A picture is worth a thousand words, but not all words speak the truth. Roman Reigns and The Bloodline held their own in the final moments of WWE SmackDown, but the reality is Reigns has never been more alone.
The Night of Champions go-home show concluded with Reigns raising all four tag team championship belts over his head. It was a dominant display from WWE’s most dominant champion. In reality, Reigns becomes more and more The Bloodline’s weak link every week.
SmackDown also featured a United States Championship match between Austin Theory and Sheamus, plus a final test for AJ Styles ahead of his World Heavyweight Championship final against Seth Rollins at Night of Champions.
CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Columbia, South Carolina.
The Bloodline stands tall on wobbly legs
The entirety of The Bloodline gathered for a meeting in their dressing room. Special counsel Paul Heyman, at Reigns’ behest, informed The Usos that while they will not be at Night of Champions, the twins have been invited to Reigns’ 1,000-day celebration as universal champion. Heyman said Reigns especially wanted Jey Uso there.
mocked Jimmy Uso, wondering why Reigns had such an attitude. Jimmy Uso got up and told the family he was hungry and was going to get something to eat. Reigns’ demanded that Jimmy Uso sit down. The former tag team champion quietly declined and remained standing. Reigns got in Jimmy Uso’s face and dared him to “do something.” Reigns promised he would call Jimmy Uso like he did when they were kids. Reigns insisted that Jimmy Uso recognize, obey and respect the head of the family. Jey Uso stepped in, eloped with his brother and told Reigns they would see him next week.
The closing segment of the night was billed as an edition of “The KO Show” starring Owens and Zayn with guests Reigns and Sikoa. The Usos went for themselves and hit the ring. Owens praised the decision, letting The Usos know that they were who he really wanted to talk to. Owens said Zayn still cares about The Usos despite everything that happened between the two sides. Owen called The Usos the greatest tag team in history, saying Reigns may claim to be the “head of the table” but The Usos are the heart. An excited Jimmy Uso exclaimed that they are still the best tag team and named himself “The Tribal Chief”.
Line up an enraged Reigns, who entered the ring and knocked microphones out of the brothers’ hands. Zayn chuckled and told Reigns that his family was crumbling and that it was Reigns’ fault. Reigns pushed Zayn away and got a receipt in the form of an Owens stunner. A brawl broke out with the tag champions getting the better of The Usos. Solo Sikoa emerged as the big equalizer and put both of his foes down with Samoan Spikes. Jey Uso handed Sikoa a pair of tag team titles, a spiritual acknowledgment of their imminent victory. Jimmy Uso could not part with the other pair and refused to hand them over to Reigns. Jey Uso talked his brother down, took the titles and gave them to Reigns. SmackDown went off the air as Reigns hoisted all four tag team championships over his head.
Another week, another great episode anchored by The Bloodline. Jimmy Uso has largely been a secondary character in The Bloodline’s story, so it’s great to see him take center stage. Jimmy Uso was the mainstay of the family, the peacekeeper, the glue. Reigns has lost his grip on Jimmy Uso and that will precede a death knell for the tribe. Owens and Zayn played the mind games phenomenally. Owens is presented as gruff and unfriendly. Owens made the case for The Usos carry weight and that was reflected in Jimmy Uso calling himself “The Tribal Chief,” a statement that elicited audible gasps from the audience. Words carry a lot of weight in this story. There were some other nice wrinkles in the closing segment. Sikoa continued to be the big equalizer and it’s starting to look like he’s an even bigger threat in the ring than his leader. Reigns’ closing out the show by holding all four tag titles was the perfect snapshot of his inflated ego. WWE doesn’t call in these pre-recorded shows in the Triple H era. Quality: A+
What else happened on WWE SmackDown?
- United States Championship — Theory def. Sheamus via pinfall wearing a schoolboy pin after interference from Pretty Deadly.
- Beat Raquel Rodriguez and Bayley. Damage CTLR (Bayley and Iyo Sky) via pinfall after Rodriguez punched Bayley.
- Cameron Grimes defeats. Ashante “U” Adonis via pinfall after driving him into the mat with a collapse.
- Asuka blinded Bianca Belair, who clung to an armrest prior to their Women’s Raw title match. Belair tried to deliver a KOD to Asuka, but disruptive staff caught the challenger.
- L.A. Knight defeats. Rick Boogs via pinfall after planting it with BFT. He confronted the Street Profits after the game, who were guest commentators.
- Styles final Kross via pinfall after cracking it with a phenomenal forearm.