The duo of Darren Young and Titus O’Neil has gained a following in WWE with its ability and swagger.
Despite all the Prime Time Players have accomplished, they won’t really be satisfied until they have millions of dollars in the bank and tag team gold around their waste.
“Teaming with Titus is a big deal for me,” Young said. “He and I mesh together like peanut butter and jelly. The Prime Time Players without a doubt are the most entertaining tag team in WWE. I believe opposites attract. I believe if we were the same, there would be no fun in it. So it’s good to have variety. So Titus is different, and I’m different.”
When comparing personalities, O’Neil sees the contrasts.
“I’m the more boisterous and outgoing [one], not afraid to say what I want to say type of guy,” O’Neil said. “Darren is more laid back, but when provoked or if given the right situation, he will give a lot more attitude or humor or whatever it may. It has to be brought out of him, but with me, I just come in the room and am ready to go.”
The one thing the two have in common is their beginnings on WWE’s reality show competition NXT (now the name given to the company’s developmental program). After appearing on prior seasons, the up-and-comers were brought in for the “NXT Redemption” series where they were opponents early on. The company eventually envisioned a future for them as a tag team.
“Vince [McMahon] just liked how we worked together and saw something in us,” Young said. “Eventually, we got contracts to SmackDown and then ended up on Raw, and now we are on both brands. We are just trying to make moves just like our entrance music says.”
O’Neil came to WWE with a football background. He was on the University of Florida Gators football team and competed in the Arena Football League. The consummate athlete believes has grown as a performer over the years.
“When I first started I thought I had to play like an old time wrestler,” O’Neil said. “I thought I had to talk like an old time wrestler and be this big robotic guy, and that’s not what WWE is about. It’s about having entertainment. You can be entertaining in an intimidating way or you can be entertaining in a humorous way. I try to be both. Me and Darren try to be the most entertaining tag team this company has seen in a long time.”
O’Neil credits the WWE legends who he feels had a role in their evolution inside and outside the ring.
“Ricky Steamboat is one of my mentors,” O’Neil said. “The company assigned him to me. I had to do matches with him for eight months straight. I’m talking eight to 10 matches a day. Ricky Steamboat is a huge reason of where I’m at as a performer. It would be understanding things psychology-wise and what would work for me and what wouldn’t for hours and hours. To be able to spend that amount of time with a Hall of Famer, one of the greatest ever to be in this business is an honor to me. I’m honored to have him as a friend too and be able to call him to get advice on different things.
“Booker T. also gave me some great advice of not being afraid to take chances. Obviously, if people watch the product now they realize we do that with Rufus ‘Pancake’ Patterson and other stuff we have done. If you go on the WWE app, you will see Darren’s got a character too in Leon “Bonecrusher” Baker. He may show up with Rufus.”