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A Prime Time Players Reunion Would Add to Stale WWE Tag Team Division

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2015

The Prime Time Players never once reigned as WWE Tag Team champions.
The Prime Time Players never once reigned as WWE Tag Team champions.Credit: WWE.com

Of all the Superstars being criminally misused right now, there is no one as underutilized on the current roster than Titus O'Neil.

He's improved leaps and bounds since his NXT days back in 2010 when he was under the tutelage of Zack Ryder, showing signs of potential on NXT: Redemption a few years later. But it wasn't until he paired up with Darren Young in 2012 that his charisma and raw talent started to shine through.

Collectively known as The Prime Time Players, O'Neil and Young were one of the most entertaining tandems to grace the tag team division in years. Whether they were heels or babyfaces, the duo was always making viewers laugh with their hilarious backstage antics and outlandish humor.

Unfortunately, they never had a run as WWE Tag Team champions during their time together. Despite going for the gold on several occasions, The Prime Time Players always came up short of winning the straps.

Their two-year stint as a tag team came to an abrupt end on the Jan. 31, 2014 edition of SmackDown. Following a loss to Ryback and Curtis Axel, O'Neil lashed out at Young and annihilated him with a brutal assault, cementing the split.

From there, they engaged in a forgettable feud that culminated in a match between the two at Elimination Chamber, which was won by O'Neil. Young beat his former friend in a rematch on the subsequent edition of WWE Main Event, and they haven't crossed paths since.

Perhaps the worst part about The Prime Time Players breakup was that it wasn't built toward at all. They weren't teasing any tension in the weeks leading up to the split, and the tag team division division was already dying off as it was.

So, what was the point in separating them?

The Prime Time Players still have unfinished business as a tag team.
The Prime Time Players still have unfinished business as a tag team.Credit: WWE.com

The belief was O'Neil could finally break off on his own as a singles competitor; however, the only issue was that WWE had zero plans for him beyond the Elimination Chamber event. He floundered in the months that followed and hasn't been the same since.

O'Neil aligned with Heath Slater last summer to form Slater Gator, but the team sparingly appeared on Raw and SmackDown and lost most of their matches. Slater's legal troubles have kept him off TV in recent months, per PWInsider's Mike Johnson, leaving the NXT alum to fend for himself on WWE Superstars.

As for Young, he was sidelined with a torn ACL last April, per WWE.com, keeping him out of action for several months. Although he recently returned to competition on the house show circuit, he has yet to resurface on WWE TV (in a wrestling role, that is).

Given the stagnant state of the tag team division at the moment, it's as good of a time as ever to reunite The Prime Time Players.

While O'Neil and Young both have bright futures ahead of them as singles guys, it's clear WWE has nothing for them right now. That said, it'd be best to utilize their talent by reassembling the duo instead of putting them to waste.

It wouldn't be the first time a tag team has reconciled, and surely wouldn't be the last. Besides, their rivalry was a complete afterthought, so it wouldn't be difficult to put them back together from a storyline standpoint.

From The Usos to The Ascension to Cesaro and Tyson Kidd, there are plenty of fresh faces The Prime Time Players could mix it up with. A reunion would also allow them to have the Tag Team title run they never received the first time around.

The tag team division would by no means be perfect if The Prime Time Players were to return, but it'd be a step in the right direction.

Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, is a journalism major at Endicott College. Visit his website at Next Era Wrestling and "like" his official Facebook page to continue the conversation on all things wrestling.

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