O'Neil in April 2015
|Birth name||Thaddeus Michael Bullard|
April 29, 1977 |
Boynton Beach, Florida, United States
|Children||Thaddeus Bullard Jr.
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Titus O'Neil
|Billed height||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Billed weight||270 lb (120 kg)|
|Billed from||Live Oak, Florida
|Trained by||Florida Championship Wrestling|
Thaddeus Michael Bullard Sr. (born April 29, 1977) is an American professional wrestler and retired college and professional football player. He is currently signed to WWE, under the ring name Titus O'Neil, where he is one half of the WWE Tag Team Champions with Darren Young as part of The Prime Time Players. Bullard played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally in the Arena Football League. Bullard's career as a professional wrestler began when he was part of the second season of NXT, and also competed in the show's fifth season, NXT Redemption.
- 1 Background
- 2 Football career
- 3 Professional wrestling career
- 4 Personal life
- 5 In wrestling
- 6 Championships and accomplishments
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Thaddeus Bullard was born in Boynton Beach, Florida. He grew up in Live Oak, Florida, where he attended Suwannee High School. He was a standout player for the Suwannee Bulldogs high school football, and was recognized by USA Today, SuperPrep, and Parade magazine as a high school All-American as a senior in 1995.
Bullard accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and played for coach Steve Spurrier's Florida Gators football team from 1997 to 2000. He redshirted during the Gators' 1996 national championship season. Bullard lettered the next four seasons, playing in forty-four regular season games with three starts. He was elected student body vice president in April 2000, and graduated in August 2000. While he was an undergraduate, he was initiated as a brother of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
Professional wrestling career
World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE
Florida Championship Wrestling (2009–2011)
Bullard signed a developmental deal with World Wrestling Entertainment in 2009 and began training with their development territory, Florida Championship Wrestling. He made his television debut on the January 16, 2010 episode of FCW's show on Bright House Sports Network as Titus O'Neil in a tag team match with Skip Sheffield, losing to the team of Vance Archer and Alex Riley. On December 3, O'Neil teamed with Damien Sandow to win the Florida Tag Team Championship after defeating Xavier Woods and Mason Ryan in a match for the vacant championship. The pair lost the championship to Richie Steamboat and Seth Rollins on March 25, 2011.
Titus O'Neil competed in the second season of WWE NXT, with Zack Ryder as his mentor. He debuted on the June 8 episode, teaming with Ryder to lose to Eli Cottonwood and John Morrison. During and after the bout the two argued. The following week the two made up. Two weeks later, O'Neil was the first person eliminated from the second season of NXT, and gave a farewell speech before leaving the arena. O'Neil returned for the season finale on August 31, joining the other eliminated rookies in attacking the winner, Kaval.
In March 2011, O'Neil was selected as one of the six former NXT contestants to return to the show in its fifth season, NXT Redemption, being mentored by Hornswoggle. In the season premiere, O'Neil defeated Lucky Cannon in the main event. The two also feuded with Darren Young and his pro, Hornswoggle's old nemesis, Chavo Guerrerro. Following Lucky Cannon's elimination on the May 14, 2011 episode of NXT Redemption, O'Neil lead the fans in a rendition of Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye, as a tribute to the recently retired Edge. On the June 21 episode of NXT Redemption, O'Neil's pro from season two, Zack Ryder, returned for one night only to face and defeat O'Neil.
On the July 12, 2011 episode of NXT, he faced off against Darren Young and Derrick Bateman in a triple threat elimination match, which saw him lose to Bateman. 8 days later, O'Neil teamed up with NXT host Matt Striker in a winning effort against Darren Young and Derrick Bateman after Young was pinned by O'Neil.
On the September 8 episode of WWE Superstars, O'Neil teamed with Percy Watson in a losing effort against Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks. O'Neil and Watson defeated Derrick Bateman and Tyson Kidd, as well as Bateman and JTG, but lost to Darren Young and JTG.
On the November 16, 2011 episode of NXT, O'Neil was assaulted by a returning Darren 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 disqualifications 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 later urged his friend Percy Watson to also turn his back on the fans on the January 25, 2012 episode of NXT. 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 29 episodes of NXT. O'Neil also faced and defeated Riley on the February 22 episode of NXT. On the March 7 episode of NXT, Watson received his rematch against O'Neil and defeated O'Neil. O'Neil and Young then moved on to feud with The Usos.
The Prime Time Players (2012–2014)
On the April 18 episode of NXT, it was announced that O'Neil, along with Darren Young, had been moved to the main roster. The team made their debut 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, Santino Marella and Zack Ryder before their streak was ended on the May 18 episode of SmackDown after lost to then-Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth.
In June at the No Way Out pay-per-view, O'Neil and Young won a fatal-four way tag team match to become number one contenders for the Tag Team Championship, due assistance from A.W. who turned on his clients Primo and Epico. On the July 16 episode of Raw, O'Neil and Young unsuccessfully challenged Kofi Kingston and R-Truth for the Tag Team Championship. On the August 10 episode of SmackDown, they defeated Primo and Epico in a number one contenders match via disqualification when A.W. provoked Kingston and R-Truth, who were on commentary, into interfering in the match. That same day, A.W. was released from his contract. Despite losing A. W., the Prime Time Players received their title shot at SummerSlam, but were again defeated by Kingston and Truth. On the September 7 episode of SmackDown, Prime Time Players defeated Primo and Epico and The Usos in a triple threat tag team match to earn another shot the Tag Team Championship. However, on Raw three days later, Prime Time Players lost their title shot to the team of Daniel Bryan and Kane. At the Survivor Series pay-per-view, O'Neil took part in a 10-man elimination tag team match, but was eliminated by Tyson Kidd.
At the 2013 Royal Rumble, O'Neil entered the Royal Rumble match at number 7, but was eliminated by Sheamus. On the March 18 episode of Raw, O'Neil for one night only played a new character called Rufus "Pancake" Patterson, his "uncle", accompanying Darren Young in his match against John Cena, in which Young was defeated.
On the August 19, 2013 episode of Raw, the Prime Time Players turned face in a winning effort against the Real Americans, a week after O'Neil's tag-team partner Darren Young's (legitimate) coming out which received mainstream media coverage. At the Night of Champions event in the pre-show bout, O'Neil and Young won a tag team turmoil upon entering last, for the opportunity to face The Shield for the tag team championship, but lost to Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins on the pay-per-view. Furthering their face turn, the duo were amongst those who saved Daniel Bryan from being injured by Randy Orton. However, due to their brave actions, the Prime Time Players would be forced into a 3 on 1 handicap gauntlet match against The Shield as ordered by the COO, Triple H, as well as Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston and Rob Van Dam.
On the January 31, 2014 episode of SmackDown, O'Neil allowed Curtis Axel to pin Young during a tag-team match. After the match, O'Neil attacked Young to turn heel and disbanded the Prime Time Players. Before the Elimination Chamber, to gain momentum, O'Neil defeated Zack Ryder on Raw. O'Neil went on to defeat Young in a match at the 2014 Elimination Chamber pay-per-view.
In the following months after Elimination Chamber, O'Neil's misfortunes began piling up; he lost a rematch to Young via roll up on the February 26 episode of Main Event. Sheamus and Big Show defeated O'Neil multiple times on both Raw and Main Event, whereas on SmackDown Dolph Ziggler and Adam Rose gained victories over O'Neil. From mid-April to mid-June, O'Neil commonly appeared on Superstars, where he suffered many losses to Kofi Kingston and Big E. He was also unsuccessful in winning four battle royals: the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXX, a battle royal for the WWE United States Championship in May, a Money in the Bank qualifying battle royal in June, and a battle royal for the WWE Intercontinental Championship at Battleground.
In July 2014, Heath Slater formed a tag team with O'Neil, later known as Slater Gator. In July and August, they largely wrestled on Main Event and Superstars. Despite wins over the likes of Sin Cara & Zack Ryder and Goldust & Stardust, they suffered losses to the likes of Hornswoggle & El Torito and Big E & Kofi Kingston. In September, Slater Gator featured more on Raw, but this was at the expense of O'Neil losing multiple matches to Adam Rose, as well as Slater Gator losing to the team of Rose and the Bunny.
WWE Tag Team Champion (2015–present)
On the February 16 episode of Raw, O'Neil turned face by saving his former tag team partner Darren Young from an attack from The Ascension, disbanding Slater Gator. To acknowledge this breakup, Slater announced on social media that he is going to 'focus on himself'. Then on the 23 February edition of Raw, The Prime Time Players officially reunited to battle The Ascension, with Young picking up the victory. O'Neil participated in the 2nd Annual André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31, before being eliminated by Ryback. At Elimination Chamber, the Prime Time Players participated in the first ever tag team Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Tag Team Championship, however they were the last team to be eliminated by the winners and defending champions The New Day (Xavier Woods, Big E and Kofi Kingston). At Money in the Bank, O'Neil and Young defeated The New Day to win the Tag Team Championship, their first titles in WWE. They made their first successful title defense at Battleground, where they defeated The New Day.
Bullard has two sons. Thaddeus Jr. "TJ" and Titus Bullard. Titus is also a Christian. He is a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity. Titus was nominated for the MEGA Dad Awards 2015 "Celebrity Dad of the Year" and on May 28 was announced the winner. On July 19, after the Battleground pay-per-view ended, O'Neil, Young and Mark Henry were pulled over by the police. The reasons are yet unknown, but the three weren't arrested, nor fined.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Big boot
- Body avalanche
- Fallaway slam, sometimes saying See Ya!, before executing the move
- Pay Check (Multiple backbreakers, followed by tossing the opponent aside)
- Pounce (Running low-angle shoulder block, after an opponent has been Irish whipped off of adjacent ropes) - adopted from Monty Brown
- Pumphandle slam – 2011–2015
- Sitout powerbomb
- Sidewalk slam
- "The Real/Big Deal"
- "Million Dollar Partner" (by Darren Young)
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
Other awards and honors
- 2015 MEGA Dad Awards Celebrity Dad of the Year
- Florida Gators football, 1990–1999
- List of Omega Psi Phi brothers
- List of University of Florida alumni
- GatorZone.com, Football History, 2000 Roster
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