Roman Reigns celebrated two years as universal champion Tuesday, an unbelievable mark once considered impossible in today's wrestling world.
Attention spans were considered too short and the desire for something new was too great for a titleholder to dominate for years at a time as they did prior to 1988.
As dominant and unheard of as Reigns' run atop the mountain has been, including the addition of the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 38, it has to end at some point.
Some believe that will come Saturday in Cardiff, Wales when Drew McIntyre capitalizes on his home-field advantage in the UK and captures the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship and enjoys the moment he was robbed of by the COVID-19 pandemic at WrestleMania 36.
While McIntyre is red hot and has earned the opportunity to win the title in front of a live audience, there is a better option to end the 730-plus day run of the second-generation star.
That competitor can be found in Reigns' own bloodline, one of the great tag team wrestlers of all time and the man responsible for The Head of the Table's greatest championship program to date: Jey Uso.
Making the Case for The Right-Hand Man
McIntyre is the logical choice. He is popular, has a great look and has been a great face for WWE in promoting the company both locally and globally. He has all of the tools necessary to be the guy now and in the future.
That does not necessarily make him the best option available to Triple H and the WWE Creative team, though.
That distinction belongs to Uso, who was responsible for Reigns' most layered and emotional storyline to date.
Scrutinized by his cousin for challenging his status at the head of the table and intent on proving he was his own man, Uso engaged The Tribal Chief in a months-long feud that culminated in an epic example of pro wrestling storytelling inside Hell in a Cell in October 2020.
That match and program proved Uso's worth as a main event singles competitor. It was in that contest that he proved he would do whatever it takes to protect his brother.
And since that fateful night, he has stood alongside Jimmy, as one-half of the most dominant tag team in wrestling and one-third of the industry's top faction, The Bloodline.
Recently, though, we have seen signs that Jey is still his own man, despite appearing to have fallen in line two years ago.
His disdain for Sami Zayn and Reigns' willingness to entertain the foolish "Honorary Uce" is apparent every time he is on screen with The Great Liberator. So much so that Zayn is constantly trying to win over Jey, recognizing that he has Jimmy's backing but has yet to convince his brother of his worth.
Add in the fact that Zayn has subtly planted the seeds for dissension within The Bloodline. On the August 19 episode of SmackDown, in which The Usos could not make the show due to "issues at the border," The Master Strategist told Reigns that Jey was ungrateful, and the dual champion agreed.
It is from there that WWE Creative should ignite the story that would lead to the demise of The Bloodline and Jey's return to the title picture for one last showdown with his cousin.
Crafting a scenario in which Uso tries to warn Reigns about Zayn infiltrating The Bloodline for his own selfish goals, only to be told off by The Tribal Chief for worrying too much about things that don't concern him, would be the perfect jumping-off point.
With all signs pointing to Kevin Owens reuniting with Zayn to go after The Usos' tag titles, Jey could even use a loss there as an "I told you so" moment to necessitate the breakup. Recalling the disrespect he endured at the hands of his cousin, and rediscovering his desire to be his own man while proving his worth to the family, would be all he needs to succeed in the role.
Utilizing the footage from 2020 to enhance the story and remind the audience of the history that exists between the two men would be all the creative team needs to jump-start the second chapter of a rivalry that was universally acclaimed when it first captivated audiences two years ago.
Why Not Jey?
If there is one block to this scenario playing out in front of WWE audiences, it is the fact that Jey has been shoved back into the tag team scene for so long that his flirtation with the main event as a singles competitor may feel like a distant memory for everyone.
The perception that he is just a sidekick, a tag team specialist who was utilized for an intended purpose and nothing else, may be too strong for those in power to envision him in the role once again, even if it is a sensible development that would pay off the best storyline the company has created in years.
That the audience during the ThunderDome era of WWE programming was smaller than it is now would also mean conditioning fans to accept Jey in that role while also reminding them of why he would have beef with Reigns in the first place, which only exacerbates the potential issue with going back to that feud.
With all of the footage at his disposal and the seeds planted for further dissension between Jey and Reigns, those negatives do not come close to the potential positive of bringing that program back to the surface.
Jey cut one of the all-time great promos during that run, revealing the frustration he experiences every time a fan asks which Uso he is. That, coupled with the emotional notes he hit throughout and that classic feud-closer against his cousin inside the most storied structure in WWE history more than proved his worth as an individual main event star.
Sherlene Witt (Roman Reigns 705+124) @wittsherlene339
You know what they say when they see me Uce... Which one are you.. Jey Uso<br><br>That line gets me every time<br><br>Roman Reigns did elevate Jey because for the first time I saw him in a different light <a href="https://t.co/vLDVpORSWr">pic.twitter.com/vLDVpORSWr</a>
Now, it's time to pay off Reigns' unprecedented run by having it end at the hands of the man he tried so hard to hold under his thumb from day one.
That, more than any blockbuster match with The Rock, feel-good win for McIntyre or a returning Cody Rhodes, makes the most sense and would pay off the entire dominance of The Bloodline in grand fashion.