The Bloodline stands before Night of Champions

A picture is worth a thousand words, but not all words tell the truth. Roman Reigns and The Bloodline stood their ground in the final moments of WWE SmackDown, but the reality is Reigns has never been lonelier.

The Night of Champions homecoming show ended with Reigns lifting all four Tag Team Championship belts above his head. It was a dominating display from WWE’s most dominant champion. In truth, Reigns is becoming more and more of The Bloodline’s weakest link as the weeks go by.

SmackDown also featured a United States Championship match between Austin Theory and Sheamus, as well as a final test for AJ Styles ahead of his World Heavyweight Championship Tournament finale against Seth Rollins at Night of Champions.

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from Thompson-Boling Arena in Columbia, South Carolina.

The Bloodline stands on shaky legs

The entirety of The Bloodline gathered for a reunion in their locker room. Special Counsel Paul Heyman, at Reigns’ request, informed The Usos that despite not being at Night of Champions, the twins are invited to the celebration of Reigns’ 1000 days as Universal Champion. It was voiced by Heyman that Reigns particularly wanted Jey Uso to be there.

Jimmy Uso scoffed, wondering why Reigns had such an attitude. Jimmy Uso got up, letting the family know he was hungry and going to get something to eat. Reigns asked Jimmy Uso to sit down. The former tag team champion silently declined, remaining on his feet. Reigns got into Jimmy Uso’s face and provoked him to “do something”. Reigns promised he would hit 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, leaving with his brother and telling Reigns they would see him next week.

The evening’s closing segment was billed as an edition of “The KO Show” featuring Owens and Zayn with guests Reigns and Sikoa. The Usos went into business and hit the ring. Owens welcomed the decision, letting The Usos know they were who he really wanted to talk to. Owens said Zayn still cared about the Usos despite everything that happened between the two parties. Owen dubbed The Usos the greatest tag team in history and said Reigns can claim to be the “head of the table,” but The Usos are the heart. An excited Jimmy Uso proclaimed they were still the best tag team and anointed himself “The Tribal Chief”.

Queue up a pissed off Reigns, who entered the ring and knocked the microphones out of the brothers’ hands. Zayn chuckled, informing Reigns that his family was falling apart and it was Reigns’ fault. Reigns shoved Zayn and received a receipt in the form of a stunner from Owens. A fight broke out with the tag champions getting the better of The Usos. Solo Sikoa emerged as the big equalizer and featured his two foes with Samoan Spikes. Jey Uso presented Sikoa with a pair of tag team titles, a spiritual acknowledgment of their impending victory. Jimmy Uso couldn’t part with the other pair and refused to hand them over to Reigns. Jey Uso spoke to his brother, took the titles and gave them to Reigns. SmackDown went off the air with Reigns hoisting all four Tag Team Championships over his head.

Another week, another great episode anchored by The Bloodline. Jimmy Uso has largely been a supporting character in The Bloodline’s story, so it’s great to see him front and center. Jimmy Uso was the family’s anchor, its peacekeeper, its cement. Reigns has lost his grip on Jimmy Uso and this will precede a mortal blow for the tribe. Owens and Zayn played mind games phenomenally. Owens is presented as gruff and hostile. Owens advocating for The Usos carries weight and it was reflected in Jimmy Uso dubbing himself “The Tribal Chief”, a statement that drew audible gasps from the audience. Words have a huge weight in this story. There were a few other nice wrinkles in the closing segment. Sikoa continued to be the great equalizer and it’s starting to look like he might be an even bigger threat in the ring than his leader. Reigns closing the show holding all four tag titles was the perfect snapshot of his inflated ego. WWE doesn’t phone in these pre-recorded shows in the Triple H era. Rating: A+

What else happened on WWE SmackDown?

  • United States Championship — Theory def. Sheamus via fall with a schoolboy pin following the interference of Pretty Deadly.
  • Raquel Rodriguez and Bayley won. CTLR (Bayley and Iyo Sky) damage per fall after Rodriguez hit a folding slam on Bayley.
  • Cameron Grimes defeats. Ashante “You” Adonis via pinfall after driving him into the mat with a Cave-In.
  • Asuka blinded Bianca Belair, clinging to an armbar before their Raw Women’s Title match. Belair tried to deliver a KOD to Asuka, but the interfering staff grabbed the challenger.
  • LA Knight beats. Rick Boogs via Pinfall after planting it with BFT. He took on the post-game Street Profits, who were on guest commentary duty.
  • Styles def. Kross via fall after cracking it with a phenomenal forearm.

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