When it was announced on commentary that neither Paul Heyman, Jimmy Uso, or Jey Uso was in attendance at WWE’s Clash at the Castle, it felt like maybe, just maybe, Drew McIntyre would have a “fair” fight for the Undisputed WWE Universal Heavyweight Championship. The match would be mano a mano, the bout would truly test each performer’s mettle, and in the end, the best man would presumably win.
Now granted, that theory came to a close fairly quickly, as Karrion Kross and Scarlett were shown sitting ringside, and Austin Theory ran down to the ring to cash in his Money in the Bank contract before being swiftly KO’d by Tyson Fury to keep the match solo affair.
*sigh* a Solo affair it very much became.
Seemingly freed from the distractions of outside interference, McIntyre seized on the moment and delivered a picturesque Claymore to the “Head of the Table” in the middle of the ring, only to have his pinning predicament postponed due to the referee being pulled from the ring by a hooded man.
But who could it be? Was it Jimmy Uso? Jey Uso? Sami Zayn? Well, as it turns out, it was none of the above. No, the hooded man revealed himself to be none other than Solo Sikoa, the youngest brother of Jey and Jimmy, the son of Rikishi, and the cousin, or should I say uso, of Reigns. Sikoa gave Reigns the window he needed to break McIntyre’s momentum, and after a single hit of his signature spear, the “Head of the Table” secured the win and added another member to his Bloodline.
Folks, if you thought The Bloodline’s stranglehold on the WWE Universe was going to ease up following Clash at the Castle, I have some bad news for you: Roman Regins’ outfit just got a whole lot more formidable.
— WWE (@WWE) September 3, 2022
Solo Sikoa has finally embraced his destiny in the WWE Universe.
When Sikoa, then known as Joseph and/or Sefa Fatu, was initially announced as a signee of WWE back in August of 2021, many naturally assumed that the youngest Uso brother would take his seat at the table and join up with Reigns, Jimmy, Jey, and their “Wiseman,” Paul Heyman, on SmackDown. The faction was on top, the belts were stacking up, and it was becoming only a matter of time before the entire WWE Universe would run through Reigns, as he so often likes to say.
To his credit, Sikoa wasn’t too keen on this idea, as he explained in an interview with BT Sports via a transcription from WrestleZone:
It’s easy to go back to ‘I’m their brother, I’m their family.’ At the end of the day, it’s almost like I don’t want to be referred to their brother or their cousin. I want people to recognize me for me. Before I started and debuted on TV, creative was like, ‘We’ll just put you with your brothers.’ Then the next meeting was, ‘Let’s see what you can do on your own.’ That was fire where it was, Okay, this is my time. This is my time for fans to recognize me instead of ‘you’re Jimmy and Jey’s (brother).’ Before, I had black hair and we all did look alike, but I was bigger, we had different shapes. Nine months later, people know Solo. ‘That’s Solo’. I was like, ‘Okay, that’ll be cool,’ because that’s when they started saying ‘We The Ones’ and were throwing the ones up, but I was like, I don’t know man, I still feel I’ll be in their shadows. I need to step out and do me. The world needs to see me. They already seen them and they already seen what they can do. It all worked out just fine.
Frankly, that thought process is admirable and was at least mostly fruitful; Sikoa had his debut match in NXT in November of 2021. Though he’d wrestled on the indies a bit, both tagging with his cousin Jacob Fatu and going it solo for promotions like GCW and FSW, he quickly lapped his efforts in WWE thanks to strong booking that saw him win his first nine matches split between 205 Live and NXT, and secure an overall record of 22-7 in developmental. He wrestled Gunther, challenged Cameron Grimes multiple times for his North American Championship, and eventually entered into a feud with Von Wagner that saw the duo wrestle on four occasions in a month, including a Falls Count Anywhere match that saw Sikoa suffer a PCL injury that robbed him of the rest of the month of August.
Had Sikoa remained healthy, who knows, maybe he would have had a few more big NXT matches to really solidify his legacy before jumping up to SmackDown, but unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be; Sikoa wrestled 27 matches in NXT plus two more in 205 Live and will now see how the legacy he built up in NXT is able to weather being a much smaller fish in a much bigger pond.