The Prime Time Players
|The Prime Time Players|
O'Neil (left) and Young (right) in April 2015
|Heights||Young: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
O'Neil: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
|509 lb (231 kg)|
|Debut||January 18, 2012|
|Years active||2012–2014, 2015–present|
They won the WWE Tag Team Championship in 2015 at Money in the Bank against the The New Day and later lost them back to The New Day at SummerSlam in a Fatal 4-way match that also involved Los Matadores and The Lucha Dragons.
Background and formation (2012–2013)
Initially, O'Neil (who was then a face) and Young were rivals on WWE NXT during its fifth season, named NXT Redemption. Early on, O'Neil was paired with then-friend Percy Watson against Young and his NXT pro, Chavo Guerrero. The feud was put on hold when Guerrero was released and Young was suspended. On the November 16, 2011 episode of NXT, O'Neil was assaulted by a returning Young. Young was then able to get the better of O'Neil twice in tag team matches. The conclusion to O'Neil's feud with Young came when O'Neil defeated Young in a no disqualification match on the January 18 episode of NXT. O'Neil then turned heel after the match, verbally ripping on the audience, his former pro Hornswoggle, and NXT itself.
O'Neil urged Watson to also turn his back on the fans on the January 25, 2012 episode of NXT Redemption. When Watson refused, O'Neil shoved him and a match between the two was booked, leading to O'Neil defeating Watson. O'Neil continued to attack Watson after the match, leading to Alex Riley saving Watson. O'Neil then formed an alliance with former enemy Young, and the duo teamed up to defeat Watson and Riley on the February 1 and February 29 episodes of NXT Redemption. O'Neil also faced and defeated Riley on the February 22 episode. On the March 7 episode, Watson received his rematch against O'Neil and defeated O'Neil. O'Neil and Young then moved on to feud with The Usos.
On the April 18 episode of NXT Redemption, it was announced that O'Neil and Young had been moved to the main roster. The team made their debut for the brand on the April 20 episode of SmackDown with a victory over The Usos. They started on a winning streak defeating the likes Ezekiel Jackson and Yoshi Tatsu and Santino Marella and Zack Ryder. However, on the May 18 edition of SmackDown, their winning streak ended when they were defeated by the Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth. On the June 1 edition of SmackDown, O'Neil and Young named themselves the Prime Time Players. At No Way Out, they won a Fatal-4-Way tag team match to become the number one contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championship following assistance from A. W. who had turned on his clients, Primo and Epico in favor of the Prime Time Players, prompting a feud between the two tag teams. On the July 16 episode of Raw, the Prime Time Players unsuccessfully challenged Kofi Kingston and R-Truth for the WWE Tag Team Championship.
O'Neil and Young bounced back with two singles victories over Kingston and R-Truth. On the August 10 episode of SmackDown, they defeated Primo and Epico in a number one contenders match via disqualification when A. W. provoked Kofi and R-Truth (who were doing guest commentary) into interfering in the match. That same day, A. W. was released from his contract. On the August 13 edition of Raw, it was announced that the Prime Time Players would receive their championship match at SummerSlam. That same night, after R-Truth defeated Heath Slater, O'Neil and Young ambushed R-Truth and left him laying in the ring (Kingston was away on an international tour). At SummerSlam, O'Neil & Young were defeated by Kingston and R-Truth. On the September 7 edition of SmackDown, O'Neil and Young defeated Primo and Epico and The Usos in a triple threat tag match to once again become the number one contenders to the Tag Team Championship. The following week of Raw, they were defeated by Daniel Bryan and Kane, who became the new number one contenders. At Survivor Series, the Prime Time Players took part in a losing effort in a ten-man elimination tag team match.
Face turn and split (2013–2014)
In an interview released on August 15, 2013, Young revealed his homosexual orientation in real-life. On the August 19 episode of Raw, the Prime Time Players started to wrestle as faces, due to management's and the fans' support for Darren Young coming out. At the pre-show of Night of Champions, the Prime Time Players won a "Tag Team Turmoil" match and thus a title shot by last eliminating the Real Americans (Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger). Later that night, they lost to defending champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns of the Shield. After their face turn they did several comedy segments backstage including selling merchandise and a hotdog eating contest.
On the January 31, 2014 episode of SmackDown after Young was pinned in a tag team match against Ryback and Curtis Axel, O'Neil viciously attacked him after the match, turning heel and officially disbanding the team. They would have a match at Elimination Chamber, with O'Neil getting the victory. A rematch took place on the February 26 episode of Main Event, which was won by Young. In April, Young underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee that would take him out of action for several months. Meanwhile, O'Neil formed a dysfunctional tag team with Heath Slater, known as Slater-Gator (a reference to O'Neil being a Florida Gator), to little success.
On February 16 episode of Raw, O'Neil made a save for Young who, along with independent wrestler Kevin Kross, was being attacked by The Ascension. This signified a reunion of the team and face turn for O'Neil. On the February 23 episode of Raw, they officially reunited and gave The Ascension their first loss in the WWE. They once again defeated The Ascension on March 14 episode of Main Event. They then participated in the André the Giant Memorial Trophy Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31, which was won by The Big Show. After WrestleMania, they began performing comedic skits that poked fun at other tag teams including The New Day, The Ascension, Los Matadores and Tyson Kidd and Cesaro. They became one of the five teams to challenge the New Day for the Tag Titles at Elimination Chamber, and eliminated The Ascension and Tyson Kidd and Cesaro, but lost after all of The New Day pinned Titus O'Neil. The following week on SmackDown, they won a triple threat tag team match against the Lucha Dragons and The Ascension, to become the number one contenders for the tag team championship against The New Day at Money in the Bank. At Money in the Bank, the Prime Time Players defeated The New Day to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship, their first ever titles in WWE. At Battleground, the Prime Time Players successfully retained their titles against The New Day. At SummerSlam, The New Day defeated The Prime Time Players in a Fatal-4-Way tag team match to become the new WWE Tag Team Champions. The Prime Time Players defeated Los Matadores on the August 28 episode of Superstars after Darren Young got the win. The Prime Time Players defeated The Ascension on the October 9 episode of Superstars.
- Double team finishing moves
- Double team signature moves
- Entrance themes
Championships and Accomplishments
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- "WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston & R-Truth def. The Prime Time Players". WWE. 2012-08-19. Retrieved 2012-08-21.
- Caldwell, James. "CALDWELL'S WWE SURVIVOR SERIES PPV REPORT 11/18: Complete "virtual time" coverage of live PPV - Punk-Cena-Ryback". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "WWE wrestler Darren Young comes out as gay". Telegraph. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
- Caldwell, James. "Caldwell's WWE Raw results 8/19 (Hour 2): Shield wrestles two handicap matches, RVD gets a mouthpiece, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- Howell, Nolan. "WWE Night of Champions: Bryan reaches the mountaintop". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
- "PARKS'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 1/31: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Friday show, including The Shield vs. Daniel Bryan & Sheamus & Rey Mysterio".
- "The Prime Time Players poke fun at The New Day: SmackDown, April 2, 2015". WWE. Retrieved 2015-04-03.
- "The Prime Time Players mock The Ascension: Raw, April 6, 2015". WWE. Retrieved 2015-04-07.
- "The Prime Time Players mock Los Matadores: Raw, April 13, 2015". WWE. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
- "The Prime Time Players poke fun at Tyson Kidd & Cesaro: SmackDown, April 23, 2015". WWE.
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- Parks, Greg. "PARKS' WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 6/1". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- Trionfo, Richard. "WWE SUPERSTARS REPORT: TAG TEAMS IN THE MAIN EVENT; MAHAL/MCINTYRE; KIDD/OTUNGA; AND TED DIBIASE RETURNS AGAINST JTG". PWInsider. Retrieved September 24, 2013.
- "The Prime Time Players impersonate D-Generation X: Raw, May 11, 2015". YouTube. Retrieved November 7, 2015.
- "Cagematch profile". Cagematch. Retrieved March 4, 2010.
- Clapp, John (2012-07-20). "Meet the hit maker in The Prime Time Players' corner". WWE. Retrieved 2012-08-14.
- "Making Moves". iTunes. Retrieved 2012-12-03.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Prime Time Players.|
- Darren Young
- Titus O'Neil