Titus O’Neil recently spoke with the Only Gators website about making the transition from Florida State and arena football to WWE. Here are the highlights…
“I never really thought about it as an option. One of my really good friends [Dave Batista], who was one of the top guys at the time and is still a big guy in the history of the business, had been talking to me about it for a while. He said once I got done playing Arena Football I should give it a try. I said that I was not really into it. I watched it a lot as a fan growing up but always said that stuff is fake and not something I would do. He stopped me right away and said, first of all, it’s not fake though it is predetermined. He then did a few moves on me and I found out pretty early on that it’s very real.
It was one of those chance things where I was driving one day, I live in Tampa, and there is a WWE developmental facility for Florida Championship Wrestling there. I drove out one day, walked in the back door and said, ‘Hey, I want to be a wrestler.’ The next day, they brought me in for a tryout. They saw something in me right out of the gate. The process of actually getting signed with WWE is actually a very long process, but I got hired within two weeks, which was unheard of. At that point then, I was kind of very glad that I actually went on faith, walked in and basically ended up walking out with a contract after they signed me two weeks later.”