Merriam-Webster defines “addiction” as the following:
- A compulsive, chronic, physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful physical, psychological, or social effects and typically causing well-defined symptoms (such as anxiety, irritability, tremors, or nausea) upon withdrawal or abstinence
If you haven’t heard the news by now, and frankly, I don’t know how that would even be possible, Jimmy Uso was arrested late Monday night and charged with misdemeanor DUI. It is the fourth time he has been arrested for DUI, to go with a fifth arrest for disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice when he tried to instigate a fight with police officers during a traffic stop while his wife was behind the wheel.
It is a deeply disturbing trend that has been going on for a decade now. Uso, real name Jonathan Fatu, has continued to make poor decisions, usually involving alcohol. He has been allowed to make these decisions due to a lack of any real consequences. That isn’t just an issue with addicts. If any of you have children, you know that it goes all the way back to the days when they were very young. When they would do something wrong, they wouldn’t learn about their mistakes if you did nothing about it or made excuses for them. As I said, this is the fifth alcohol-related arrest for Fatu, but what consequences have come out of the arrests? He’s been sentenced to probation, found not guilty, and bonded out of jail. The latest incident saw him spend the night in jail, but that was only so he could spend time in the “drunk tank” and sober up a bit. Even WWE has been lenient, going so far as to reward The Usos with their sixth Tag Team Title reign a mere three days after his disorderly conduct arrest.
Think about that last sentence for just a minute.
On February 14th, 2019, Jonathan Fatu was sitting inside of a rental car that had been pulled over by police for driving the wrong way down a one-way street. After officers asked his wife to step out of the vehicle, Fatu stepped out of the car himself and began yelling at the officers, walking at them as he took his shirt off. He’s lucky they didn’t shoot him dead in the fucking street that night!
Then, not even 72 hours later, at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, The Usos defeated The Miz and Shane McMahon to become the new Smackdown Tag Team Champions.
In what world does that make any sense?
Look… I like The Usos. A lot. They are one of the greatest tag teams in the history of pro wrestling. I have been a huge fan of their roles in the current “Head Of The Table” story with Roman Reigns. Jey has proven that he can be a singles star, and Jimmy has looked like he could do it, too, since returning from injury. I say all that because I don’t want it to seem like I WANT Jimmy to be released. He simply needs to understand that there are to be consequences for his actions. For too long, he has put himself, and the lives of others, at risk. His decision making has been piss-poor, to say the least.
What do you do if you’re WWE?
An outright release has to be on the table. It just has to be. Personally, I would give him an option. He either goes to rehab and works through the rest of his WWE career on a zero tolerance policy when it comes to alcohol, or he gets released, ending a 12-year run with the company. I’ve already seen some people wonder if WWE is afraid to really punish him because of who his cousin is. Folks… yes, Roman Reigns is a big fucking deal in the eyes of Vince McMahon and WWE management and they could be concerned about his reaction. That’s where the line has to be drawn between the real-life people and the characters they play. Roman Reigns might be upset if his cousin is fired, but you have to think Joe Anoa’i understands his cousin is in desperate need of some help. Jey Uso would be upset that his brother is gone, but Joshua Fatu wants his brother to be around to see his nephews grow up. Naomi would be angry that her husband was released, but Trinity Fatu needs to be at the side of her man and make sure he gets some help.
Sure, some are going to wonder about him signing with a company like AEW if he were to be released, but it’s not about that right now. This is real life. It isn’t about wrestling.
There’s one thing that has me hopeful about Jonathan Fatu finding the help he needs. That one thing? His uncle, Eddie, better known to the world as former WWE wrestler Umaga. It is well documented that the Fatu boys were very close to their uncle, and he was the one who got them into the wrestling business in the first place. Well, it was also well documented that Eddie Fatu was battling addiction issues of his own, having violated WWE’s Wellness Policy twice. After the second violation, he refused to enter rehab, which led to him being released from his contract. A shade under six months later, Eddie Fatu was dead, suffering a heart attack that was brought on by “acute toxicity of multiple substances” in his system.
Eddie Fatu’s passing really hit that family hard, but it especially shook his nephews up. They get emotional to this day when they talk about him. Jon Fatu has to see the connection here. He is at a crossroad, not only in his career, but in his life. Even if he is unable to keep his job, he has to understand that his life is on the line here. Every single time he gets behind the wheel of his car while he’s intoxicated, he is playing a game of Russian Roulette. He needs to get the help that his uncle refused.
Something needs to be done.
Weekly Power Rankings
- Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn: I think it’s impossible for these two to have a bad match against each other. This one was, arguably, their best since signing their WWE contracts. However, it might be time to retire their feud, or at least put it on ice for a long time. Here’s a fun fact… this was their 17th televised one-on-one encounter under the WWE umbrella. That’s 17 matches in six-and-a-half years, which doesn’t sound so bad, but again… that’s just singles matches. If you want to count the televised matches of any kind where they were opponents, the number jumps up to 45. In the 65 months that they’ve both been under WWE contract, they’ve faced each other on television and pay-per-view in some way, shape, or form 45 times. That’s insane.
- Kyle O’Reilly vs Adam Cole: Looks like we’re getting us a good old fashioned match trilogy, folks. After O’Reilly defeated Cole at Takeover: Stand & Deliver in April, Cole rebounded to get the win on NXT this week. Seems pretty obvious that we’re getting another match, probably at the Takeover event that will inevitably take place around SummerSlam. That’s fine with me. Three singles matches in four months is a lot to some people, but before those matches, it had been four years since Cole and O’Reilly were on opposing sides of a match.
- Sammy Guevara vs MJF: Not quite an out-of-nowhere classic, but close. I’d have to do the research, but I think I can confidently say that this was the best singles match I’ve ever seen from MJF. It also showed me what I’ve believed for a while… Sammy Guevara can be a major singles babyface for AEW in the future. Good stuff from both guys.
- Eddie Kingston & Penta El Zero Miedo vs The Young Bucks: You know the quality you’re going to get with these guys. Continuing an early theme here, though, this was the third match involving Kingston and Penta against one or both of the Bucks in the span of a month. Oh, and a mere few hours after I post this column, we’ll be getting another Bucks vs Kingston & Penta match, this time for the AEW Tag Team Titles. For these promotions, you can give them a pass for the last month or so, as they’re probably just jogging in place a bit before getting back out on the road. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
- MSK vs Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher: Two completely different in-ring styles made for a lot of fun here. My only complaint was that the match could’ve, and should’ve, had at least another five minutes tacked on. The continuing trend for MSK continues to be the Capitol Wrestling Center crowds simply not buying into them as faces like NXT would prefer. Do you turn them heel? Again, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
- Io Shirai & Zoey Stark: Congratulations to the new NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions. I’m still a little surprised that Io is still in NXT, and also that Zoey Stark has been pushed as quickly as she has been. This is now the fourth reign in the illustrious four-month history of these titles, so… there’s that. Nobody is expecting Shirai and Stark to have a year-long reign, either, so that might continue on. Them winning the titles wasn’t the only big story coming out of this match, though…
- Tegan Nox: After suffering three torn ACLs in the last four years, Tegan Nox has returned to NXT once again. I’m glad to see her again, but I have to admit her return fell flat with me. It was heavily rumored that she was the person behind those charging vignettes we’ve been seeing. When she came back, though, it was just a woman wearing an oversized flannel shirt. She looked like someone wearing their older brother’s clothes. It wasn’t a major “WOW” moment where the returning star looks like just that… a star. Hopefully, she can remain healthy and make the women’s division in NXT even better.
- Ricochet vs John Morrison: Two human beings with more athletic ability than should be allowed. They’re also two wrestlers that WWE might want to think about doing more with. Put them together, and you get some magic… and then count-outs. That’s WWE for you. Maybe it’s building to something, and maybe it isn’t. Again… that’s WWE for you.
- Darby Allin Appearing In Jackass 4: It doesn’t matter if it’s just a small cameo appearance. This is big for Darby, and for AEW as a whole. The Jackass movies have combined to bring in almost $500 million at the box office. A lot of people are going to be introduced to Darby Allin in this movie. One Google search later, and boom, AEW has some new viewers. I’m not saying they’ll be pulling in five million viewers for Dynamite after Jackass 4 premieres in theaters, but for a young promotion, the extra attention is exciting and incredibly valuable.
- Riddle vs AJ Styles: At one point, I wondered how Matt Riddle’s work would translate to the WWE scene. I don’t wonder any more. He’s a future World Champion, and his tremendous in-ring roll continues on.
This Week’s Playlist: “Press Rewind” by SOJA, J Boog & Collie Buddz… “Recipe” by The Green… “I Believed It” by dvsn, Ty Dolla $ign & Mac Miller… “Imagine” by Common & PJ… “Lower Case (no cap)” by Big Boi, Sleepy Brown & Killer Mike… “Que Oso” by Snow Tha Product… “Esto No A Terminado (This Isn’t Over)” by Snow Tha Product & The Newton Brothers… “Not Tonight” by Snow Tha Product… “That Sunday, That Summer” by George Benson… “All Rise” by Andra Day… “Unstable” by Krizz Kaliko… “Caribou Lou” by Tech N9ne… “He’s A Mental Giant” by Tech N9ne… “Sickology 101” by Tech N9ne, Crooked I & Chino XL… “Midwest Choppers 2” by Tech N9ne, Krayzie Bone & K-Dean… “Dysfunctional” by Tech N9ne, Krizz Kaliko & Big Scoob… “Red Nose” by Tech N9ne… “Fragile” by Tech N9ne, Kendrick Lamar, Mayday & Kendall Morgan… “So Dope (They Wanna)” by Tech N9ne, Snow Tha Product, Wrekonize & Twisted Insane… “Sriracha” by Tech N9ne, Logic & Joyner Lucas