I sit here (at the time) a few hours removed from the WWE WrestleMania Kickoff/Press Conference and I had the inspiration to write about The Bloodline storyline and where we are at now in the story, as well as where we have been. I have spoke to nauseum about my fandom with WWE having taken a solid hit in 2006 with the way the relaunch of ECW was handled, and I lost my faith in the company for a long time. From 2008-2021 I really could have cared less about what the WWE did, but kept in with my time honored tradition with my friends to watch the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania every year. Then, with the YouTube channel I am apart of, I decided it was important to start doing Pay Per View Reviews, and I started with WWE Extreme Rules 2021 and I don’t believe I have missed one since. Of course, that Extreme Rules was a terrible Pay Per View, and a sign of the times – it was clear to me the WWE were having a major issue in their creative department and we all know who’s fault that was.
Fast forward to February 2024 as we close in on WrestleMania XL, the 40th Edition of the Grandaddy Of Them All. Things have flipped 180 for me, and I’m not saying the WWE is perfect, because I think they need to work on the pacing of their weekly television, as well as their Pay Per Views, or now known as Premium Live Events. Yeah, I know I’m rambling, but I am just trying to paint a picture as to where my head is at. For the longest time, I have not been watching their weekly TV product. I’ll be dead set honest; Since 2008, I have only watched the go home RAW for WrestleMania 30, RAW 1000, RAW 25, and the RAW after WrestleMania last year. I didn’t even watch RAW XXX, I had learned my lesson with RAW 25.
Ok, ok, I’ll get to the point. Now VKM is gone, and I mean actually gone, you can see the change in direction, the positivity, the vibe, it’s all changed. Stories are being told, and being seen from beginning to completion because we don’t have a 77 year old who can’t make his mind up, or just simply forgets what ideas have been sent his way, because that’s what happens when you are old. Some of those stories may last a few months, some may go on for a year, but some, like the Bloodline storyline – go on for years.
I’d like to quote Paul Heyman for a second here.
“Bottom of the third. We are just figuring this stuff out. We haven’t even hit our stride yet. If you want to take the arrogant approach, I’m sure Paul Levesque will tell you all the box office records that have been smashed. Every Friday night when we show up at SmackDown, we’re always told, ‘This is the largest gate of this and the largest gate of that.’ ‘This is the largest premium live event.’ ‘This is the largest WrestleMania.’ Okay, we can sit there and point to what clearly drove all this, and it’s the Bloodline, and when I say the Bloodline, I mean the Tribal Chief Roman Reigns.”
“There is so much more for us to master. It’s a craft, and it’s an evolving craft. It’s an ever-evolving form of entertainment. If you sit there and you think, ‘We got this, this is it, we’re cruising to WrestleMania,’ we’re going to be replaced, and we should be. If you don’t come at this with the greatest ambitions to be much better tomorrow than you are today and much better two days from now, then you’re not here to be the greatest of all time.”
Yep Paul, keep going.
“That’s the only reason why I agreed to have life after Lesnar. How could I have ever topped the run I had with Lesnar? Roman Reigns, because he’s that ambitious, because he wants it that badly. What inning are we in? Bottom of the third. Wait until you see what we have in the fourth.”
If anybody thought for a second The Rock was coming in just to have one match with Roman Reigns at WrestleMania XL, you must be out of your mind. If anybody thought it was going to be like what Rock did with John Cena, doing 2 matches, or doing one at Mania, and one in Saudi, you must be out of your mind. You want to know why I think you are out of your mind? The Rock stated on the Pat McAfee Show in September 2023, that he met with Nick Khan and Vince McMahon and agreed to a match with Roman for WrestleMania 39, with the idea that it
“wasn’t going to be the end of something, but the beginning.”
He said they got close but couldn’t figure things out so they backed off. He noted that he was open to appearing at Wrestlemania 40 in Philadelphia. Rock said the fans deserve “something special”, but he wanted to help the locker room that have been working hard to be a part of something that could be a big change or new era for wrestling. You can’t do that with a couple of wrestling matches.
From what I gather, The Rock wanted the story to be right. He didn’t want to come in and just do what everybody else does, and that’s come in, put the talent over, then disappear. He’s already done that before. With where this angle has been over the last few years, if Paul Heyman says in August last year that they’re only at the Bottom of the 3rd Inning, I believe him. Now, the stars have aligned. The Rock is coming in to do one final story, and it will probably be that 4th and 5th inning of the Bloodline saga, with the 6th inning being Rock Vs Roman, the 7th being Solo Sikoa taking over the Bloodline, the 8th being a Roman babyface turn to battle the new Bloodline, and the 9th being Roman’s retirement from Pro Wrestling. I honestly believe he wanted to do one last epic storyline before going back to being with his family after being in remission with Leukemia for the 2nd time.
I have spent the afternoon here in Australia reading drivel from IWC city of toxicity on Twitter and Reddit, and I have seen them attempt to tear apart everything they could over what transpired at the WrestleMania 40 Kickoff Press Conference, and what’s to come. They flat out refuse to see sense, and forcefully make it their opinion that this angle makes no sense. They have to. They have to force themselves to believe the WWE isn’t doing well right now and aren’t about to do even more business than they ever have. It’s really not hard to understand Cody stepped aside, and by design, the fans pulled out their pitchforks, said ‘Rocky Sucks’ and some vermin even sent death threats to his daughter Ava. Grow up, losers. That would hit somebody’s Jiminy Cricket, always let your conscience be your guide.
The Bloodline storyline seeds were planted in August of 2020. At SummerSlam 2020, Reigns returned after being off TV for 5 months, and attacked both Universal Champion Bray Wyatt, and Braun Strowman, turning heel for the first time since he was in The Shield. It was a heel turn the fans had been begging for, but VKM would never pull the trigger on it prior, because he was so far out of touch by that point, it’s crazy. Finally, the trigger was pulled. He was put with Paul Heyman. Within about 15-20 seconds of seeing the heel Roman Reigns, I completely changed my tune on him, I hated him for years. He proceeded to have more layers to his character than before. It immediately made The Uso’s (whom I would have said by 2020 were stale as month old bread) completely relevant and interesting. I was so bored of all 3 of them before this, and now I find myself more interested in them than ever. It’s the same old tale with Pro Wrestling, the heels have these layers to their characters that makes then inherently more interesting, and the babyfaces are so shallow I couldn’t even get my toes wet.
From the initial angle with Roman feuding with his cousins Jey and Jimmy, to July 2021 when both Jey and Jimmy finally solidified their alliance with Reigns… that’s when the true run of The Bloodline began. Then began their runs of dominance. There is always a peak that all dominant stables should find – like when the nWo had Hogan as World Champ, Curt Hennig as United States Champ, The Outsiders as Tag Team Champs and Syxx as Cruiserweight Champ – there should always be that apex of success. By May of 2022, the Uso’s had both WWE Tag Team Championships from both brands, and Roman Reigns had defeated Brock Lesnar to become the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, walking around with the championships from both brands, RAW and Smackdown. They were on top of the world.
Things began to develop with the storyline that would really help give further layers to the Jey Uso character, and that was helped with the inclusion of Sami Zayn entering the angle and becoming that Honorary Uce. Who didn’t love that part of the angle? Sami was a positive influence on the group, making them somewhat babyface in the process, showing his influence on them, which built his character, but he was also a spanner in the works for the Bloodline. Nobody cared more about the Sami Zayn character than they did during that angle. Every. Single. PLE. The ending of the show, if Roman Reigns and the Bloodline were involved, it had everybody on the edge of their seats. Whether it was the debut of Solo Sikoa to join the Bloodline at WWE Clash at the Castle in Wales when Roman defeated Drew McIntyre, or Survivor Series: War Games 2022 when The Bloodline defeated The Brawling Brutes, Drew McIntyre & Kevin Owens in a WarGames match which helped Zayn solidify his place in the group, or whether it was at the 2023 Royal Rumble PLE when Sami turned on the Bloodline as Roman did battle with Sami’s old friend Kevin Owens – the story was gripping. Sami’s influence planted a seed that would grow within the Jey Uso character after Sami had nearly departed the storyline.
The suspense was in the air when Sami Zayn challenged Roman Reigns at Elimination Chamber 2023. Some people literally believed Sami might win! Then everybody was CONVINCED Cody was beating Roman for the Championship at WrestleMania 39. When Cody lost, I couldn’t have been happier. But, that was the show where the true cracks in the Bloodline began to form. They scraped through by the skin of their teeth, and we all know.. Cody had him.
The Uso’s had lost the Tag Team Titles to Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens at WrestleMania 39 on Night 1, and through that, they lost the faith of their Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns. That distrust lead to defiance from The Uso’s, when Roman and Sikoa were unable to win the WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championships the Uso’s had lost. This led to a match dubbed the Bloodline Civil War at Money in the Bank 2023, with Reigns and Sikoa against The Usos. The Usos won the contest, with Jey Uso giving Reigns his first pinfall loss since December 2019, which made things come full circle as it pertained to the beginning of this story. This was such a peak of the story, as people began to feel the Bloodline fall apart, with Roman beginning to appear to become more and more beatable, because somebody ACTUALLY PINNED HIM. The brilliance of all of this was that it lead to Jimmy Uso making a selfish decision, to take a short cut, because he couldn’t bare not be on the side of Reigns and be excommunicated from the Bloodline, and he literally turned on his Twin Brother at SummerSlam which was a shocking moment. Also, with Solo Sikoa now being dubbed the ‘Tribal Heir’, and also cleanly beating John Cena, we know where that is bound to go one day.
For now the Roman Reigns character has it together. The Rock’s inclusion in all of this has just given it the boost the angle needs if it’s going to continue to stay compelling, as the angle has seemingly quietened down over the last few months. Now it’s got some juice, and going into WrestleMania 40, the angle is doing what it’s always done – it’s made people think they knew what was going to happen, but then they realized they were way off.
The biggest twist in all of this is what I witnessed this past week at the WWE WrestleMania XL Kick Off/Press Conference. As we know, Cody Rhodes won the Royal Rumble for the 2nd year in a row. On January 1st, weeks before the Rumble, The Rock showed up on RAW and talked about being Head Of The Table. Seeds are planted. Cody decided to step aside for The Rock like CM Punk was forced to at WrestleMania 29. The following week lead to fans using the #WeWantCody hashtag, and they chanted ‘Rocky Sucks’ throughout the building. Of course that would lead to Cody changing his mind on challenging Seth Rollins instead at WrestleMania 40. The Rock took exception to what Cody said to Roman as it pertained to his Grandfather, it makes sense! The Rock joining the Bloodline adds a very interesting dynamic and extends this story for a little while. It makes the Bloodline seemingly stronger.
Whatever the case may be, wherever the angle goes from here, at least this angle will have a conclusion and it will be based off several years of stories that effected the lay of the land and changed and effected the people living within that land. Unlike huge angles like the nWo, the Invasion, – this is one angle that was compelling from the beginning, and isn’t going to fizzle out at the end.
Where would I go with this angle?
At some point, the title will have to come off Roman Reigns, and I would suggest it happen at WrestleMania 40, but to be honest, I would not be upset if Reigns retained again because everybody is so certain Cody is winning it again, and this angle has not been based on certainty. The fact is, the Bloodline needs to show it can’t always get the job done, and every dog needs to have their day. If Cody and Seth team up on Night 1 of WrestleMania 40 against Roman and The Rock, so be it, with Cody facing Roman on Night 2 for the belt.
I would then suggest the Bloodline strengthen even more with the signing of Jacob Fatu, but make him the Brian Pillamn of the group, that loose cannon that can not be contained, as it might make them look stronger, but they’ll suffer at times because he can’t be controlled.
I would continue the alliance with The Rock and Reigns leading the group. It would lead to dissention, no doubt and we would get that Rock Vs Reigns match at a later date. I’d even hope for a Rock Vs Cody match too, and a Rock Vs Reigns 2, and Rock Vs Reigns 3 before Rocky decides to finally sail off into the sunset, unless he wants to separate himself from the story and do The Rock Vs John Cena 3 in their double retirement. This could take us up untill WrestleMania 42, as once Reigns’ reign of terror is done for, and Solo Sikoa assumes the position of Tribal Chief, with Jacob and Jimmy in tow, and Paul Heyman turns on Roman – Roman could go into a deep depression for losing everything. It could come full circle with Jey taking pity on Roman, to help battle the monster that Roman created before the Bloodline storyline finally meets it’s end.