WWE: Family ties makes Jey Uso rapid ascension to stardom all the more sweeter

The Anoa'i family represents professional wrestling royalty and for WWE superstar Jey Uso, the 'Hell in a Cell' event offers the opportunity to sit on top of the throne.

For more than 40 years, Samoan sports entertainers have thrilled fans all over the world and the current crop is no different.

The Anoa'i family tree includes WWE Hall of Fame members Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, grandfather Peter Maivia, Yokozuna, Rikishi and the Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika).

That tradition is carried on by Roman Reigns, Nia Jax, Tamina Snuka and the Uso Brothers, including Jey (real name Joshua Fatu).

Uso and cousin Reigns (real name Joe Anoa'i) are currently embroiled in WWE's major storyline, which is set to come to a head at the Hell in a Cell event on Monday (NZ time).

The two - along with Uso's real-life brother, Jimmy - have been inseparable since birth, breaking into the wrestling business together and living out their boyhood dreams as part of the machine known as WWE.

Reigns has emerged as one of the biggest stars the industry has seen in the last decade, while the Uso brothers have taken a different path, establishing themselves as one of the very best tag teams ever.

That has changed, with Jey Uso elevated to the main event scene on Smackdown and a storyline blood feud with Reigns.

Uso tells Newshub he always knew he belonged alongside his cousin at the top of the card.

"The time is now - my time is now," Uso says.

"I could talk the talk from the day I walked in this place. I've known I had this in me for a decade, I just had to show the fans how lit I can be.

Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns Photo credit: WWE

"Everytime I have stepped out there with Roman, it's been about how I can get the fans to see me and right now, they see me as a guy with a shot at beating Roman for the Universal title.

"I am ready for war."

And doing it with his own blood standing across the rings makes it even more special.

While the current storyline dictates a battle of family pride, with Reigns demanding respect as the true chief of the Anoa'i family, the reality for Uso makes him very emotional.

"It makes me very proud and very happy. I'm filled full of joy to see where we have both come from.

"I'm so happy that we get to do this together. This is my first singles run and it has been awesome, and the love from the fans has been off the chart.

"There are blurred lines. Roman has been my uso for as long as I can remember - he is my day one.

"You know how tight Samoans are - he is my family.

"For me to fight him - at the end of the day, it is all love, and we can handle this business and make a name for ourselves. 

"From a business perspective, I want to crush Roman Reigns, but from a  personal perspective, I get to do this with my cousin Joe. 

"Look what we have done and look how far we have come."

The WWE has stood fast, while the United States has been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

'The show must go on' is often an overused term, but for sports entertainment, it has been the reality.

Uso has nothing but respect for his employers, who have pivoted and thrived during a time when other major sporting organisations went on hiatus.

"My hat goes off to WWE. They are so smart with what they have come up with. 

"There has been no crying, no complaining. It's been about keeping that train rolling - on a different track, but still rolling.

"I can't believe we have been able to continue through all of this, but they figured it all out."

A first WWE singles title could be just a few short days away for Uso, as he looks to dethrone Reigns as champion.

But despite his current on-screen rivalry with Reigns, Uso believes a Samoan alliance in the future could dominate the WWE programming.

"Why not? We have shown WWE little glimpses of that.

"We could run right through this industry, if we were a collective unit. It'll happen."