dude Busters (Hawkins and Croft).
In early 2010, the Rotundos began feuding with The Usos (Jimmy and Jules), and their manager, Sarona Snuka. They lost to The Usos on January 14, but defeated The Usos and Donny Marlow in a six-man tag team match, with Wes Brisco as their partner. In a straight rematch on March 11, the Rotundos defeated The Usos. In April, they moved into a feud with Jackson Andrews and Curt Hawkins, which began when Rotundo faced Andrews in a singles match and won by disqualification when Hawkins interfered. At the television tapings the following week, the Rotundos teamed up with Eli Cottonwood in a loss to Hawkins, Andrews, and Leo Kruger. Rotundo was then absent from FCW due to injury, making his return in June. He moved into singles competition, defeating wrestlers including Derrick Bateman, Hawkins, Tyler Reks, and Brodus Clay.
In August, FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion Mason Ryan issued an open challenge, which Rotundo accepted. He lost the subsequent championship match by submission. On February 3, 2011, Rotundo defeated Ryan to win the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship for the first time, but lost the championship to Lucky Cannon immediately afterward. He regained the championship from Cannon three months later, on May 19. Rotundo made his WWE debut on July 25, defeating Primo in a dark match before the WWE Raw broadcast began. On August 16, Rotundo defeated Joey Ryan in another dark match at the SmackDown tapings, and the following week on August 23, Rotundo lost to Wade Barrett in a dark match prior to SmackDown. On September 1, Rotundo vacated the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship due to injury. Later that month, it was reported that Rotundo had suffered a lacerated kidney, and was expected to be absent for several months to recuperate. Rotundo returned at the tapings of the January 29, 2012, episode of FCW television, cutting a promo declaring his intentions to reclaim the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship. On February 2, Rotundo and his brother, renamed Husky Harris, defeated Brad Maddox and Eli Cottonwood, a substitute for the injured Briley Pierce, to win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship for the second time. The brothers held the championship until March 15, when they lost it to Corey Graves and Jake Carter. In May 2012, Rotundo made several appearances at WWE house shows, defeating Drew McIntyre.
At a FCW live event on June 16, 2012, Dallas defeated Rick Victor to win the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship for a third time, right after Victor had just defeated Seth Rollins for the title. He lost the title back to Victor at another FCW live event on July 13, 2012.
When WWE rebranded its developmental territory, FCW, into NXT Wrestling, Dallas' NXT television debut took place on the first episode of the rebooted WWE NXT taped at Full Sail University, as he played a happy-go-lucky and resilient babyface (heroic character), while defeating Rick Victor. On the August 8 NXT, Dallas was inserted into the Gold Rush Tournament to crown the first NXT Champion, where he was eliminated by Jinder Mahal in the quarter-finals. On the November 7 NXT, Dallas competed in a number one contender fatal four-way elimination match against Mahal, Drew McIntyre and Justin Gabriel; despite eliminating McIntyre and Gabriel, Dallas succumbed to Mahal. The next week, Dallas goaded Mahal into facing him in a match with the title shot on the line, but Mahal prevailed once again.
On January 26, 2013 at WWE's first-ever Royal Rumble Fanfest, Dallas participated in an eight-man NXT tournament and defeated Luke Harper, Conor O'Brian and lastly Leo Kruger to win the tournament, thus becoming the first NXT wrestler to qualify for the 2013 Royal Rumble match. The next day, Dallas entered the Rumble match at number 16, where he lasted over 20 minutes and eliminated the Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett, who returned to the ring and eliminated Dallas. This started a feud between the duo, with Barrett challenging Dallas to a non-title match the following night on Raw, in which Dallas pulled off an upset victory in his first singles match on Raw. Dallas later challenged Barrett on the April 24 NXT for the Intercontinental Championship, but was defeated.
Simultaneously with his feud with Barrett, Dallas entered the NXT Tag Team Championship tournament alongside Michael McGillicutty, who had earlier saved Dallas from a beating at the hands of Primo and Epico. The pairing defeated Primo and Epico in the first round of the tournament. In the tournament semi-finals, Dallas and McGillicutty lost to the Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) due to Bray Wyatt's interference. An attack by the Shield then prevented Dallas from participating in a NXT Championship number one contender match against Conor O'Brian and Corey Graves (both who were later attacked as well). The triple-threat match did occur the next week and Wyatt prevented Dallas from winning the match due to Dallas' earlier refusal to join the Wyatt Family, resulting in a match being set up between Dallas and Wyatt, which Dallas won.
From late April 2013, the NXT audience turned against Dallas (despite Dallas not changing his character) and started booing him. NXT Tag Team Champion Adrian Neville chose Dallas to replace his injured partner, Oliver Grey. On the May 8 NXT, Neville and Dallas failed in their first defense of the tag titles when they lost them to the Wyatt Family. Soon after, Dallas' character began showing subtle heel (villainous) traits of being disingenuous. On the May 29 NXT, Dallas competed in an 18-man battle royal to determine the number one contender to the NXT Championship; he eliminated his former tag partner Neville to win the battle royal. On the June 12 NXT (originally taped on May 23), Dallas defeated champion Big E Langston after twice ramming Langston into an exposed turnbuckle to become the new NXT Champion. As Leo Kruger set his sights on Dallas' title, Dallas made his first successful title defense on the July 3 NXT by exploiting Kruger's interference to defeat Antonio Cesaro. On the August 7 NXT, Dallas defeated Kruger to retain his title. By then, the NXT audience's hate of Dallas translated to them literally turning their backs on him while cheering his opponents, even heels like Cesaro and Kruger or unknowns like Mickey Keegan.
Dallas then held an open challenge to determine the next title contender but banned Sami Zayn from competing, so Zayn masqueraded as the masked El Local and defeated Dallas to earn his title shot. The match occurred on the October 16 NXT; General Manager John "Bradshaw" Layfield restarted the match when Zayn won despite Dallas' foot on the ropes, but not when Dallas sent Zayn into an exposed turnbuckle to retain his title. Dallas then faced his next title contender and former tag team partner Adrian Neville and lost by count-out to retain his title. However, Dallas would lose the title to Neville at NXT Arrival in a ladder match. He lost his rematch on the March 27 NXT. On the April 10 episode of NXT, Dallas attempted to mimic Daniel Bryan by trying to "Occupy NXT", but the crowd turned their backs on him as a response. He was then forced into a match against Justin Gabriel, which he won. Two weeks later he lost to Tyson Kidd, and after the match Bo threw a tantrum, mimicking what happened after the "Occupy NXT" incident weeks prior. On the May 8th edition of NXT, he participated in a number-one contender's Battle Royal, and made it to the final four before being eliminated by Tyson Kidd. On the May 15th NXT, it was announced that he was put in a match for the May 22nd show against Big E with the stipulation that if he won, he would earn another NXT title shot and if he lost, he would be forced to leave NXT forever. Dallas subsequently lost the match and was forced to leave. During the taping's break, he turned heel towards NXT (and only NXT) by saying that he hates everyone and that they should leave. Sooner in the NXT tapings for June, Bo secretly trespassed briefly under a new gimmick, "Mr. NXT". However, he lost to Sami Zayn who exposed Dallas and had security take him away. The following week after, he found his way into the building and ran around for help from security.
Since the April 7 episode of Raw, WWE started airing motivational-style introductory vignettes for Dallas. Dallas' return was in a winning effort, as he defeated Sin Cara on the May 23 episode of SmackDown as well as the May 26 episode of Raw. Dallas made his first pay-per-view appearance at Payback, where he was scheduled to face Kofi Kingston. However, the match never happened due to interference from Kane.  Dallas would face Kingston the following night on Raw in a winning effort. Following his début on the main roster, Dallas would go on an undefeated streak, picking up wins over the likes of R-Truth, Fandango, Titus O'Neil, El Torito, Damien Sandow, and The Great Khali. Dallas established himself as a heel when he attacked El Torito after his match against Diego on the July 4 episode of SmackDown. At Battleground, Dallas participated in the 19-man battle royal for the vacant Intercontinental Championship, he managed to eliminate Sin Cara and Titus O'Neil before being the 16th person eliminated after being thrown out by Dolph Ziggler. Bo Dallas was defeated on the July 28 edition of Raw by R-Truth, ending his undefeated streak at 17-1, prompting Dallas to do a post match assault after his loss. Four days later on SmackDown, Dallas would lose again to R-Truth via disqualification which prompted another assault on R-Truth.
Rotunda is a third generation professional wrestler; his grandfather Blackjack Mulligan, father Mike Rotunda and uncles Barry and Kendall Windham were all professional wrestlers. He has an older brother, Windham Rotunda, who is also a professional wrestler under the ring name Bray Wyatt, and a younger sister, Mika.
Rotunda attended Hernando High School, and graduated in 2008. During his final two years of high school, he qualified for the state wrestling championships. He also played football as a linebacker. Originally, he was offered a football scholarship at Webber International University in Babson Park, Florida, but when the offer fell through, he decided to become a wrestler instead.
On February 19, 2012, Rotunda was arrested for driving under the influence in Tampa, Florida, with blood-alcohol levels of 0.166 and 0.178 according to two breathalyser tests, more than twice the legal limit. He was released later that day on a $500 bond.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Florida Championship Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
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- Chiverton, George. "NXT WEEKLY RANKINGS & EVALUATION 6/20 – New NXT Week 1: Early impressions from new cast of FCW talent". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 9 January 2013. "The interview wasn't great and although Bo can deliver in the ring (he hits a great spear), his character already appears a little bland. "A smile that shines for miles" is the catchphrase he is trying to sell at the moment, alongside a happy-go-lucky, resilient babyface persona."
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- Caldwell, James. "CALDWELL'S WWE RAW RESULTS 1/28: Complete "virtual-time" coverage of live Raw – Huge Return ends Raw, Rock's first night as WWE champ, Raw Roulette, Heyman-McMahon". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
- Namako, Jason. "WWE NXT Results - 4/25/13 (Clash of Champions edition)". WrestleView. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 1/2: Developmental kicks off 2013 with NXT Title match, Shield added to storylines, Big E.'s role before main roster call-up". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- James, Justin (January 31, 2013). "James's WWE NXT Results 1/30: Tournament continues, Bo Dallas in main event, returns of Bateman, A-Ry & Mason Ryan". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved June 1, 2013.
- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 2/6 - Week 32: Tag Tournament continues, Bo Dallas's main-roster debut carries over, Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT RESULTS 2/27: The Shield attacks in the main event, a match so bad that it's good, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
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- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 3/13 – Week 37: Champ vs. Champ, Brother vs. Brother, plus Hero vs. Bateman; Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
- Pilkington, Chris. "WWE NXT results recap: Jumping Geordie Adrian Neville flies high in Antonio Cesaro clash with shock result". The Mirror. Retrieved 24 August 2013. "Judging from the reception he received during his entrance, it might be time for him to move out. The crowd took a dislike to poor Bo Dallas almost immediately. Maybe they were down on him because of Wade's star power or maybe Bo's 'young boy' persona just doesn't click at the moment."
- Chiverton, George. "CHIVERTON'S NXT SCOUTING REPORT: Latest Rankings & Evaluation of top WWE prospects, plus insight on potential new WWE signees Callihan & Del Sol". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 24 August 2013. "A sizable portion of the audience booed loudly whenever Bo Dallas tagged in off Neville and maintained their protest while he was in the ring... About seven minutes into the match, the whole crowd chanted, "No more Bo.""
- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 4/3 - Week 40: Big E. defends NXT Title, final hype for Regal-Ohno, Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 5/8 Week 45: Wyatt Family captures Tag Titles, Ohno turning face?, Sandow in action, Paige vs. Summer Rae feud continues, Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 5/15 & 5/22: El Generico debuts, O'Brian beats two NXT releases in same match, Bray Wyatt debuts mask, Natalya vs. Rae, more developments". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 25 August 2013. "J.J.'s Reax: Dallas is on a slow burn of a heel turn, acting emotionally deaf to Neville. He stumbled into being a tag champ, lost the titles, and doesn't seem to care about getting them back or even acknowledging that he lost them. This is a great way to use Dallas, who has become the John Cena of NXT, the face everyone wants to boo."
- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT RESULTS 5/29 & 6/5: Wyatts defend Tag Titles, NXT Women's Title introduced, #1 contender battle royal, Parade of released NXT wrestlers in matches". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 6 June 2013. "Dallas gave what was written as a babyface promo, but with a heelish attitude. That was a subtle thing to do."
- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT RESULTS 6/19: Wyatts vs. Ohno & Graves & Neville six-man tag, Summer Rae wins tourney match, El Generico, Xavier Woods, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 26 August 2013. "Either Dallas is the best disingenuous babyface in recent history, or there are a few very tone-deaf people involved in this."
- "5/23 WWE NXT taping spoilers: Stephanie McMahon video kicks off the NXT Divas Championship tournament, Big E Langston vs. Bo Dallas for the NXT Championship, Antonio Cesaro vs. Sami Zayn". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 6/12: Bo Dallas captures NXT Title from Big E., outstanding Generico vs. Cesaro match, Women's Title tournament continues, Wyatts". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- Pilkington, Chris. "NXT results recap: Bo Dallas retains NXT title in hard-hitting encounter with Antonio Cesaro". The Mirror. Retrieved 30 August 2013. "His apparent challengers, the once vilified Leo Kruger and Antonio Cesaro are hailed like heroes... The fans even started singing “we the people” in a clear sign that their support was behind Antonio Cesaro. And he's supposed to be the bad guy."
- Trionfo, Richard. "WWE NXT REPORT: UNITED STATES TITLE ON THE LINE; NXT TITLE ON THE LINE; DANCE SUPREMACY IN NXT ON THE LINE; TYLER BREEZE IS TYLER BREEZE; AND MORE". PWInsider. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 6/26 - Week 52: Ohno & Graves, Big E. squash, Women's tourney continues, Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 30 August 2013. "...the crowd prefers to support the unknown Keegan than Dallas."
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- James, Justin (2013-09-27). "James's WWE NXT report 9/25 - Week 65: Triple H makes "big announcement," Ohno/Hero returns, Zayn/Generico in action, Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2013-10-03.
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- "James's WWE NXT report 4/10 - Week 93: Bo Dallas breaks down, Mojo gets hyped, Neville-Brodus feud continues, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
- Caldwell, James. "Raw news: Bryan's first night as champ, Taker update, Cesaro joins Heyman, Warrior returns, RVD returns, Paige debuts & wins Divas Title, other NXT intros, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- Murphy, David (September 14, 2007). "'He's got the look'". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved August 30, 2009.
- Bernhardt, Jr., Chris (June 12, 2009). "Hernando High alumni ready to hit the ring". Hernando Today. Retrieved August 30, 2009.
- "Pro wrestler Rotunda charged with drunken driving". The Tampa Tribune. February 19, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
- Caldwell, James (February 19, 2012). "WWE developmental wrestler arrested on DUI charge". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
- Benigno, Anthony. "Bo Dallas def. Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett in a Player’s Choice Match". WWE. Retrieved 6 February 2013. "... the young gun showed his moxie by ... surprising the champion with a pin when he countered the Bull Hammer into a belly-to-belly suplex."
- James, Justin. "James's WWE NXT Results 1/30: Tournament continues, Bo Dallas in main event, returns of Bateman, A-Ry & Mason Ryan". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 6 February 2013. "Dallas with a belly-to-belly suplex out of nowhere for the win."
- Namako, Jason. "WWE NXT Results - 6/13/13 (Big E vs. Bo Dallas - NXT Title)". WrestleView. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
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- Namako, Jason (February 6, 2012). "FCW Results – 2/6/12". WrestleView. Retrieved February 11, 2012. "Bo Rotundo def. Nick Rogers by pinfall"
- Namako, Jason. "WWE NXT Results - 4/10/14 (Bo Dallas occupies NXT)". Wrestleview. Retrieved April 23.
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