Former football player at the University of Florida and for a few years the Arena Football League, Titus O’Neil decided to take a shot at a wrestling career in 2009 when he joined the WWE. It wasn’t until last summer when Titus O’Neil won any championship gold, winning the WWE Tag Team Championships with then-partner Darren Young. After this tag team had separated, for a second time, people began to realize Titus O’Neil was picking up steam before being popped with a 60-90 day suspension from Vincent Kennedy McMahon himself, pulling him in a playful action on Monday Night Raw after his first loss of 2016 earlier that night on February 8th. Titus O’Neil has returned this month and has inserted himself into the United States Championship hunt, and I for one, believe there are big things in story for Titus O’Neil.
Titus O’Neil is a 6’6”, 270-pound athletic freak that has been featured mainly in tag team competition, but since he’s gotten his chances at singles competition in the early parts of the year, he began to impress, but on Monday night in his promo with United States Champion Rusev, I believe we saw the awakening of a true player.
On the Memorial Day edition of Raw, Rusev had just made fan-favorite Zack Ryder submit to The Accolade and then grabbed a microphone to talk down on the country of America, as his gimmick would allow, and called himself an “American hero”. Titus O’Neil would emerge from the curtain and O’Neil would walk down the ramp questioning why Rusev would make these remarks on Memorial Day of all days. I’ll put a video up for when Titus O’Neil came out and confronted Rusev to show you what I’m talking about.
Mark my words, when Titus O’Neil popped Rusev in the mouth, that awoke something. For the first time in forever, I saw Titus O’Neil as a wrestler who can draw that intensity and big-fight feel, bringing something out of him that a guy like Roman Reigns can’t. Am I saying a future Titus O’Neil versus Rusev match is going to be a 5-star? Of course not, and it probably will only get eight minutes airtime at the most. Am I saying Titus O’Neil is a future world champion? It’s too early to say one way or another, but he’s going in the right direction right now, and at the right time too with the brand extension in July. It doesn’t take you long enough on this earth to realize that timing is everything, and it’s going in O’Neil’s favor.
I’d like to make a list of what Titus O’Neil has going in his favor, some of which we’ve already covered but are worthy of restating:
- Timing (We just talked about the brand extension, that creates more opportunities for under-card superstars)
- Public Perception (He’s in many ads for being a dad to his 2 kids. WWE, a publicity brand, loves this)
- Legitimate Size (6’6”, 270 pounds is someone you wouldn’t want to get in a street fight with)
- Football Background (Guys like Brock Lesnar and The Rock were former football players, but The Rock struggled in the mid-card scene before booming)
- Intensity (Titus can turn that switch like the video above and get the crowd engaged and on the edge of their seats, or out of them)
You love to see wrestlers who have done their due diligence making others look strong, finally get a push to the next scene. Perhaps he can use his spot on the mid-card right now to elevate himself in 2017. I know my attention is on “The Real Deal” Titus O’Neil!