Wrestling News Source had the chance to interview one half of The Prime Time Players, Titus O’Neil and they covered a variety of topics. The highlights are below:
FEELINGS ON BEING NOMINATED AND WINNING CELEBRITY DAD OF THE YEAR:
Being nominated alone was just a treat but to actually win it was truly an honour considering the people I was in competition with. It’s not only a great opportunity for myself but for the other contestants as well; Ashton Kutcher, Vin Diesel, Stephen Amell. All these guys that are nominated for them to help bring a spotlight to what I feel is the most important aspect of family when it comes to building communities and that’s fatherhood. I think fathers is strong role model, a strong male leadership is definitely important for all communities to grow and the first community is family. So, it’s definitely an honour but as I’ve said time and time again I share this with every father out there who looks at fatherhood not only as a huge responsibility but a great honour as well.
ON HOW HE HANDLES BEING BOTH A WWE SUPERSTAR AND FATHER AT THE SAME TIME
Well, it’s just about priorities. For me my faith, my family and everything else comes in that order. I speak to my kids everyday. Sometimes two or three times a day and on Facetime when I’m on the road. We hve a very close relationship. When I’m home, I’m home. I don’t go out and drink or smoke or anything like that so my kids are very well understanding of ‘daddy’s going to work but he’s still a phone call away’ and I think it’s no secret to anybody that if there were something to prevent me from being a parent and a responsible father then I would just switch careers. Because at the end pf the day, I don’t think anything should keep you from being a parent. And this career’s not kept me from being a parent and I don’t think any other career would either.
ON WHAT DROVE HIM TO WANT TO BE A WWE SUPERSTAR
Really it wasn’t anything that drove me to want to do it. It’s just I really literally had an accidental meeting with Dusty Rhodes and Steve Keirm just because I was inquiring about it. Dave Batista, who’s a really close criend of mine he’s been telling me I should give it a try and I was just dead set on going to coach college football and I was driving one day in South Tampa and right across the street was FCW and I walked in and ended up having a conversation with Dusty and Steve later that evening and two weeks later I was signed and learning to become a WWE superstar.
ON BACKSTAGE HELP HONING HIS SKILLS
Fit Finlay, Arn Anderson, Mike Rotunda and then Vince and Triple H have been very key in helping me out. But really, it comes down to the talent. Even though we’re rivals, every member of The New Day, Los Matadores, every other tag team; The Usos, everybody I’ve had the opportunity, The Ascension. Everybody’s given me an opportunity to learn and I feel like I definitely wouldn’t be at the point that I’m at right now without those guys along with Darren, my tag team partner, helping me out each step of the way. But you’ve got to want help and you’ve got to be able to accept it the good and the bad criticisms that come along with that help. I’ve been coached my entire life to win and been on some pretty successful football programs. So for me, the hard work was always there it’s just learrning what works for me and just feeling more and more comfortable with just being myself more so than anything and just learning what works for me and whT doesn’t. And the things I can’t do I won’t try to do
THOUGHTS ON THE TAG TEAM DIVISION
I think the tag team division is the most exciting it’s been in a long time. The Usos, I feel, kind of kickstarted that when they were feuding with The Wyatts and The Shield. Right now we have tag teams that are trying to get to that level that can bring the importance of tag team not only for the product but for us as performers. We all have an oportunity to grow through the tag team division. So, it’s a very exciting time especially with The Dudley Boyz coming back one the most storied and historic successful teams in WWE history of not THE most successful team in WWE history as far as championships are concerned. So, it’s a great opportunity for us to go out there and learn from them but at the same token they’re going for the same banner as we’re going for and that’s WWE Tag Team gold.
ON HOW IT FELT WHEN THE PRIMETIME PLAYERS WON THEIR FIRST TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
It was five years of frustration that really just came out in emotions of joy. This business is very demanding on our body physically and emotionally and we have worked very hard to get our place and make our place not only in the tag team division bit just in the WWE in general and being representatives of the company in and outaide of the ring and so Winning those tag team titles that night just culminated i. What we’ve worked for and earned. We earned that right to be the WWE Tag Team Champions and we’re still continuing to earn that right and this week on Monday Night Raw the season premiere we have an opportunity to go for the tag team titles again and hopefully we’ll roll into Beaumont as the tag team champions for the second time
ON WORKING WITH HEATH SLATER
It’s the same for me. They’re both very good in-ring competitors. Very charismatic and funnyand we bounce things off each other. The one thi I like about both of them is that what they’re good at they’re good at and what they’re not good at they’re not afraid to say ‘hey I don’t feel comfortable with that” And I’m the same way and so we just try to complement each other with what we’re good at and we just have a natural chemistry. I think anytime you have any performers that have some talent especially when it comes to just having good character and attitude things come off so much better on television. And so, whether it be with Heath Slater or Darren Young, I’ve been very cortunate to have two guys that are both great in-ring competitors but also entertaining when need be
ON WHAT DRIVES HIM TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY
People invested in me when they didn’t have to. At a very young age I grew up in a single parent home. I had an opportunity to go to a place called the Florida Shares Bboys’ Ranch which many people donated their time, their ties, their talent and resources to help kids like me that were on a wrong path to have a better chance at succeeding in life. And I feel like every day I wake up I have an opportunity to pay those people back and I think it’s just inheritantly in me to not only destroy the sterotype of male athletes or the athlete i. General but also the African-American male and so I wake up every morning with that mindset that you know I’m not a stereotype. I am a bridge builder and a barrier breaker and I try to do that same thiing with my kids. Teach that same thing to my kids that ot doesn’t matter what colour my skin is it really comes down to content of character and character is what you do for people when they can xo nothing for you in return. And so people did things for me when I couldn’t do anything for them in return. So I get great joy out of giving back to people and seeing people enjoy life because thats what we’re all here for. We’re all here for a purpose and I feel like that purpose is to make everyone arou d you better and I’m just doi g my piece to ensure I can do that as much as I can