Thaddeus Bullard (April 29, 1977) is an American professional wrestler and former college and professional football player. Bullard played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally in the Arena Football League. Bullard is a professional wrestler, and is signed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), working under the ring name Titus O'Neil. He was part of the second season of NXT, and also competed in the show's fifth season, NXT Redemption.
Thaddeus Bullard was born in Boynton Beach, Florida in 1977. 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.
After college, Bullard played in the Arena Football League from 2003 to 2007 with the Utah Blaze, Tampa Bay Storm, Las Vegas Gladiators and the Carolina Cobras.
Professional wrestling career
World Wrestling Entertainment
Florida Championship Wrestling (2009–2011)
Thaddeus 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 edition 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 FCW 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.
On the season 1 finale of WWE NXT that aired June 1, 2010, it was announced Titus O'Neil would compete in the second season of the show, with Zack Ryder as his WWE pro and mentor. He debuted on the June 8 episode, teaming with Ryder in a loss to Eli Cottonwood and John Morrison. During and after the bout the two argued. The following week in the two made up with. 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 edition 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 edition of NXT Redemption, O'Neil's pro from season 2, Zack Ryder returned for one night only to face and defeat O'Neil.
On the July 12, 2011 edition 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 would enjoy success against Derrick Bateman and Tyson Kidd, as well as Bateman and JTG. However, O'Neil and Watson would find themselves unable to beat 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 February 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 edition 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 edition 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, Titus entered the Royal Rumble match at number 7. However, he was eliminated by Sheamus. On the March 18 episode of Monday Night Raw, O'Neil debuted a new character called Rufus "Pancake" Patterson, his "uncle", accompanying Darren Young in his match against John Cena, in which Young was defeated. During the early months of 2013, O'Neil wrestled in less than a handful of matches and made occasional backstage appearances. Some of his matches included a losing singles match against Sheamus. O'Neil and Darren Young also faced The Uso Brothers on the CW Saturday Morning Slam in another losing effort. On June 26 edition of WWE Main Event, O'Neil and Young successfully faced Tensai and Brodus Clay in a tag match during the closing half hour of the program. During the June 24 episode of Monday Night Raw, O'Neil came in after a match between CM Punk and Darren Young and attacked him before the ambush was thwarted by Curtis Axel. The next week on the July 1 episode of Raw, O'Neil and Young faced Axel and Punk in a tag match, losing the match after Young was pinned by Axel who capitalized on the offense delivered by Punk to Young.
On the August 19, 2013 edition of Raw, the Prime Time Players turned face in a winning effort against the Real Americans. The face turn had been speculated about for some months, especially after O'Neil's tag-team partner Darren Young's (legitimate) coming out the previous week 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.
Singles competition (2014)
On the January 31, 2014 edition of SmackDown, The Prime Time Players disbanded after O'Neil allowed Curtis Axel to pin Young during a tag-team match. After the match, O'Neil attacked Young, turning O'Neil heel in the process. 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, and a Money in the Bank qualifying battle royal in June and a battle royal for the WWE Intercontinental Championship at Battleground.
Slater-Gator & Heel Turn (July 21, 2014-February 16, 2015)
On the January 31, 2014 episode of SmackDown, The Prime Time Players disbanded after O'Neil allowed Curtis Axel to pin Young during a tag-team match. After the match, O'Neil attacked Young to turn heel. Before the Elimination Chamber, to gain momentum, Titus 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, and 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.
Return of The Prime Time Players (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. Then on the 23 February edition of Raw, the Prime Time Players reunited officially 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 (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods). 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 later defeated The New Day in a rematch at Battleground. The Prime Time Players dropped the WWE Tag Team Championships back to The New Day at SumerSlam in a fatal–four-way match, also involving The Lucha Dragons and Los Matadores. O'Neil and Young would invoke their championship rematch clause for the September 14 episode of Raw, which they ended up losing against New Day.
On the November 9 episode of Raw, O'Neil would enter the 16-man tournament to crown the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, losing to Kevin Owens in the first round. On the Survivor Series kick-off show, O'Neil participated in a five-on-five elimination tag team match, teaming with The Dudley Boyz, Neville and Goldust to defeat Stardust, The Ascension, The Miz and Bo Dallas.
At the Royal Rumble, O'Neil competed in the titular match as the number 11 entrant, eliminating Goldust before being eliminated by Big Show. O'Neil and Young appeared as a team on January 15, 2016 at a house show on WWE's India tour. On the February 2, 2016 taping of Main Event, the duo returned to team with The Usos to defeat The Ascension, Stardust and Tyler Breeze. On the February 8, 2016 episode of Raw, O'Neil had what was described as a "playful, physical" altercation with Vince McMahon as the show was going off the air while the two were on stage during Daniel Bryan's retirement celebration. The following day, O'Neil was suspended for unprofessional conduct relating to the incident, with the suspension reportedly lasting up to 90 days. It was later confirmed that he would be suspended for 60 days.
On the May 2 episode of Raw, O'Neil returned from suspension, participating in a battle royal to determine the #1 contender to the WWE United States Championship. On the May 26 episode of SmackDown, O'Neil entered a feud with United States Champion Rusev. This set up a match between O'Neil and Rusev for the United States Championship at Money in the Bank, which he lost. After the match, Rusev taunted and disrespected O'Neil's children. The following night on Raw, a rematch was scheduled but O'Neil attacked Rusev before the match began. On the July 4 episode of Raw, O'Neil lost in another title match to Rusev, ending the feud.
Titus Worldwide (2016−present)
In the 2016 WWE draft, O'Neil was drafted to Raw. On the August 1 episode of Raw, O'Neil started a slow heel turn when he questioned his former tag team partner Darren Young on his motives on being "great again". Later that night, he defeated Young by pinning him while grabbing Young's tights. Afterwards, O'Neil got into a backstage altercation with Young's manager Bob Backlund, ending in Young coming to Backlund's defense by attacking O'Neil. The week after on Raw, Young defeated O'Neil by pinning him while grabbing O'Neil's tights, mimicking the way O'Neil defeated him. On the August 15 episode of Raw, O'Neil and Young reconciled and were placed in a match against The Shining Stars. During the match, O'Neil attacked Young with a Clash of the Titus, cementing O'Neil's heel turn. Starting from September 2016, he began a losing streak whilst debuting a new gimmick known as "The Titus Brand". On the October 31 episode of Raw, O'Neil competed in a battle royal to determinate who would join Team Raw at the upcoming Survivor Series pay-per-view against Team SmackDown, but was eliminated by Sami Zayn.
On the January 2, 2017 episode of Raw, O'Neil interrupted The New Day during their New Years resolutions, asking to join the stable, only to be mocked by them. He then challenged Xavier Woods to a match, claiming him to be the "weak link" of the group, before losing to Woods. The following week on Raw, the New Day gave O'Neil a chance to redeem himself by doing the Keg Carry challenge that O'Neil failed from his time as a contestant on NXT almost seven years ago. Although O'Neil completed the challenge in the time, he dropped the keg before crossing the line, leading to O'Neil angrily pushing Kofi Kingston. This led to a match between the two, which Kingston won. On the January 16 episode of Raw, O'Neil faced Big E for the New Day's spot in the Royal Rumble match, which Big E won.
In April, Apollo Crews caught the attention of O'Neil's new "Titus Brand" after being drafted to Raw and recruited him on the brand. He later recruited cruiserweight Akira Tozawa to his brand, which he renamed to "Titus Worldwide" and turned him face in the process. After Dana Brooke challenged Asuka to a match on the November 27, 2017 episode on Raw, in which she lost, O'Neil recruited Brooke to join the brand.
Brooke made her first official appearance with the team on the January 1, 2018, episode of Raw accompanying Crews along with O'Neil in a match against Bray Wyatt, in which he was defeated and at this point Tozawa quietly left the team. On the January 8, 2018 episode of Raw, O'Neil and Crews defeated Cesaro and Sheamus in an upset win. On the January 29 episode of Raw, Crews and O'Neil competed in a match against Cesaro and Sheamus for their Tag Team Championships, in which they were unsuccessful at capturing the titles. Crews' name was later shortened to Apollo. On February 25 at Elimination Chamber, Apollo and O'Neil competed in another match for the Raw Tag Team Championships, in a losing effort. On Raw the next night, Cesaro and Sheamus defeated Apollo and O'Neil in a 2 out of 3 falls match to retain the title, winning 2-0 to end the feud. O'Neil later participated in the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at the WrestleMania 34 kickoff show, but he was unsuccessful in both matches. He was also part of the 50-man Royal Rumble match at the WWE Greatest Royal Rumble, and he was eliminated by the eventual winner Braun Strowman. When he was entering this match, he famously fell over and slid underneath the ring, which has led to several internet memes and reactions from fellow superstars. A couple of days later on Monday Night RAW during a match between Baron Corbin and No Way Jose, O'Neil would try to amend for that mistake, but as he entered the ring, he slipped and fell from the apron.
Over the 2011 Christmas holiday weekend, Bullard gave out over 800 gifts to underprivileged children near his home in Tampa, Florida.
Bullard has two sons named Thaddeus, Jr. and Titus (2005).
- Finishing moves
- Clash of the Titus (Sitout spinebuster)
- Million Dollar Slam (Pumphandle Powerslam)
- Signature moves
- With Darren Young
- Double team finishing moves
- Ghetto Blaster (Backbreaker hold (O'Neil) / Diving elbow drop (Young) combination)
- Double team finishing moves
- "The Real / Big Deal"
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- World Wrestling Entertainment
|Daniel Bryan • Darren Young • David Otunga • Heath Slater • Justin Gabriel • Michael Tarver • Skip Sheffield • Wade Barrett|
|Alex Riley • Eli Cottonwood • Husky Harris • Kaval • Lucky Cannon • Michael McGillicutty • Percy Watson • Titus O'Neil|
|AJ Lee • Aksana • Jamie Keyes • Kaitlyn • Maxine • Naomi Night|
|Brodus Clay • Byron Saxton • Conor O'Brian • Derrick Bateman • Jacob Novak • Johnny Curtis|
|Byron Saxton • Conor O'Brian • Darren Young • Jacob Novak • Lucky Cannon • Titus O'Neil • Derrick Bateman|