This past week marked the two-year anniversary of Titus O'Neil's last full week on Season 2 of NXT. On June 22, 2010, Titus O'Neil had his last chance to prove himself to fans. O'Neil would lose a match to Michael McGillicutty on that night and stood in the ring at the end of the episode. He had an impassioned speech where he told the WWE Universe that he has used hard work to achieve all that he has in his life.
The following week would see O'Neil be the first eliminated rookie from Season 2 of NXT.
Titus O'Neil was one of only two NXT rookies to never win a match as an NXT rookie in their original season. The only other rookie to have that honor was Daniel Bryan, who seemed to turn out pretty well, all things considered.
O'Neil, on the other hand, was viewed at the time as the worst rookie to date on NXT. It can be argued that Titus is far from that based on what has happened since.
O'Neil disappeared for a while and was sent back down to Florida Championship Wrestling for some more training. O'Neil would return for the fifth season of NXT, which would end up being called NXT Redemption.
Along with Jacob Novak, Byron Saxton, Lucky Cannon, Conor O'Brian and Darren Young, O'Neil tried to start all over with the fans.
From the very start, it was rather obvious that Titus was going to be liked more than he was the first time around. Rookies like O'Brian and Novak were never liked by fans and Lucky Cannon's new attitude did not rub people the right way. Titus, on the other hand, seemed more focused and had the lovable Hornswoggle as his pro.
The running aspect of NXT was a point system with random competitions between rookies. O'Neil jumped out to a big lead in Redemption Points and was never caught in that competition. The rookie with the most Redemption Points would be immune from each elimination. After 11 weeks, O'Neil had 19 points, while the other five rookies had a combined 17 points.
By the middle of June, O'Neil had made that total 22 points and had seen the field of rookies cut to three. Two weeks later, it was just Titus and Darren Young that remained before Derrick Bateman returned to NXT after healing an injury.
Even with the two superstars in his way, Titus O'Neil continued to impress and show that he has improved from his original NXT stint. Titus would then begin to turn his back on the fans. Once O'Neil did that, he was really able to be himself, say what he felt and show his true potential—even without the fans' support.
Eventually, he would align with Darren Young, a former rival of his. Together, the two would be a force on NXT and ultimately work themselves into getting SmackDown contracts.
This past season of NXT has finally ended without O'Neil or Young being involved. Despite having 45 Redemption Points when all was said and done, it meant very little for him and his future. Titus O'Neil was a SmackDown superstar winning tag team matches alongside Darren Young.
The duo would adopt the tag team name of The Primetime Players, which is sticking rather nicely. At No Way Out, they became the No. 1 contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championships and brought A.W. on as a manager.
Together, the trio hopes to be making "millions of dollars" together.
The nickname for Titus O'Neil is now "The Real Deal" and that is pretty accurate to the feeling about him at present. O'Neil has really shown fans that he is for real and can be a part of the roster for a few years.
O'Neil is already 35 years old, but is finally doing what he said he would over two years ago by "making it a win."