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Wrestling / David Otunga

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David Daniel Otunga Sr. (born April 7, 1980 at Elgin, Illinois, United States) is a retired professional wrestler trained by Tom Prichard, Steve Keim and Norman Smiley.

He debuted on the extinct FCW after signing in November 2008 with the 'E, debuting on May 29, 2009 under the ring name Dawson Alexander. After this stint and several dark matches on both RAW and Smackdown, he participated on the very first season of NXT, where he became a runner-up to eventual winner Wade Barrett. His debut in the main roster was with the rest of that season's cast, as they surrounded the ring where both CM Punk and John Cena were fighting on the main event. The rest, as they say, is history...

He's 2x WWE Tag Team Champion, with John Cena and Michael McGillicutty. Retired on 2015, his role in the 'E post-retirement is as a columnist on the promotion's kickoff shows to their pay-per-views.

Outside of the WWE, he's an alumni of the Harvard Law School. And has delved into acting.



  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder:
    • It all started with betraying John Cena in a Tag title match against ShoMiz (ironically that team would later win the Tag Team Titles and Otunga would be forced to surrender the belts to Gabriel and Slater). He has since gone on to also betray his NXT mentor R-Truth during NXT, showing tons of problems between them due to him not listening, and became The Starscream to Barrett. Also within Nexus, aside from his status to Barrett, he also was first to attack Darren Young upon him getting kicked out of Nexus, after having earlier complimented him for be willing to take on Cena.
    • And now has successfully gotten Nexus to finally get rid of Wade Barrett, adding yet another person to list of those he's betrayed. Only time will tell if/when he'll betray other members of Nexus or CM Punk.
    • During CM Punk's initiation into the New Nexus, before Otunga's turn, he was ALWAYS the first to attack his fellow teammates.
  • Combat Commentator: After retiring from active competition, he became a color commentator on Smackdown after the 2016 Brand Split. He also appeared as a commentator in WWE Main Event.
  • Demoted to Extra: Was much more important in NXT season one. After losing the Tag Team titles, he disappear off TV for a while before reappearing again with a lawyer gimmick before disappearing again. As a consolation prize, however, he's the only member who's been part The Nexus start to finish.
  • The Dog Bites Back: He made at least some effort as John Laurinaitis tag team partner, taking most of the heat of the match due to the latter refusing to tag, supposedly due to his injuries. Laurinaitis finally tags in only when Cena is supposedly incapacitated, revealing his injuries are completely fake, leading a disgusted Otunga to walk out and leave him to face the match alone just as he made him.
  • Evil Genius: His role in The Nexus and Laurinaitis's group.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Made quite the impression as guest host of Raw by putting himself in a tag match with John Cena (to give Cena a chance to win after former partner Batista screwed him over) - and then doing the same thing Batista did, letting Cena get beaten down by ShowMiz.
  • Finishing Move: A chokeslam called "The Verdict", and a Spinebuster.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's a Harvard Law grad.
  • Genre Blindness: He was the one who suggested that Alberto Del Rio become champion if CM Punk gets intentionally disqualified.
  • Hidden Depths: David Otunga's current "Harvard-bred lawyer" gimmick isn't for show; he actually attended and graduated from Harvard before wrestling.note 
  • In the Hood: Used to wear a hoodie when coming out to compete until he started embracing his lawyer side.
  • It's All About Me: His theme song.
  • Miles Gloriosus: The most outspoken of Barrett's followers and The Starscream, who backs out of matches whenever possible. Thinks he's bigger name than he really is.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Addressed this in the finale of the first season of NXT. Otunga (who is a bodybuilder) was teasing Barrett (who is a bare-knuckle fighter) about looking a little weak compared to him. Barrett promptly shot back, saying what amounted to, "You train to look pretty, I train to fight."
  • Must Have Caffeine: He would constantly have a full travel mug of coffee while he was Johnny Ace's assistant.
  • Smug Snake: Holds himself as most talented member in the group, though contributes little to nothing, avoids matches, and constantly looks for ways to gain more power within Nexus.
    • Tried to use Nexus without Barrett's permission while he was away to take over Smackdown while motivated by reminding everyone Nexus is not just about Barrett. Though the mouthpiece and clearly one behind it, he failed to actually do anything himself as leader and ended up being the one who lost 5 on 5 match for Nexus despite Team Smackdown falling apart.
    • At one point during that match, the rest of Nexus was getting their asses handed to them outside the ring. Meanwhile, Otunga was just standing on the apron waiting for a tag. Even Michael Cole was on his case about ineffective a leader Otunga was at that time.
  • Spit Take: Two in one night.
    • First was when he was told that he would be facing a returning Great Khali. This spit take went straight into the face of one Natalya Neidhart.
    • When Otunga went on to mock Natalya, she promptly proceeded to slap Otunga across the face, making him spit more coffee all over a VERY unamused Teddy Long.
  • The Starscream: Showed signs of this toward The Nexus leader Wade Barrett. When the Nexus was in a situation where all of the members faced other WWE superstars and Barrett told the other members to either win or be kicked out of the group, Otunga was quick to point out this applied to Barrett as well. He expressed his desire to win a battle royal to determine the #1 contender to Randy Orton's WWE championship, which didn't impress Barrett. On the same night, he tried to make friends with John Cena, knowing that Cena was unhappy being a part of the Nexus and was the most likely member of the group to turn on Barrett. This backfired, as Cena was able to eliminate Otunga and justify his actions by telling Barrett what Otunga was trying to do. He led the Nexus on an invasion of WWE Smackdown (without Barrett) and failed miserably, with Barrett pointing out that the next time he decides to undermine his leadership, he should be successful about it. Barrett for his part seemed well aware of Otunga's discontent, and on a number of occasions put him in some really bad situations because of it, such as forcing him to forfeit the Tag Team Titles to Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater, or forcing him to wrestle Edge with the stipulation that he'd be fired if he lost. He seemed to have the rest of the Nexus on his side of the struggle; all of them left Barrett to be beaten down by Cena alone. Interestingly, he didn't seem to have a problem when CM Punk became the new leader of the Nexus.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: On NXT Season 2, he claimed he had surpassed R-Truth and tried to prove it when given a chance to wrestle any pro of his choosing. Needless to say, R-Truth was superior and would remain for the rest of Otunga's WWE run.
  • Tag Team: With Michael McGillicutty.
  • Very Punchable Man: Being John Laurinaitis' essential number two and messenger tends to have his drawbacks. That is, Otunga often ends up being an outlet for other superstars' frustration.
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay: After a gimmick switch, he went from celebrity hanger-on to a wrestling lawyer. The former is based on being engaged to Jennifer Hudson (they were together for eight years, but split in 2017 without ever formally marrying); the latter due to graduating from Harvard Law School and working at a firm before becoming a wrestler.