WWE Global Ambassador Titus O’Neil has been named the recipient of the 2020 Warrior Award. Named after WWE Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior, The Warrior Award is presented to an individual who has exhibited unwavering strength and perseverance and who lives life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of The Ultimate Warrior. The news was first reported by the Tampa Bay Times.
The Warrior Award presentation will be part of the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, streaming tomorrow, Tuesday, April 6 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. ET exclusively on Peacock in the U.S. and on WWE Network everywhere else.
Titus O’Neil is one of the most philanthropic Superstars in WWE history. A fixture in the Tampa Bay community and passionate about giving back to families in need, O’Neil founded The Bullard Family Foundation, an organization that provides families and children in need with special moments, programs, and resources to help build character, develop relationships, and strengthen communities around them.
In addition, O’Neil is an Ambassador for WWE, helping thousands of individuals through various nonprofits and WWE partners including Susan G. Komen, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Special Olympics. His passion for community and uplifting others inspired him to write his first book, “There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Kid: How I Went from Stereotype to Prototype,” in 2019. O’Neil is a Tampa Bay native and graduated from the University of Florida where he was a standout football player for the Gators.
“Titus is a dedicated father, humanitarian and WWE Global Ambassador. His unwavering passion to help others in need is simply unmatched,” said Stephanie McMahon, WWE Chief Brand Officer. “Although he does not seek recognition, I am thrilled that his work will be spotlighted to WWE fans around the world.”
Over the last 10 years, Titus O’Neil, real name Thaddeus Bullard, may have not been the most prolific Superstar in the history of the company, despite being a former WWE Tag Team Champion. The former football player has used his WWE notoriety to give back. He will be the first WWE wrestler to receive the Warrior Award. “This first is so much bigger because it means that I impacted a lot of people’s lives, both inside our locker room, our company, but most importantly outside with our fans and our supporters and our partners,” Titus said.
Bullard is heavily involved in charity work with various nonprofit groups in the Tampa Bay region. He has helped more than 245 student-athletes across the Tampa Bay area get into college, lead corporate volunteers in reading books to children in after-school programs, used his story to inspire employees from all types of companies to volunteer, and taken part in United Way’s Walking School Bus program in at-risk neighbourhoods by escorting children to school on foot to make sure they get there on time and can gain access to a healthy breakfast. Bullard hosts an annual Joy of Giving event, where he hands out toys to more than 1,000 children. He also visits children with cancer in the hospital.
Bullard became the 261st Lightning Community Hero, in 2012, with a $10 million, five-season commitment to the Tampa Bay community. Through this evening’s game, in total, the Lightning Foundation has granted $13.2 million to more than 300 different non-profits in the Greater Tampa Bay area. In 2017, the founders announced that the Community Hero program will give away another $10 million over the next five seasons.
He said, “Everybody knows that I’m someone who just wants to do the work. I don’t care who I need to work with, as long as the work is done, as long as people’s lives are changed, that environments have been made better — whether it be a school environment or health environment, whatever it may be. I’m about change, real transformational change, not transactional change.”
O’Neil unveils the story of his birth in the “My Son is a WWE Superstar” series where his mother revealed she was raped at 11, gave birth to her son at 12 and how she felt ashamed about it. Despite all the struggles being a kid raising a kid was, mother and son have developed a strong relationship. If he got into troubles, he was able to get out of them thanks to sports, football first, then wrestling with the help of his friend Batista who opened the door to him in WWE.
If he is not seen in the ring pretty often, it’s because Titus O’Neil is giving most of his time to charity and his two sons. He added, “This award is right up there with being nominated with the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award from ESPN. This has been one of those awards that really is about character. It’s about leaders. It’s about people that see you as a great human being.”
During Friday’s WWE SmackDown on FOX, a commercial for the Hall of Fame ceremony aired featuring a brief clip of Ozzy Osbourne. It is speculated he would be inducted into the 2021 Hall Of Fame. WWE haven’t confirmed it yet.
All pics courtesy of WWE