Jey Uso: Paradise Lost

Damnable is the chief on the throne
He, who tastes the ambrosia and walks through Eden
As his lips taste the wine from a holy chalice
Turning once good men into wicked soldiers
Damnable is the head of the table.


In some religious texts, before the angel Lucifer became the being of Satan, he sought to usurp the throne of God, and he had coerced and convinced his fellow angels to follow his lead, to achieve the glory and power of God. In Paradise Lost, a 17th Century epic poem by John Milton, an angel fought against these proclamations of glory – an angel by the name of Abdiel.

Abdiel, albeit considering taking the power of God along with the others, saw through the wickedness and selfishness of Lucifer, and returned to God. Abdiel’s story is one of repentance. Lucifer would descend to a hell of his own making, and of plots and schemes that would bring about the dawn of man on Earth and the desecration of Eden. Lucifer’s is of the madness that is brought about through self-gratification and manipulation.

There are various allegories of religious texts and those based on biblical storytelling. It can lead to many heavy topics, meant for those far more intellectual and knowledgeable than I. But for this instance, I can see the story of the possible redemption of Jey Uso. Though the story of Abdiel and of Jey Uso are not a one-to-one comparison, they are still somewhat similar in the end.

I know this sounds absolutely bonkers to write, comparing scripture to the storytelling of a professional wrestling promotion, especially that of a promotion that doesn’t take itself seriously and is not known for deep storytelling, but please stay with me.

It’s no secret that the story of The Bloodline, pertinently the events as of late, are heavy in conversation, as to why many want Sami Zayn to main event WrestleMania, or why Cody Rhodes is the better choice to some. But again, we are sticking with the story of Jey Uso, however.

Upon Roman’s return to WWE programming in the Thunderdome Era following 2020’s SummerSlam, he came back a changed man. That he’s the one who makes the monsters that he fights the monsters that they are. He aligned himself with a snake in the form of the evilly-grinning Paul Heyman and took the wrestling world by storm. Gone was the black vest with his logo that he wore, and here was the invisible vest of those he surrounded himself with.

Roman’s first big obstacle? His own cousin Jey, one half of the tag team, The Usos. Being that Jimmy was out on injury since pre-WrestleMania 36, Jey had little to do in that time. But when his cousin, The Big Dog, came through, he welcomed him with familial joy and adoration. The love that family has.

Oh, how a dear and costly mistake that was. Over time, Jey saw how distant his star of a cousin had become. No longer was he the cocky yet fun wrestler who sought to entertain the masses, the very masses that rejected him, but now he’s emotionless, stoic, and uncaring. The only emotions he faces now are satisfaction and rage. No sympathy, no empathy, and none of what normal, emotionally stable people call “love”. And so would begin a dark period in Jey’s career, in his relationship to a family member he no longer recognizes; so would begin the abuse he would face for years at the hands of The Tribal Chief.

Jey quickly saw this, and knew there was a darkness in his family member, but he didn’t see how far Roman would take it; at Clash of Champions in 2020, he caught a glimpse of it, and the hell that awaited him.

Roman was cruel and selfish, as he sought this story’s equivalent of God’s power, the championship. With low-blows and dominance, he demanded that Jey acknowledge him, and he never did. Jey refused to stay down, defiant to the bitter end. The punishment and torture on display couldn’t break him, but it broke his own nearby brother, Jimmy. He couldn’t stand by in Gorilla Position and just watch his brother be picked apart, even by a family member. Especially by a family member. So, then, he threw in the towel to give the match to Roman. If Jey went any further, his career would have been over and his body would have been broken.

Flash forward to their Hell in a Cell I-Quit Match, where Jey was once again in the same position. Inside a hell of red befitting Roman’s fate should he not fight sense into Roman, Jey sought to give it his all. Both men’s pride were on the line. Roman wanted the world and the power and he would bring his family along the way, by force, if necessary. Jey simply wanted to have his cousin back to the light, and to avoid having to answer to another man.

This match went the same way as their previous encounter. Jey fights with all his heart and Roman remains a spirit-breaker. Once more, Jimmy Uso returns to try to save his brother. He can’t throw in the towel this time, however, as Jey has to quit of his own volition. Instead, the injured other half pleas desperately to Roman as Jey lay in silent, exhausted agony on the mat. Jimmy pled that everything can go back to the way it was, that he loves him, that he doesn’t need to do this. Roman, in a moment of soft weakness, relents and sits in tears, realizing he’s becoming a molten shell of who he was. He has no vest, and nothing can protect him now.

This is exactly why Roman needs to harden up. This is why he has to cross a line and raze Eden for the glory and the power, and he must make his family submit if they won’t come willingly. Pulling Jimmy into his monstrous clutches, he holds Jimmy in a vice grip that incapacitates him, looking Jey dead in the eyes with sadistic hatred. This is what breaks Jey. His world is shattered, but he would have to come to terms with it soon – he quits the match.

Roman apologizes, expresses he loves Jey and Jimmy the next week, and lets Jey dish out all he’s feeling. “I hate you!” followed later in the night by “I love you, I understand”. He follows the only path he knows he can take, and thus Roman, Paul, and Jey start off the path of destruction. After all, through all of this, he became Main Event Jey Uso – he’s tasted the fruit and he knows so much more now. With this, The Tribal Chief is acknowledged.

Jimmy returns to find his brother is not as happy-go-lucky as before, and wonders why he follows Roman like a lost puppy instead of taking for himself, like a man. So much bitterness and angst hides within Jey that persists years later. Jimmy didn’t hold that attitude. He’s still laid-back and carefree, as long as he does as Roman says. However, he’s less likely to take Roman’s abuse most of the time, stating Roman isn’t going to treat him like a bitch, like he has for Jey. Though he came easily and willingly, Jimmy became prone to the abuse, lies, manipulation, and gaslighting from Roman. All because he’s doing what he believes is right for the family.

Solo Sikoa would join and the family power grows with the enforcer, fiercely loyal to Roman and to the family, proven in aiding Roman against Drew McIntyre at 2022’s Clash at the Castle.

However, an outsider making his way into the family would catch the wrath of Jey. A wild card, Sami Zayn, would win over the rest of Roman’s Bloodline, with humor, good-nature, and an overall wish to prove himself among who he considers the best. 

Sami would become a popular member of the team, with crowds chanting for him, with Jimmy, Solo, and Roman expressing love and fondness, while also fairly admonishing when Sami would do “bad”. Crowds came to love him, with his irreverent joy and urge to prove himself. For a group of morally corrupt men, this made for wholesome television.

Without hiding it, Jey’s green envy and red rage would grow. He loathed Sami with a passion. A bit player that wasn’t meant to be in the story. A drop of water in an ocean of blood, polluting the paradise this Samoan mafia was promised.

Jey’s disdain for Sami was doing him no favors, with even Solo, Jimmy, and Roman questioning his attitude. A temperament the likes of gasoline with Zayn as the open flame, Jey could hold his tongue no longer, when Sami pleaded for union between the two at the behest of Roman. “I don’t give a damn what The Tribal Chief says!” These words, uttered in front of Reigns saw a whiplash that stunned the arena and raised the head of The Bloodline. Stiffened up, ready for consequence and retaliation, knowing he shouldn’t have said what he said. He was owning up to it, before Sami came in for the save in a rather Ucey moment. It still wasn’t enough for Jey, however.

How dare he evade the ire of Roman, earn the trust of Roman, and not put in the work? How dare he adopt a culture that isn’t even his? Perhaps too, he saw Sami didn’t deserve the evils of The Bloodline, that he was too soft for a world so hard. The cracks of Jey’s Abdiel show, in the midst of Roman’s Lucifer growing in power, Jey takes devilish glee when anything bad comes Sami’s way, until the moment when Sami turned on his own old friend, Kevin Owens at Survivor Series: WarGames.

The most vocal critic of the Honorary Uce became one of his biggest supporters, knowing he would sacrifice Eden for the good of The Bloodline. Sami was family now. And family must be protected.

Now, in the thick of it, Sami would gain the spoils and be in absolute paradise. He would gain the desires and lusts befitting of a wrestler seeking victory and gold, but he also saw the horrors of what it takes to get them – the sacrifices and the decisions made, and it scared him. He ate of the Forbidden Fruit and it was too much for him.

Perhaps Jey didn’t see Sami slipping through the cracks, and that made the moment of the instantaneous betrayal all the more paralyzing. In a single moment, an ability to process the what would clash with an inability to process the why.

Witnessing Roman torture and crucify Kevin Owens would prove to be too much, to the point Sami snapped. In an instant, in a moment of history repeating, a steel chair meets the back of Roman’s body, collapsing The Tribal Chief. In an instant, Jey’s world crumbles into dust and a new Earth is reborn – Eden has been razed by the fire of man’s rage, and the Abdiel in Jey Uso would return, as he regained his bodily control. In that brief moment he stood frozen, seconds became millennia, yet millennia became seconds until he broke. Tearfully, he broke and he left. Everything has gone too far and he didn’t know who he was anymore. 

While Jimmy and Solo as of now remain loyal to the family, they stand beside Roman, as Jey’s paradise was lost forever.

Where Jey goes from here, it is his path to decide. He now possesses the free will. Should he relinquish it and stand behind The Bloodline, either in willingness or in fear; whether he decides to follow his blood in water, Sami; or he decides to be his own man, Jey Uso, like Abdiel, must walk the path to redemption and repentance.

Of Man’s First Disobedience, and the Fruit Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste Brought Death into the World, and all our woe. Through Eden took their solitary way.

-John Milton, Paradise Lost