Roman Reigns is born, Nia Jax becomes queen, and Hulkamania dies (2024)

The Island of Relevancy was the place to be in the last week as the celebration of Roman Reigns’ birthday gave way to the coronation of Nia Jax as the Queen of the Ring. Although the men in the family fell short in their quests to become King, a historical victory by a member of the Anoaʻi tribe reminds everyone of the storied legacy of the Samoan dynasty.

Happy Birthday to The Tribal Chief

As fans tuned in for WWE’s King and Queen of the Ring, the Island of Relevancy erupted in joyous celebration, honoring the birth of its Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns, who turned 39 on May 25.

The festivities were nothing short of spectacular. Villagers meticulously prepared for the ultimate fiafia, the island’s grand festival, transforming the sandy white beaches into a vibrant tapestry of banners bearing Reigns’ image. The air buzzed with excitement and pride for their esteemed leader, creating an atmosphere of unity and exultation that was truly unforgettable.

However, the jubilant atmosphere stood in stark contrast to the tumultuous days leading up to Reigns’ birthday, where the Bloodline — members past and present — faced significant setbacks that cast a shadow over a weekend of triumph.

On Raw, Jey Uso lost to Gunther in the King of the Ring semifinals, marking his third failed attempt at singles glory in 2024. Meanwhile, The Bloodline took a hit on SmackDown as Tama Tonga was defeated by Randy Orton after interference by Solo Sikoa backfired in the other semifinal contest. That misstep, more than Uso’s defeat, is likely to raise the ire of The Tribal Chief.

Perhaps things would’ve been different had The Bloodline’s newest member, Tonga Loa, been at ringside. According to Paul Heyman, Loa couldn’t clear customs because of his questionable background. Heyman advised Sikoa that there was a reason some people weren’t previously recruited into The Bloodline and that he should be more cautious about who he enlists.

The Wise Man’s warning is something to keep in mind as the Bloodline saga unfolds. Might Heyman, who is looking stressed these days, decide to take on another client? What will happen when Reigns, The Rock, and Jacob Fatu work their way into the mix? Could Sikoa find himself a victim of his ambitions?

All Hail Queen Nia

Nia Jax, whose father was first cousins with The Rock’s grandfather Peter Maivia, claimed her rightful place as WWE and family royalty after literally squashing Lyra Valkyria at the King and Queen of the Ring in Saudi Arabia. In the process, Jax has all but completed an incredible comeback since returning to WWE last fall.

What a Queen of the Ring tournament for Nia Jax!#WWEKingAndQueen

— WWE (@WWE) May 25, 2024

After her release from the company in 2021, Jax struggled with her confidence. Even before her release, Jax began to get worn down by the negativity expressed toward her by fans on social media. Last October, Jax told the After the Bell podcast, “It really, really messed me up. It got me into such a sad place of, like, when I got released, I’m like, ‘Yeah, of course, why not? I suck, everybody hates me. There’s no need for me to be here anymore.’”

Taking steps to address her mental health, Jax worked her way back to WWE in noticeably improved condition. Also apparent to many viewers was the vast improvement in her ring work. Those changes earned Jax prominent spots against Becky Lynch and Rhea Ripley.

Now, as the Queen of the Ring, Jax is poised to finish her story by knocking off Bayley for the Women’s Championship at SummerSlam. While such a possibility likely won’t sit well with her haters, it’s something they’ll have to deal with, according to Her Majesty.

“If those people wanna sit around and boo, and cheer the other person, good luck, because at the end of the day, you’re gonna be cheering somebody who’s gonna lose.”

Legacy of Legends: Yokozuna kills Hulkamania

Thirty-one years ago, Yokozuna defeated Hulk Hogan at the inaugural King of the Ring pay-per-view to capture the WWE Championship, marking the end of Hulkamania in WWE, with Yokozuna’s win serving as the perfect bookend.

Roman Reigns is born, Nia Jax becomes queen, and Hulkamania dies (1) WWF Magazine, Sept. 1993 - via Internet Archive

In January 1984, Hogan returned to WWE after a three-year absence by coming to the aid of Bob Backlund. Together, they fought off the Wild Samoans and their manager, Captain Lou Albano. That spot helped reintroduce Hogan to WWE fans, this time as a good guy.

Ironically, almost a decade later, Yokozuna, the nephew of Afa and Sika, would have the honor of showing Hogan the door.

Beginning at WrestleMania IX, the 26-year-old representative of the Anoaʻi family became the first man in the Samoan dynasty to win the WWE Championship after defeating Bret Hart. But after a controversial finish, Hogan appeared and protested Yoko’s victory. That led to an impromptu title defense for the new champion, who lost to Hogan in mere seconds when interference by his manager, Mr. Fuji, went amiss.

But at the King of the Ring in June 1993, Yokozuna arrived fresh and ready to take on the face of the company. Unfortunately for Hogan, his face got burned after an alleged photographer got too close to the action, and his camera exploded in Hogan’s mug.

To add insult to injury, Yoko swooped in with a leg drop, Hogan’s finishing move, to win the WWE Championship for the second time. For the next 280 days, Yokozuna ran through the competition, turning back challenges from Lex Luger, Bret Hart, and the Undertaker to become, at that time, the second-longest reigning heel world champion in WWE history.

Roman Reigns is born, Nia Jax becomes queen, and Hulkamania dies (2024)
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