To understand where the Bloodline saga is and to figure out where it may be going requires a trip down memory lane and the moments that led Roman Reigns from being the Big Dog to the Tribal Chief.
And it begins with WrestleMania 36, COVID-19, and Reigns’ decision to join his family in quarantine. That decision earned him more disrespect from fans who already despised him and ingratitude by WWE that revealed itself during the pandemic.
Having had enough, Reigns flipped the script. He aligned himself with Paul Heyman and began to leverage his status as WWE’s marquee star to his advantage. As an established commodity, Reigns gathered Jimmy and Jey Uso, his cousins, to strengthen his influence, ultimately benefitting their clan.
But instead of recognizing Reigns’ plot to increase his tribe’s stranglehold over a corporate giant, viewers focused on Reigns’ treatment of Jimmy and Jey. Many called his tactics gaslighting and manipulation, among other things.
What it was, in reality, was tough love. And the proof is in the programming.
After a series of selfish decisions created a division within the clan, making them vulnerable to their enemies, Reigns had no choice but to exile Jimmy from the Island of Relevancy.
The look on Reigns’ face moments before ordering a Code Red and immediately after its execution indicates that his decision was out of necessity, to project strength to their opponents, not ego run amok.
But it wasn’t until Paul Heyman revealed that Roman Reigns was looking to groom Jey Uso to be the next Tribal Chief that it all made sense.
Some will insist that this is another vehicle Reigns will use to manipulate Jey. But with whispers that the Undisputed Universal Champ may someday run off to Hollywood to become a movie star, someone has to take over the family business, and that person is Jey Uso.
Despite having never competed at a world championship level in the singles ranks, Jey jumped at the opportunity when it presented itself in 2020, becoming the first challenger to the new Reigns regime.
Rather than take it easy on Jey because of their relationship, Reigns tortured the tag team sensation as any champion in his position would. Along the way, Jey’s passion impressed the Big Uce, earning him the moniker of “Main Event” Jey Uso.
What spectators perceived as abuse was Reigns turning Jey into a diamond through intense heat and pressure, which he would face if he were the world champion.
But at various points, Jimmy Uso kept encouraging his twin to get away from Reigns as times seemed rough. Was this an honest attempt to pull his brother from what he thought was a bad situation? Or did Jimmy see the writing on the wall, as Heyman suggests, and realize that his run with his brother as a team was ending, thus causing him to look out for his interests?
When confronting Reigns, Jimmy said he had no desire to replace his cousin as the Head of the Table but to continue running things as the Samoan Dynasty had been doing. And that would include remaining his brother’s tag team partner. But what should be clear to Jimmy and the fans is what Jey wants. And what Jey wants is to be the Tribal Chief.
Unfortunately, all of this has left Jey Uso in a state of turmoil. But his internal struggle isn’t a case of loyalty or who he loves more; instead, it’s a battle over breaking the news to his brother that he’d simply like to branch out on his own.
And in the world of pro wrestling, the only way to break that kind of news to a loved one is by breaking their heart in the worst way possible.