Although he’s flourished in NXT since debuting, Solo Sikoa reportedly came very close to joining his brothers, Jimmy and Jey Uso, on Friday Night SmackDown!
Debuting on NXT 2.0’s 2 November episode, Solo Sikoa has made a grand impression in a short space of time. He’s already challenged for the NXT North American Championship on several occasions, alongside participating in a daredevil Ladder Match in what was his first NXT 2.0 special event.
This wasn’t WWE’s original plan for the 29-year-old, however. Sikoa himself has confirmed that he was considered for an immediate transition to the main roster, where he would have joined Roman Reigns and The Usos in The Bloodline.
Soloa Sikoa discussed this with BT Sport recently, detailing how it was his hesitance that resulted in WWE placing him in NXT instead:
“You know, at the end of the day man, it’s so easy to go back to, ‘I’m their brother, I’m their family.’ I don’t want to be referred to as their brother, their cousin, I want people to recognize me for me. Before I debuted on TV, WWE creative was like, ‘We’ll put you with your brothers’. Then the next meeting was like, ‘Let’s see what you can do on your own.’
I felt like, ‘This is my time now. This is the time for fans to recognize me as Solo instead of your Jimmy and Jey.’ Before man, I had black hair, we all really did look alike. Again, nine months later, people know, ‘Oh that’s Solo, that ain’t Jimmy and Jey.”
After wrestling on the independent circuit for a couple of years, Solo Sikoa landed in WWE, and has remained a focal part of the NXT 2.0 and – until its demise – 205 Live brands ever since. Already, he’s shared a ring with some of the former black-and-gold brand’s best, including Gunther, LA Knight, and Cameron Grimes.
The recent NXT North American Championship challenger continued, explaining how he felt when WWE initially told him about their main roster plans for him:
“I would say, ‘Okay, that would be cool.’ I think that was when they started saying, ‘We’re the ones.’ I was like, ‘I don’t know man.’ I would still feel like I was in their shadows, I need to step out and do me, man.”
Solo Sikoa was most recently felled by Grayson Waller on NXT 2.0’s 21 June broadcast. The Usos, meanwhile, are the reigning Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions, having recently defeated RK-Bro in a titles vs. titles match.