October 4, 2022
The one quality The Judgment Day has in spades

One thing clear as crystal about The Judgment Day is Edge’s skill as a meta storyteller. For those who don’t speak geek, metatextuality criticizes the thing while being a part of the thing. Deadpool, the Scream franchise, and Last Action Hero do the meta thing perfectly. The Judgment Day, while not on that level yet, is doing its best to get to that level. Edge, Rhea Ripley, and Damian Priest are the one group in WWE openly acknowledging how ridiculous this entire professional sports entertainment wrestling thing is at times.

Edge repeatedly notes the amount of blood and sweat spent with little to show for the effort. Sure, the fans cheer, but sometimes being a good guy keeps people like Edge from achieving their personal goals. We love cheering for the babyface but if the kayfabe point in wrestling is win as much as possible and rack up championships, the heels have it a whole lot easier than their angelic counterparts. Heels don’t let the fans cheers or boos sway them; they do what they do with one goal in mind. They aren’t distracted with signing autographs, kissing babies (pre-COVID), or “this is awesome” chants. Damian and Rhea agree wholeheartedly, which is why they stand by his side. But their inclusion speaks to the other meta narrative of this story and this group: There are a bunch of wrestlers in WWE doing a little more than nothing and are capable of so much more. But as generic babyfaces, the ceiling is only but so high.

Which brings us to Liv Morgan, Finn Balor, and AJ Styles. The fans in the arena pop for them every night and they’re successful. But how long did Liv chase the women’s championship to no avail? The number of times I write “poor Finn” in a month is insane, and Styles’ entanglement with Omos made him just another guy on the roster. These are three wrestlers worthy of championships. Balor is the first WWE Universal champion and freakin’ Theory embarrassed him on a weekly basis. This is why The Judgment Day invited all three of their Hell in a Cell opponents into their group. They know their potential while tacitly acknowledging whatever they’re doing isn’t doing much for either of them. It’s a smart angle that peaks just a bit behind the curtain but never far enough where we see the wizard is just an old man holding the whole thing together with rubber bands and bubble gum.

Even the fact AJ and Finn, two former Bullet Club leaders, joined forces seems like a nothing issue within the walls of WWE. Compare that to Edge, who incorporates every part of his story into what he’s doing now. Yes, that’s WWE history and WWE rarely acknowledges what happens in other territories, but the company often references or alludes to a bigger world outside of their programming. And there’s a way to do that with Finn and AJ that’s better than putting them in the middle of the ring telling each other they’re too sweet.

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