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Bloodline Storyline, Part 4: Turmoil/The End?

Nick Simon is taking you back through the entire WWE Bloodline storyline heading into Wrestlemania 2023. He wraps this up with everything that has happened from the top of the year until now.

Wrestling: WWE Royal Rumble Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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. After Parts 1, 2, and 3, I’ll pick this up at the top of 2023, leading us to where we stand at this exact moment.

Part 4

Raw, 1/23/23

The Trial of Sami Zayn is held on the go-home episode of Monday Night Raw before the Royal Rumble. It should noted that at this point, Zayn had become one of the biggest fan favorites in the entire company, even while doing the bidding of the heel Bloodline. Despite his loyalty, he is still accused by the group of conspiring with Kevin Owens ahead of the Reigns’ title match against KO.

Just as he is about to be declared guilty and kicked out of the group, Jey Uso of all people steps up and gives a passionate defense of the “Honorary Uce.” Zayn is cleared of the charges and is allowed to remain in the group. Later in the week, Reigns gives specific instructions that only Zayn will accompany him during his title match at the Royal Rumble.

Royal Rumble, 1/28/23

Roman Reigns defeats Kevin Owens to defend his title, but the actual match is secondary to what happens afterwards. The entire Bloodline comes down to the ring to celebrate and they beat down Owens even more. A reluctant Zayn doesn’t want to participate, feeling as if they’ve already made their point. KO gets handcuffed to the ring and Reigns hands Zayn a steel chair, ordering him to finish him off.

Instead, a conflicted Zayn hits the champ in the back with the chair, drawing one of the loudest crowd pops in recent memory. Having made his decision to attack Reigns, he is promptly beaten down by everyone in the Bloodline except Jey Uso, who leaves the ring and refuses to fight Zayn. The now former “Honorary Uce” is left laying in the ring next to his handcuffed former friend, with Reigns symbolically dropping pieces of his leigh onto Zayn. This segment has already been cited as one of the best storyline turns in the modern history of WWE.

Elsewhere in the show, Cody Rhodes wins the men’s Royal Rumble match. After missing several months with a torn pectoral muscle, the “American Nightmare” makes good on his guarantee to win the match and earn a title shot at Wrestlemania.

Smackdown, 2/3/23

Roman Reigns addresses what happened at the Royal Rumble and is blindsided by Sami Zayn. The champ, along with Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa, get the upperhand and beats down the former “Honorary Uce.” Reigns grants Zayn a title shot at the upcoming Elimination Chamber ppv in Zayn’s hometown of Montreal, saying that he is going to destroy him in front of his friends and family. It should be noted that Jey Uso was still not present for this, going AWOL from the Bloodline.

Smackdown, 2/10/23

Jey Uso returns to help his brother Jimmy defend the tag titles against Ricochet and Braun Strowman. In a backstage segment later in the show, Sami Zayn meets up with Jey and urges him to leave the Bloodline too. He said he acknowledges Jey before he fist bumps him and leaves.

Elimination Chamber, 2/18/23

Reigns successfully defends his title by defeating Zayn in the challenger’s hometown of Montreal. It was one of the more electric atmospheres in recent pay-per-view history with Zayn getting a hero’s welcome at home.

Just as the group was about to beat down Zayn after the match, a returning Kevin Owens came out to make the save. In the shows afterwards, KO continues to emphasize to Zayn that they are still not friends and that he needs to look elsewhere if he wants help to fight the Bloodline.

Smackdown, 3/3/23

After weeks of being confronted by Paul Heyman on the mic, Cody Rhodes finally comes face-to-face with Roman Reigns ahead of their title match at Wrestlemania. The champ talks about Rhodes’ father Dusty and how he was a huge influence on him in developmental, but mentions how Cody was never brought up in any of their conversations.

That same night, Reigns makes his frustrations over Jey Usos’ continued absences known. He says if Jey doesn’t return by the next week, Jimmy will be held responsible.

Raw, 3/6/23

Jey returns and fakes that he’s going to leave the Bloodline and join up with Sami Zayn. He then superkicks Zayn and rejoins his brother Jimmy in the Bloodline. The Usos and Solo Sikoa beat on Zayn, only for Rhodes to run down to the ring to make the save. This marks the point where Rhodes officially joins the war against the Bloodline.

Later in the week, Jey explains that he came back for Jimmy because he didn’t have a choice. Going all the way back to Hell in a Cell 2020, this continues the theme of Jey going out of his way to protect his brother from Roman’s wrath.

Smackdown, 3/17/23

Cody Rhodes and Sami Zayn continue to try to enlist the help of Kevin Owens in the war against the Bloodline to no success. Zayn finally apologizes to Owens for fracturing their friendship, saying that he wants to go after the Bloodline because he wants do it with his brother and best friend. In the main event segment, Zayn gets attacked by the Usos only for KO to make the save. KO and Zayn hug it out to end the show to a massive crowd pop.

Raw, 3/20/23

In the opening segment, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn officially put out a challenge to the Usos for a tag title match at Wrestlemania, a challenge that is accepted by the champs. The Usos would go on to attack KO/Zayn during an episode of the KO Show later in the week during Smackdown.

In the main event segment, Roman Reigns once again comes face to face with Cody Rhodes. The challenger talks about how the Bloodline is coming undone and how everyone will leave Reigns once he loses the title. This is a rare time where the champ is visibly rattled by something one of his challengers has said to him.