As the WWE Universe watched The Shield viciously attack Team Hell No following the opening match on Raw, lost in the shuffle was that the tag team champions had just beaten the Prime Time Players, seemingly for the 1,000th time.
Does anyone remember back to the time when the Prime Time Players were supposed to be the future of the tag team division? Because frankly, it wasn’t too long ago. In fact, very shortly before Team Hell No became the dominant force within the tag team ranks, Darren Young and Titus O’Neil were being touted at the next big things.
Leading up to the tournament to crown new tag team champions, it appeared that the Prime Time Players were all but guaranteed the gold belts being around their waists. But that push quickly ended and they have been stuck in limbo ever since, winning easy matches while constantly coming up short against the champs and other high-profile teams.
While O’Neil is referred to as “The Real Deal,” could his partnership with Young be exactly the thing that is limiting his shot at greatness?
Sure, “Mr. No Days Off,” as Young refers to himself, is a young and hungry competitor. But in the past few years that he has been associated with the company, he has failed to sincerely catch on with fans.
He was one of the first competitors eliminated on the first season of NXT and was continually the whipping boy on the first incarnation of the Nexus.
Weeks ago while they were on commentary during a match between other teams, the true divide in Young and O’Neil’s abilities became very apparent. While O'Neil was humorous, witty and quick, Young barely spoke, and when he did, it was to respond (badly) to Michael Cole’s constant badgering. Instead, he used his pick to comb his hair continually and ended up looking silly.
The comparisons between the two cannot simply rest on their personalities alone. Now I will grant the fact that O’Neil still looks somewhat green at times, but then again, so does Ryback, and he’s been in the main event picture for months now. O’Neil and Ryback are cut from the same cloth in that they are physically imposing powerhouses that are capable of leaving destruction in their wake.
A huge difference, however, is that O’Neil has a gift (or seems to) on the microphone, while Ryback sometimes appears lost, or as if he is trying to remember what he is supposed to be saying. O’Neil is smooth and witty, with the right amount of silliness mixed into his promises that the team will make “millions and millions of dollars.”
Young appears happy to simply ride O’Neil’s coattails and hope that glory will come his way.
However, is it only a matter of time before the fans, and more importantly, the WWE brass realize that O’Neil might be better off on his own?
Unfortunately for Young, all the hair combing in the world won’t help his case if that happens.
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