Thaddeus Michael Bullard Sr., aka Titus O'Neil. 6'6", 270 pounds. Born in Boynton Beach, Florida, raised in Live Oak, Florida, now residing in Tampa, Florida. Father of two. MEGA Dad Celebrity Dad of the Year. Pretty good college football player (played in 48 games for the Florida Gators from 1997 to 2000). Played for four different Arena League football teams. Kinda sorta won NXT Redemption. FCW tag team champion with Damien Sandow. Once a Prime Time Player. Actually twice a Prime Time Player. WWE tag team champion with a Prime Time Player. Nearly fired for getting into a shoving match with Vince McMahon following Daniel Bryan's retirement ceremony. Eventually suspended for 60 days for the incident.
Miroslav Barnyashev, aka Alexander Rusev, aka Rusev. 6'0", 305 lbs (1.83 meters,138 kg). 2-time and current WWE United States Champion. Once powerlifted and rowed, but decided wrestling was good. Trained by the unlikely combination of Gangrel and Rikishi. Super athlete. Crushes people, usually those of a different color or race, but has expanded beyond that. Managed by a lady that was in Pitch Perfect. Lives with lady from Pitch Perfect in Nashville. About to marry said lady from Pitch Perfect. Clippers fan. Bulgarian. Russian. Probably Bulgarian.
WHY ARE THEY FIGHTING?
Rusev believes he's an American hero and such. Titus O'Neill, an American, takes exception to that. Or something. Pretty much that.
WHAT ARE THEY FIGHTING FOR?
The WWE United States Heavyweight Championship. With Mike "The Miz" Mizanin filming some D-movie, it's the only midcard belt around at the moment.
We pick up this story at Extreme Rules when Rusev defeated Kalisto for the United States Championship. As whoever handles the changing of the nameplate changed the nameplate, Rusev declared that he would hold the championship for the next seven years.
A lofty goal, yes. But not impossible; after all, Bruno Sammartino and Verne Gagne held their respective promotion's top title for seven years. But immediately, people panicked as a returning John Cena threatened to put an end to that much earlier than expected. After all, Cena did take the US title from Rusev the first time around two years ago, sending him on a talespin he's only beginning to recover from.
After Rusev won the rematch later the same week, indeed there would be a new challenger.
No, not you, John. Not this time.
And his name is Titus O'Neil.
Titus O'Neil? The guy that got suspended? Really? (BTW: Are you the least bit surprised they used his suspension as part of an angle? Neither am I.)
Yeah. Rusev isn't impressed either. Remember when that would be a much steeper drop?
In a perfect world, Rusev would crush the former Gator, Blazer, Storm, Gladiator, Cobra, and Prime Time Player right back into obscurity.
But I must remind you that this Sunday is Father's Day (at least in the States). Combine that with a redemption story in the making (Titus taking his suspension like a man, being the good soldier and all that), and don't be shocked if a new United States Champion is crowned. My mind says Rusev, but my heart says Titus O'Neil wins in an upset.
Join the best wrestling community in the galaxy this Sunday starting at 7pm ET and see who is the real American hero.