June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month; and here at Pro Wrestling Post, we would like to celebrate Darren Young, a fellow WWE superstar who was with the company until 2017. In August 2013, Darren Young became the first WWE superstar to openly announce he was gay to TMZ; in an impromptu interview in the middle of the airport baggage claim in Los Angeles. We look back at Darren Young vs Titus O’Neil.
“Absolutely. Look at me. Ya know. I’m a WWE superstar and to be honest with you, I’ll tell you right now, I’m gay. And I’m happy. I’m very happy,” Young said in response to the question.
WWE’s “Be a Star” program has positively influenced the company’s image throughout the years; with its hope and encouragement for all people regardless of their life choices. Many of WWE Superstars and executives expressed their gratitude for Young’s boldness and bravery.
On February 26, 2014, Main Event Darren Young and Titus O’Neil faced off in a rematch from Elimination Chamber. The Prime Time Players (Young and O’Neil who were once tag team champions; were now bitter rivals after O’Neil’s shocking betrayal and vengeful attack, on January 31, 2014, after Young lost to Ryback and Curtis Axel. How fitting these two would be the main event (Pun Intended), “Mr. No Days Off” (Young) made his energetic entrance to the ring as the crowd cheered his arrival. O’Neil came down the ramp smug and arrogant. The commentary team Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton announced O’Neil called the rematch “a waste of his time and Young had been dead weight for 731 days”.
Darren Young vs Titus O’Neil
Both competitors tie up to start the match, driving each other in the corner as the referee makes the five-count for a break. Once he moves out of the way; Young blocks a strong knife edge chop and retaliates with some of his own and a right hand. O’Neil picks his former partner up and delivers a painful body slam; he attempts an elbow drop but Young escapes. He capitalized with a clothesline and an only a one-count. Young stayed on the offense and tries for a sunrise flip but O’Neil is too strong. The big man just tosses him in the corner; Young reverses with some kicks and climbs to the top only to be set down by a hard boot to the face.
O’Neil taking his time now with his foe; he drills Young’s head face first in the middle turnbuckle. Feeling confident O’Neil starts howling in approval of his dominance to his former partner. He drops a vicious leg-drop and gets a two-count. The WWE Universe starts cheering Young back to his feet, but the cocky heel throws him around like a ragdoll while attempting two more pinfall attempts, which Young stays in it. Despite O’Neil’s impressive showing, his foe is still kicking out which is causing him to become frustrated.
O’Neil is choking his opponent now while trash-talking telling him to quit and berating the crowd. Young makes it to his feet in the corner and gets pancaked with a hard splash. Lots of howling from O’Neil, as he is overpowering his foe. As he attempts to execute a throw-away slam, Young counters and rolls him up for a surprise pinfall and gets the victory!
Winner: Darren Young
Most recently at WrestleMania 34 WWE superstar, Finn Balor represented the LGBT community in his entrance. It reflects a community coming together show that wrestling doesn’t discriminate but rather embraces difference.
None of this would have been possible if Young had not broken his silence; now the future is bright for all walks of life in WWE. Sonya Deville embraces who she is and doesn’t allow it to dictate who she is and what she is in the ring, the WWE has begun to take steps in embracing these differences and representing them on-screen free of pregetious.
Originally written by Chris King