Darren Young

Darren Young
Darren Young Profile

Frederick Douglas Rosser III was born on November 2, 1983 in Union, New Jersey. His interest in wrestling came at an early age and he would participate in backyard bouts. During his high school years he excelled at football which extended into his University tenure, but ultimately wrestling was his first love.

Young was trained by the great Dennis Condrey of “Midnight Express” fame and spent several years competing on the independent circuit. During this time, his noteworthy milestones including a run as the International Wrestling Federation (IWF) Heavyweight Champion as well as a less than 2 month stint as the East Coast Wrestling Association (ECWA)’s Mid Atlantic Championship.

In 2005, he was signed to the WWE Developmental territory of Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) as Darren Young. He appeared on NXT with CM Punk as his mentor. Punk initially disliked Young as he wanted Young to adopt his “straight edge” lifestyle. Young lasted almost to the end of the series but was eliminated in the last 6 contestants.

Young then appeared on Raw with a bunch of other NXT rookies as a heel faction that eventually came to be known as the Nexus. They attacked the ring announcer, the set, John Cena, CM Punk and anything in their path.

During an episode of Raw, John Cena was in a confrontation with Wade Barett when the Nexus appeared to attack him. All the Nexus members actually left the ring save for Young who was pummeled by Cena.

Despite their abandonment, Young remained faithful to the Nexus and continued to join them in their various attacks against Cena and others. In one particular bout, the Nexus stated that as a stipulation of the match, whichever member lost the bout would be eliminated. You guessed it, Young lost and was booted out of the Nexus.

Young would later return and undergo a change to a face when he distracted Wade Barrett, allowing Randy Orton to claim the victory. From here on in, Young wrestled to losing efforts both in events like battle royals, tag matches and singles competition.

In 2011, he re-appeared on NXT and started to feud with Hornswoggle and his protégé Titus O’Neil. His partner during these encounters was his NXT mentor at the time, Chavo Guerrero to losing efforts.

He was then involved in a singles feud with Matt Striker, with Young finally winning in both singles and tag team efforts.

A feud with O’Neil arose again and was eventually settled by O’Neil defeating Young in a no disqualification match.

Come 2012, the two buried the hatchet and teamed up, feuding with the Usos as well as Alex Riley/Percy Watson. They debuted on SmackDown! known as the “Prime Time Players”. The Players had a string of victories, however they were unsuccessful at acquiring the WWE Tag Team Championship held by Kofi Kingston and R-Truth at the time.

The two turned face when they defeated the Real Americans (Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesario) in combination with Young publicly admitting to his homosexuality the week before the bout.

In 2014, The Players lost yet another bout to RybAxel (Curtis Axel and Ryback), prompting O’Neil to attack Young after the bout. The two exchanged victories in future encounters against one another. Young eventually had to take an extended period of time off due to a tear in his ACL requiring surgery.

In early 2015 Young was attacked by members of the Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) and the save was made by none other than O’Neil becoming face once again. The Prime Time Players were reunited thereafter.

The Players finally won the WWE Tag Team Championship with a defeat over the New Day (Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston and Big E Langston) at the “Money-In-The-Bank” Pay-Per-View event. They would later lose the belts back to the New Day in a fatal 4-way bout.

By the end of 2015, they would part ways and O’Neil would be suspended for 60 days after a dispute with Vince McMahon.

At present, Young is involved in an angle whereby legendary Bob Backlund is Young’s “life coach” and Young started adopting Backlund’s finishing submission move, the “Crossface Chickenwing” to great success.

He started to feud again with O’Neil as O’Neil did not feel that Young needed Backlund’s guidance. This led to some see-saw matches against the two until ultimately they reconciled… ..for the moment. In a match where the Players went against the Shining Stars (Epico and Primo), O’Neil turned on Young and attacked him, causing them the bout.

Young is an exciting, but still emerging talent. With Backlund by his side, he can only be destined for greatness in the squared circle and will hopefully taste championship gold once again.

Special thanks to Dr. Stephen Balsky for contributing the above wrestler profile.

Dr. Stephen Balsky is a chiropractor currently in practice in his native Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has been a wrestling fan since age 13 and is very passionate about the product, especially the “old-school” 80’s – 90’s era. He completed his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree in 2015 and currently is also working part-time as a professor in both business and healthcare.