Recently, WWE has been heavy-handed in insinuating that one of their marquee acts on Monday Night Raw is headed for a split. The Judgment Day breakup should not happen, though. In fact, the continued teases of a division have hurt the team’s momentum and intrigue in the Payback Premium Live Event (PLE) lead-up.
The story could be clearer recently with too many moving parts, and it is murky where everyone is standing now. That may be a shortcut to create interest, but given how the act got several superstars over, there isn’t a need or a want to rush this story among fans.
The inclusion of new characters to the rag-tag team turned dominant heel stable had injected plenty of intrigue for them. They are a true WWE success story in that way. Likewise, none of the characters has been successful without the others in recent times, with the work going into changing that happening for the first time recently. Yes, eventually, Judgment Day, as we know it, will need to move on.
Fortunately, it didn’t happen at Payback and that time hasn’t come, at least not yet.
What About The Rise of Judgment Day McDonagh?
Judgment Day breakup should not happen unless WWE doesn’t care about JD McDonagh. After his initial push, JD has finally found his way back on Raw after being a non-factor. Even as far back as the 2023 WWE Draft, McDonagh tied into Finn Balor’s story and Judgment Day.
It has been clear for some time that this was the direction, but PLE’s needs made his inclusion too tricky until now. His inclusion, though written to benefit the team, has only been a problem or, at the very least, coincided with some hard times.
You're welcome for the assist. pic.twitter.com/PSnX8REspE
— JD McDonagh (@jd_mcdonagh) August 29, 2023
Part of the confusing aspect of this story is JD’s involvement. If the team is disbanding, why is he looking to join so badly? He has actively supported and bolstered the faction, but fans, writers, and commentators patently ignore that to focus on the tension between Finn Balor and Damian Priest.
There is a way to have JD take Finn away from Judgment Day, but that is not what happened last month on Raw. He is clearly assisting the team to get back to winning, and joining is his aim. Continuing a story about the team breaking apart makes all that feel incredibly silly, and he isn’t the only person who needs a united front.
Judgment Day Breakup Should Not Happen to Protect Dom
While nobody will mistake Dominik Mysterio as Judgment Day’s leader, he is its star. Most fans were not high on the son of legendarty luchador Rey Mysterio. He was often seen as a nepotism hire given a spot he wasn’t quite ready for, even with some natural ability.
His turn to the dark side, alignment with Judgment Day, and partnership with Rhea Ripley turned his career around. On the heel side, he gets some of the loudest reactions in the company today. Also, he has had matches with greats like his father, Edge, and Cody Rhodes, in which he handled himself well. All of this success, though, comes on the back of Judgment Day.
Without Judgment Day, most of his heat could disappear. Whether it is his and Ripley’s antics or the team’s general penchant for cheating, they make the act. Also, he has only ever felt like a credible competitor for these top stars because of his allies.
He is fine in the ring but not anything special. His moves are still slightly less natural than his coworkers, and it shows to the fans watching. Many ignore it, though, because he is so crazy hot right now as a weasly heel. His current run on NXT is long overdue.
He realistically shouldn’t have skipped that step to begin with. That he is doing it with nuclear heat from the crowd gives Shawn Michaels a shot of making lemonade out of those lemons. He will improve on NXT if given a chance. Judgment Day staying together and unified for now is the only way that happens.
A Slow Build to Señor World Heavyweight Champion
Perhaps the biggest reason the Judgment Day breakup should not happen is because the next part of the story isn’t ready to unfold. The pieces still need to be put in place at the moment for Damian Priest to take over the World Heavyweight Division. Rushing to that moment will make the win feel less meaningful. It will also create a scenario where Judgment Day must carry Raw alone without a top babyface to feud with.
When crowning a brand new champion, there is such thing as missing the moment. Luckily, WWE still has plenty of time with Priest. It isn’t even clear at the moment if he of Balor will be the breakout face when the split happens. Also, Seth Rollins has finally started to build momentum.
His feud with Shinsuke Nakamura leading to Payback has been incredible. The title may even build credibility with rivalries at the top of the card. Without Judgment Day around him, Priest feels unprepared for that spot. Additionally, the prospect of a first-time champion building the prestige of the new title is unlikely. This is especially true when compared to an experienced world champion putting on classic one-month feuds.
The Judgment Day After Payback
The Judgment Day breakup did not happen at Payback. In fact, this story just took another intriguing turn with Priest and Balor becoming WWE Undisputed Tag Team Champions. As such, the hinting needs to stop if WWE wants this all to work out. Overplaying their hand will have an emotional impact when the moment finally comes.
Ideally, fans will know when it is time. Dominik will start to feel like his own man, Finn Balor will have earned some respect and accolades whether on his own or with JD, and the thought of Damian Priest as World Heavyweight Champion will be a matter of when and less a matter of if. Even if WWE does all the proper steps, the constant teases take away from all those stories and make fans think about the ending.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, a writer and thinker, is attributed with the line, “It is the journey, not the destination”. Quietly, and primarily by accident, Judgment Day has been on one of the best journeys in WWE. Long-time fans already know the destination. Whether it is a complete dismantling or a partial separation that tries to get new faces over through an established brand, this Judgment Day will end.
With the end assured, all we have left is the journey. It may be necessary to push to a predictable end beat without giving everyone time to get there on their own. Maybe Raw needs a heel on top, or the separation covers for another story that can’t happen.
However, WWE is on the brink of making a ton of stars from an idea that frankly shouldn’t have worked. The team reaching that mountaintop and becoming a dominant force is far more interesting than jumping to the end, where they hate one another. There will be plenty of time for that when our journey is done.
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