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Bloodline Storyline, Part 2: Dominance

Nick Simon is taking you back through the entire WWE Bloodline storyline heading into Wrestlemania 2023. Here, he looks at the group obtaining all the gold between April 2021 and April 2022.

Syndication: Worcester Telegram Photo/Dylan Azari / USA TODAY NETWORK

Wrestlemania 39 will take place from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA, this weekend and the two most anticipated matches stem from the same story. The Usos will defend the undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship against Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens on Night 1 and Roman Reigns will defend the undisputed WWE Universal Championship against Cody Rhodes in the main event of Night 2.

Since the summer of 2020, the Bloodline story has been the most layered and detailed storyline the WWE has produced in recent memory. We have seen several chapters play out on television, including different character pivot points, high-stakes matches, and the longest world title reign in the modern history of the company. Should Reigns and the Usos drop their respective titles this weekend, it will truly mark the end of an era.

With the help of the WWE releasing its own two-hour Bloodline video a few weeks ago, I’ve decided to go back myself and go over this story blow by blow. I’ve already gone over how this all began in Part 1, so let’s pick up the next chapter after Wrestlemania 37.

Part 2

Smackdown, 4/30/21

Roman Reigns defeats Daniel Bryan by submission in Bryan’s final match in the WWE. Obviously a major skin on the wall for the Tribal Chief to send one of the most beloved wrestlers of the last two decades out of the territory.

This was also the night where he debuted his new entrance music, finally ditching the old Shield theme. A complaint about Reigns’ presentation for years was him essentially doing Shield cosplay well after the group had disbanded. This finally put that to bed.

Smackdown, 5/7/21

Jimmy Uso returns from his ACL injury and joins the group. Like Jey before, he would have problems totally submitting to Reigns’ authority over the next month. He even walks out on Reigns while they were beating down Dominik Mysterio. Jimmy accuses Roman of playing mind games just to tear Jey away from him. Jey is conflicted and temporarily leaves the group.

Roman would begin manipulating Jimmy for the next few weeks by blaming him for the dissension in the family. On the June 18 edition of Smackdown, Jimmy helps Roman in his Hell in a Cell match against Rey Mysterio.

Smackdown, 7/9/21

Jey Uso returns to link back up with the group. Reigns further emphasizes sticking together as a family unit and the Usos set their sights on becoming tag team champions once again.

Smackdown, 7/16/21

The Bloodline defeat the Mysterios and Edge in the first Smackdown in front of a live crowd since the start of the pandemic. Jey wins the match for the team by getting the pin on Rey.

Money in the Bank, 7/18/21

The Usos defeat the Mysterios in the pre-show to win the Smackdown Tag Team titles, the beginning of their title reign. Later that night, Reigns successfully retains his title against Edge in the main event. After the match, John Cena makes a surprise return to challenge Reigns for a title match at SummerSlam.

SummerSlam, 8/21/21

Reigns defeats Cena to retain his title in the main event of SummerSlam. This effectively stamps his reign as the champ for one year, already one of the longest world title reigns in the recent history of the company.

After the match, longtime rival Brock Lesnar returns to WWE television and challenges Reigns to a title match. Lesnar had been away from WWE television all throughout the pandemic and had recently signed a new contract. In the weeks afterwards, Lesnar begins playing mind games with the Bloodline via Paul Heyman, implying that the special counsel was still representing him as an advocate.

Crown Jewel, 10/21/21

Reigns defeats Lesnar in Saudi Arabia for yet another successful title reign. Towards the end of the match, Heyman throws the Universal title in the ring and it’s unclear who he was throwing the belt towards. After both guys fight over it, Brock pulls it away, only to be greeted by superkicks from the Usos. Reigns hits him with the belt to win.

Fall 2021

Business as usual for the group over the next few months with no major developments. At Survivor Series, Reigns wins his match against WWE Champion Big E while the Usos lose to Raw Tag Team Champions RK-Bro.

Smackdown, 12/17/21

Reigns, still unsure of Heyman’s allegiances with Lesnar, questions him in the middle of the ring. Heyman declares that “I’m not protecting Brock Lesnar from you, I’m protecting you from Brock Lesnar.” Reigns promptly fires him and puts him down with a Superman punch. Heyman and Lesnar re-unite in the coming weeks.

Day 1, 1/1/22

Reigns was originally scheduled to defend the title against Lesnar here, but was taken off the show after testing positive for COVID-19. Lesnar was then thrown into the WWE Championship match and won the title. Meanwhile, the Usos successfully defended their titles against longtime rivals the New Day that night.

Royal Rumble, 1/29/22

After getting himself DQ’d in his title match against Seth Rollins, Reigns costs Lesnar the WWE title against Bobby Lashley. He did it with the help of Paul Heyman, who double-crossed Lesnar and rejoined the Bloodline.

Lesnar would go on to be the 30th entrant in the men’s Royal Rumble later that night, winning the match and a title shot against Reigns at Wrestlemania. It would be the third time these two would meet in the main event of ‘Mania.

Elimination Chamber, 2/19/22

Reigns successfully defeated Goldberg to retain the Universal title at the start of the show. A full circle moment considering that the match was supposed to happen two years prior.

In the main event, Lesnar won the WWE Championship back in the Elimination Chamber match by eliminating four other competitors. It was declared immediately afterwards that Reigns vs. Lesnar at Wrestlemania would be for both titles in a winner-take-all main event.

Wrestlemania 38, 4/3/22

Reigns defeats Brock Lesnar in the main event to become the undisputed WWE Universal Champion, unifying both belts. Also on the show, the Usos defeated Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs to retain their titles and keep their reign on top of the Smackdown tag division going.

Other relevant occurrences from that event includes Cody Rhodes returning to the WWE and defeating Seth Rollins. Sami Zayn was also humiliated on the show by losing to Jackass star Johnny Knoxville. How are these relevant to the story? Well, we’ll find out won’t we?