Jey Uso wants Edge and Christian match, talks singles success
By Ryan Satin
FOX Sports Analyst
Jey Uso is focused on beating Daniel Bryan inside a steel cage this Friday on SmackDown, but the WWE Superstar has another match he’d soon like to cross off his bucket list.
As explained last week on "Talking Smack," the match between Jey and Daniel will have a few stipulations attached.
If Daniel wins, he earns a title shot against Universal champion Roman Reigns at Fastlane on March 21. If he loses, Bryan must acknowledge Reigns as his Tribal Chief and admit that he is the best wrestler in the world.
For Jey, it’s another chance to continue showing the WWE Universe that he’s more than just the other Uso brother.
"I miss my brother … do not get it twisted," he told me during a phone conversation this week promoting the upcoming cage match on SmackDown. "But this was a blessing in disguise. Straight up.
"Went from hosting the girl’s karaoke to winning a contender’s spot against my own cousin, Roman Reigns, and I main-evented my own pay-per-view with him and then my own Hell in a Cell with him."
The switch to singles competition didn’t come without some fears, however. After seven years of tag team glory, Jey had to show what he could do on his own, without fans or his brother to make the transition easier.
"I always knew I could hang with singles work because wrestling is wrestling, Uce. The only thing is, it felt weird not having Jimmy with me coming out," he said of the change. "I’m always on the left. He’s always on the right. It was just a weird vibe.
"As far as the fans — man, I miss the fans. That is the biggest part. You know how they say, ‘You don’t know how important something is until it’s gone and taken away from you?’ Like, man. I didn’t know. I bust one of my damn toes in the Elimination Chamber match. I got nine other ones, but I can’t walk. My damn toe is completely jacked up. I was like, 'Man, you know what? I didn’t know we needed all our toes to walk.’"
Even without his brother or fans, one person Jey had by his side throughout this recent singles run was his cousin, Roman Reigns. Their association has allowed the 35-year-old Superstar to flourish as a singles competitor each week on SmackDown, as well as wrestle in his first world title matches, and for that he’s incredibly grateful.
"He brought me up. We brought each other up. I ain’t looked back since, bro. Now everybody knows which twin I am," he said with confidence. "Prior to this, it was always my brother. ‘Total Divas,’ him and his lady. Everybody knew. It would always be, ‘You Jimmy? You Jimmy?’ It was never Jey. ‘You Jimmy? You Jimmy?’ Like, all the time, Uce.
"Now, I guarantee you, we step out together right now, the world will know that’s Jimmy. That’s ‘Main Event’ Jey."
The Universal title matches that put him on the map as a singles competitor – which took place at Clash of Champions and Hell in a Cell – stood apart from others on the card not only due to their brutal nature but also because of the vocal work of both wrestlers, which added a layer of emotion to the story they were telling in the ring
"The whole rest of the damn WWE Universe and everybody else who watches wrestling thought, like, ‘What is this guy doing here? What is this guy doing? Really? Really? They got one of the Usos about to go against Roman, really? All these singles guys, and we wanna pick this guy right here? Really?’ Hell, yeah. I heard ‘em all, but guess what? Y’all got on the damn band wagon, didn’t you?
"Now, everybody’s like, ‘Aw, man. He’s good. I didn’t know this. I didn’t know that. Man, look at Roman Reigns. He’s so good.’ Maaaaan, let me tell y’all something, Uce. We’ve been good at this game," he continued. "We’ve been doing it for over damn 45 years or whatever, bro. We’ve been dropping blood and sweat and tears in the game, Uce. We’ve been putting on these fire matches, bro. Y’all just late to it … now they know."
Ensuring that their family’s decades-long legacy gets proper respect became a crucial part of Roman’s character over the summer, when he returned to WWE TV as "The Head of the Table." Jey Uso then joined forces with Roman and took on a similar responsibility for his family once their feud came to an end.
Representing for The Anoi’a family isn’t just an on-screen thing, though. It’s important to both performers in real life.
"We gotta be ruthless out there. We gotta take it old-school," Jey said. "We’re straight-up representing for the family, bro. We’ve always been those beasts, Uce, you know what I’m saying? We’re always going to eat together, and we’re going to starve together. Right now … we’re full, and we want some more."
While that bond might have allowed Jey Uso to find his groove as Roman’s watchdog in singles action, don’t think for a second that it means he has forgotten about teaming with his brother.
As you might recall, Jimmy Uso reportedly suffered a knee injury last year at WrestleMania in the triple-threat tag team ladder match. Now that almost a year has gone by, his brother teased good news regarding when we might see his partner in the ring again.
"All I’m gonna tell you is this, Uce. The damn Uso Penitentiary will be opening really, really soon."
When that happens, there’s one match Jey says he needs to cross off his bucket list: The Usos vs. Edge and Christian.
This dream match became possible after Christian made a surprise return to action in January at the Royal Rumble.
Captain Charisma has remained quiet about whether he plans to step into the ring again in the weeks that’ve followed, but fans and wrestlers alike are salivating at the idea of E&C tagging together against some of the top teams in WWE at some point.
"We had the Hardy Boyz, and then we had the Dudley Boyz … that’s one more team I have to mark off," Jey said of the possibility of wrestling against Edge and Christian in the near future.
"They’re the OGs of the tag division. That triple-threat ladder match at WrestleMania, bro, like, c’mon. Two out of the three teams, me and my brother got to be blessed to work with … that’s another bucket list. Straight up."
Before pursuing any fantasies, though, Jey must get through the reality of Daniel Bryan in a steel cage on Friday Night SmackDown.
"This Friday, in a steel cage match … I gotta put [Daniel] down, Uce. I gots to put him down, so that way [Roman] can get up off my back a little bit," he said when asked about the match. "I’m gonna show the whole world why they call your boy Jey 'the Main Event' Uso, bro. I earned that."
Ryan Satin is a WWE analyst for FOX Sports. Satin previously appeared on FS1's "WWE Backstage" and founded Pro Wrestling Sheet, where he broke countless news stories as editor-in-chief.