The Prime Time Players
The Prime Time Players

The Prime Time Gamers had been an American skilled wrestling tag workforce performing within the WWE, composed of Darren Younger and Titus O’Neil. The 2 initially competed on WWE NXT, debuting as a workforce in January 2012 and had been later promoted to the primary roster in April of that yr.

After disbanding and a quick feud in 2014, The Prime Instances Gamers reunited in February 2015 and subsequently captured the WWE Tag Group Championship from The New Day, at Cash within the Financial institution earlier than splitting as soon as once more in February 2016 and subsequently beginning a feud between the 2 once more.

Historical past

Formation (2012)

The Prime Time Gamers in November 2013

Initially, O’Neil (who was then a face) and Younger had been rivals on WWE NXT throughout its fifth season, named NXT Redemption. Early on, O’Neil was paired with then-friend Percy Watson towards Younger and his NXT professional, Chavo Guerrero. The feud was placed on maintain when Guerrero was launched and Younger was suspended. On the November 16, 2011, episode of NXT, O’Neil was assaulted by a returning Younger.[1] Younger was then capable of get the higher of O’Neil twice in tag workforce matches.[2][3] The conclusion to O’Neil’s feud with Younger got here when O’Neil defeated Younger in a no disqualification match on the January 18 episode of NXT. O’Neil then turned heel after the match, verbally ripping on the viewers, his former professional Hornswoggle, and NXT itself.[4]

O’Neil urged Watson to additionally flip his again on the followers on the January 25, 2012, episode of NXT Redemption. When Watson refused, O’Neil shoved him and a match between the 2 was booked, resulting in O’Neil defeating Watson. O’Neil continued to assault Watson after the match, resulting in Alex Riley saving Watson.[5] O’Neil then fashioned an alliance with former enemy Younger, and the duo teamed as much as defeat Watson and Riley on the February 1 and February 29 episodes of NXT Redemption.[6][7] O’Neil additionally confronted and defeated Riley on the February 22 episode.[8] On the March 7 episode, Watson acquired his rematch towards O’Neil and defeated O’Neil.[9] O’Neil and Younger then moved on to feud with The Usos.[10]

WWE Tag Group Championship pursuits and cut up (2012–2014)

On the April 18 episode of NXT Redemption, it was introduced that O’Neil and Younger had been moved to the primary roster. The workforce made their debut for the SmackDown model on the April 20 episode of SmackDown with a victory over The Usos.[11] They began on a profitable streak defeating the likes Ezekiel Jackson and Yoshi Tatsu and Santino Marella and Zack Ryder.[12][13] Nevertheless, on the Might 18 version of SmackDown, their profitable streak ended once they had been defeated by the Tag Group Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Reality.[14] On the June 1 version of SmackDown, O’Neil and Younger named themselves the Prime Time Gamers. At No Means Out, they gained a Deadly-four-Means tag workforce match to change into the primary contenders for the WWE Tag Group Championship following help from A. W. who had turned on his shoppers, Primo and Epico in favor of the Prime Time Gamers, prompting a feud between the 2 tag groups.[15] On the July 16 episode of Uncooked, the Prime Time Gamers unsuccessfully challenged Kofi Kingston and R-Reality for the WWE Tag Group Championship.[16]

O’Neil and Younger bounced again with two singles victories over Kingston and R-Reality.[17][18] On the August 10 episode of SmackDown, they defeated Primo and Epico in a primary contenders match by way of disqualification when A. W. provoked Kofi and R-Reality (who had been doing visitor commentary) into interfering within the match.[19] That very same day, A. W. was launched from his contract.[20] On the August 13 version of Uncooked, it was introduced that the Prime Time Gamers would obtain their championship match at SummerSlam. That very same night time, after R-Reality defeated Heath Slater, O’Neil and Younger ambushed R-Reality and left him laying within the ring (Kingston was away on a world tour).[21] At SummerSlam, O’Neil & Younger had been defeated by Kingston and R-Reality.[22] On the September 7 version of SmackDown, O’Neil and Younger defeated Primo and Epico and The Usos in a triple menace tag match to as soon as once more change into the primary contenders to the Tag Group Championship. The next week of Uncooked, they had been defeated by Daniel Bryan and Kane, who grew to become the brand new primary contenders. At Survivor Sequence, the Prime Time Gamers took half in a shedding effort in a ten-man elimination tag workforce match.[23]

In an interview launched on August 15, 2013, Younger revealed his gay orientation in real-life.[24] On the August 19 episode of Uncooked, the Prime Time Gamers began to wrestle as faces, as a consequence of administration’s and the followers’ help for Darren Younger popping out.[25] On the pre-show of Evening of Champions, the Prime Time Gamers gained a “Tag Group Turmoil” match and thus a title shot by final eliminating the Actual Individuals (Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger). Later that night time, they misplaced to defending champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns of the Protect.[26] After their face flip they did a number of comedy segments backstage together with promoting merchandise and a hotdog consuming contest.

On the January 31, 2014, episode of SmackDown after Younger was pinned in a tag workforce match towards Ryback and Curtis Axel, O’Neil viciously attacked him after the match, turning heel and formally disbanding the workforce.[27] They might have a match at Elimination Chamber, with O’Neil getting the victory. A rematch occurred on the February 26 episode of Fundamental Occasion, which was gained by Younger. In April, Younger underwent surgical procedure to restore a torn ACL in his left knee that will take him out of motion for a number of months. In the meantime, O’Neil fashioned a dysfunctional tag workforce with Heath Slater, generally known as Slater-Gator (a reference to O’Neil being a Florida Gator), to little success.

Reunion and WWE Tag Group Champions (2015–2016)

O’Neil and Younger in March 2015

On February 16 episode of Uncooked, O’Neil made a save for Younger who, together with unbiased wrestler Kevin Kross, was being attacked by The Ascension. This signified a reunion of the workforce and face flip for O’Neil. On the February 23 episode of Uncooked, they formally reunited and gave The Ascension their first loss within the WWE. They as soon as once more defeated The Ascension on March 14 episode of Fundamental Occasion. They then participated within the André the Big Memorial Trophy Battle Royal at WrestleMania 31, which was gained by The Huge Present. After WrestleMania, they started performing comedic skits that poked enjoyable at different tag groups together with The New Day,[28] The Ascension,[29] Los Matadores[30] and Tyson Kidd and Cesaro.[31] They grew to become one of many 5 groups to problem the New Day for the Tag Titles at Elimination Chamber, and eradicated The Ascension and Tyson Kidd and Cesaro, however misplaced in any case of The New Day pinned Titus O’Neil.

The next week on SmackDown, they gained a triple menace tag workforce match towards the Lucha Dragons and The Ascension, to change into the primary contenders for the tag workforce championship towards The New Day at Cash within the Financial institution. At Cash within the Financial institution, the Prime Time Gamers defeated The New Day to seize the WWE Tag Group Championship, their first ever titles in WWE. At Battleground, the Prime Time Gamers efficiently retained their titles towards The New Day. At SummerSlam, The New Day defeated The Prime Time Gamers in a Deadly-4-Means tag workforce match to change into the brand new WWE Tag Group Champions. On the September 7 episode of Uncooked, it was introduced that The New Day would defend the titles towards The Prime Time Gamers in a rematch the next week, and the winners would defend the titles towards The Dudley Boyz at Evening of Champions. On the September 14 episode of Uncooked, The New Day defeated The Prime Time Gamers, thus establishing The New Day vs. The Dudley Boyz for Evening of Champions.

In the direction of the tip of 2015, O’Neil and Younger started specializing in singles careers. On the November 9 episode of Uncooked, O’Neil competed within the first spherical of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match towards Kevin Owens, in a shedding effort. On the Survivor Sequence pre-show, O’Neil teamed with a returning Goldust, The Dudley Boyz and Neville towards The Cosmic Wasteland, The Miz and Bo Dallas, in a five-on-five conventional Survivor Sequence elimination tag workforce match, in a profitable effort.[32] O’Neil and Younger appeared as a workforce on January 15, 2016, at a home present on WWE’s India tour.[33] Younger teamed with Damien Sandow on the Royal Rumble 2016 Kickoff Present in a Deadly 4-Means tag workforce match, whereas O’Neil competed within the Royal Rumble match itself. On the February 2, 2016, taping of Fundamental Occasion, the duo returned to workforce with The Usos, to defeat The Ascension, Stardust and Tyler Breeze.[34] They’ve since quietly disbanded when O’Neil acquired a 60-day suspension after the February 8 episode of Uncooked after an alleged bodily altercation with Vince McMahon. After O’Neil’s suspension, each Younger and O’Neil returned to singles competitors. O’Neil started a feud with Rusev for the WWE United States Championship whereas Younger began a storyline with Bob Backlund, difficult The Miz for the WWE Intercontinental Championship.[35][36]

Second feud (2016)

When the WWE Draft returned in July 2016, each of them had been drafted to the Uncooked model. On the August 1 episode of Uncooked, O’Neil began a gradual heel flip when he questioned Younger’s motives on being “nice once more”. Later that night time, he defeated Younger when he pinned him whereas grabbing Younger’s tights. Afterwards, he bought right into a backstage altercation Bob Backlund earlier than Younger got here to the protection of Backlund by attacking O’Neil.[37] The week after on Uncooked, Younger defeated O’Neil by way of pinfall by grabbing O’Neil’s tights, mimicking the best way O’Neil defeated him.[38] On the August 15 episode of Uncooked, Younger and O’Neil reconciled and had been positioned in an advert hoc tag workforce match towards The Shining Stars. In the course of the match, O’Neil attacked Younger, formally turning heel within the course of for the primary time since 2015.[39]

On October 29, 2017, Darren Younger was launched from his WWE contract thus ending any prospects of a reunion.

Reception

Former WWE wrestler Shad Gaspard has accused the workforce of basing their gimmick off his former workforce Cryme Tyme, albeit with out the “gangster type” and bling-bling style.[40][41]

Championships and accomplishments

  • Professional Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI ranked O’Neil No. 82 of the highest 500 singles wrestlers within the PWI 500 in 2013[42]
    • PWI ranked Younger No. 89 of the highest 500 singles wrestlers within the PWI 500 in 2013[43]
    • Inspirational Wrestler of the 12 months (2013) – Younger[44]
  • Rolling Stone
    • Most Deserved Push (2015)[45]
  • WWE
    • WWE Tag Group Championship (1 time)

Different awards and honors

  • MEGA Dad Awards
    • MEGA Movie star Dad of the 12 months (2015) – O’Neil

  • Darren Younger
    • WWE profile
    • CageMatch profile (in German)
  • Titus O’Neil
    • WWE profile
    • Florida Gators soccer profile


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