WWE's Bloodline Story Doesn't Work Without Paul Heyman

The Bloodline storyline is arguably the best thing that's happened to WWE in years. From its humble beginnings as a dysfunctional family faction to the eventual inclusion (and betrayal) of Sami Zayn, the saga is a prime example of sports entertainment's ability to create three-dimensional characters with interesting arcs and throw them into dramatic situations with stakes and surprises.


Everyone involved in the Bloodline storyline has played an integral part in getting it over. While most of the attention has been placed onZayn,  Roman Reigns, and Jey Uso in recent months, every member fits into the bigger picture. That said, one man is the glue that holds it all together, especially now that all of the intricate plotting and build is leading toward a huge payoff at WWE WrestleMania 39, and that man's name is Paul Heyman.

At the end of the day, every story that involves conflict needs a compelling villain, and Heyman is the closest thing WWE has to a top heel who's genuinely despicable. Not only is Heyman a great antagonist, but his involvement has benefitted Reigns' adversaries, as well.


The Bloodline is too cool for school

Let's face it — Roman Reigns is cooler than a polar bear's toenails. He runs The Bloodline like a mafia operation, and people have been rooting for pop culture gangsters since Martin Scorsese and "The Sopranos" gave them nuance and human qualities. Reigns also carries himself with the demeanor of an action hero, and what's not to love about that?


Meanwhile, Jey Uso is arguably the most sympathetic character in the entire faction, while Jimmy Uso is too laidback and smiley to dislike in any way, shape, or form. Both of them were essentially manipulated and bullied into joining the Bloodline in the first place, so it's difficult to root against them. Solo Sikoa, meanwhile, is a silent killer who's easy to get behind because he's the cool boss's trusted enforcer.

Paul Heyman isn't cool. He's a weasel and a snake who'd stab anyone in the back to remain on the Island of Relevancy. He's believable in the role, too, due to his well-documented history of allegedly lying and cheating to serve his own interests — he supposedly stung Tommy Dreamer for money back in their ECW days, and AJ Styles called him a "boldface liar" in 2020. Heyman's a master of blurring the lines between fiction and reality, and his current character is leaning into the negative real-life perception of him, and then some.


Paul Heyman is a necessary evil

Heyman being a sniveling snake is vital to the Bloodline storyline, since he's the only member of the group who's guaranteed to generate universal heat from the crowd. This has been instrumental in drumming up support for both Zayn and Cody Rhodes as they head into war with Reigns.


There are two recent segments, in particular, that illustrate Heyman's effectiveness in this regard. The first was the "Tribal Court" segment on "WWE Raw XXX," in which Heyman, who had been affectionately calling Zayn "Shmuley" in recent weeks, was suddenly the most venomous voice speaking out against Zayn. Heyman was desperate to stick the knife in the "Honorary Uce" and have him booted from The Bloodline, and that only made the crowd get behind Zayn more. The second segment was his acclaimed interaction with Cody Rhodes on "WWE Raw," which revolved around the Rhodes family's emotional history and financial difficulties. Heyman showcased some vulnerability for a few minutes before showing his true dastardly colors: "Roman Reigns is the son Dusty Rhodes always wanted," he told a teary-eyed Cody. That's some chef's kiss heel work right there.


If Reigns and The Bloodline were left to their own devices, they'd probably have more people rooting for them. Fortunately for the story, Paul Heyman is always there to remind us who the antagonists are, and with each passing week, he makes us root more and more for their eventual downfall.