Jey Uso’s character development has been special to watch at a time when the WWE and Roman Reigns needed it the most.
Character development is an important aspect of professional wrestling. Over time, even the most exciting performer becomes stale if they remain the same individual throughout their career. Some character changes are massive shifts while others are slight modifications that only the most astute of fans notice. Jey Uso has gone through such a transformation of late. While this is not the first taste of character development viewers have seen from him, it is one that has viewers opining for more, wondering what is next as he blossoms on his own.
Friday’s edition of SmackDown featured two segments that continued the narrative of Roman Reigns forcing Uso to “fall in line.” After defeating Daniel Bryan for a spot on the SmackDown Survivor Series team, Uso continues to attack the former champion. The last thing television viewers saw is Uso putting Bryan through the table. But after that, he went back to dispatch more pain on his downed foe, landing another splash from the top before the segment went off the air.
This was not a simple “heel turn” to match that of his cousin. It is more of a telling around the importance of family duty that comes within the Samoan heritage. Fans have often wanted to see some sort of alliance between Roman Reigns and the Usos, but there was not a clear path to getting there are they were frequently on separate brands. The true familial bonds that exist between Reigns and the Usos has the potential to kick off a faction that would keep everyone on the edge of their seat if booked correctly.
“Look, The Shield was great but if they saw the three of us together? Nothing would be tighter than this. The Shield were brothers but we’re real life family,” Uso said while speaking to Andreas Hale of the Sporting News before Clash of Champions. “There will always be a bond between us no matter what. All three of us together? Come on, now!”
Unfortunately, these events are unfolding while Jimmy Uso is out due to a knee injury, but the anticipation for a full group is still there. It is still too early to tell whether WWE Creative is planning another swerve that pits Uso and Reigns against each other one final time. Viewers know just how long the promotion loves to stretch angles out incessantly. But it was still clear from the start that this was going to lead to a faction with them all aligned on the same side. Throwing in Paul Heyman makes it even more interesting of a main event draw.
Another aspect of this is to look at how Uso’s change benefits Reigns. When he returned to WWE he immediately became the hottest part of the promotion’s content offering. But who would he have faced off against? Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman didn’t offer anything intriguing for him as they’ve already done those angles multiple times. The new, heel version of Reigns needed someone different to show that he has completely changed. The SmackDown roster didn’t have an individual that could be immediately linked to Reigns to deliver that message. None except for his cousins and Jey Uso has delivered in that role.
Its easy to a lot to complain about with WWE’s booking. However, the development of the Jey Uso and Roman Reigns angle has been very enjoyable these last few months. Hopefully, the promotion shows patience to stretch it out into something special when Jimmy is healthy and able to join. This could be the type of long-term character development that positively impacts the already great careers of all three men.