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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 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.

Early life

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.

Football career

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 / WWE

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 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.

NXT (2010–2012)

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 aruged. 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 elimated 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.

When O'Neil entered the Royal Rumble match in January 2015, he was immediately eliminated by the combined afforts of Dean Ambrose and eventual winner Roman Reigns.

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.

Personal life

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).

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

External links

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