Stables have been a thing in wrestling for a very long time and it isn’t that much of a surprise. A stable allows a lot of wrestlers to get television time together rather than hoping that one or two of them can make it onto the show that week. That is something that has worked for a very long time and still does to this day. It could be as serious as the NWO or as goofy as 3MB but it can still work no matter what. That is the case again, though this week saw what I would consider an upgrade.
Back at WrestleMania 38, Damian Priest gave Edge a surprise assist to help him defeat AJ Styles. The two would unite and form the Judgment Day stable, eventually adding Rhea Ripley. While the stable’s mission wasn’t entirely clear, Edge always teased adding new members, which finally took place again this week. It just might not have gone as he had planned.
This week on Monday Night Raw, Finn Balor officially joined Judgment Day and almost immediately turned on Edge, laying him out with help from Priest and Ripley. It was pretty clear that Balor had taken over the team and that is the kind of shakeup that might have caught you by surprise. The ensuing beatdown likely wrote Edge off of television but gave him a lot to do when he gets back. This whole thing means that we could be in for a nice future, because the present is that much better.
I haven’t been wild on the Judgment Day stuff since its inception but this feels like a very good way to go. At the very least, it is a good thing to have someone knocked out of the team. With Ripley, Priest, Balor and Edge all together, those four should have been going after the Bloodline, because it would be hard to fathom someone being able to slow them down, let alone stop them.
With the team as stacked as it could have been with Edge on top, it would have reached the point of almost being too powerful. Edge is a guaranteed main eventer, Priest held the United States Title for over six months (that’s a long time in today’s WWE) and Balor could be in the main event scene at any time WWE needs him. Throw all of those together and it is almost ridiculous to imagine them being taken down. Drop Edge and turn him into an enemy though and you have some interesting potential.
Speaking of Balor possibly being a main event star, this might be the thing that he has been needing. To say that Balor has been all over the place since his one day Universal Title reign and subsequent injury would be a huge understatement as he has been all over the place since those two events. Balor has had some success, but most of it has not been long term. Maybe this is the kind of thing that can give him some longer term standing, as he is certainly off to the right kind of start.
If nothing else, the way the feud has been set up opens the door, and likely sets the stage for, a major Balor vs. Edge showdown. While Edge might not be the top star in WWE anymore, there is a lot to be gained from having him face Balor in a big match, especially if Balor pulls off the win. Balor is a star in his own right, but he isn’t Edge and that is the kind of win that he could use.
While Balor gets a lot of benefits out of the change, this could also boost up Priest. While Priest is a star, he wasn’t close to Edge’s status and was always a distant second in the group. Priest might not be as big of a star, or really close to it, as Balor, but the gap isn’t as wide as it was with Edge. The shortened gap might do well for Priest, as he could get a much better rub out of being in a group with Balor rather than Edge, where Priest could be seem as more of a lackey.
At the same time, you also have some short term impacts on both the team and Monday Night Raw. If there is one major criticism of Monday Night Raw (ok there are a lot, but one of the biggest), it is that the show is too predictable. It often feels like you know what is going to happen on the show on almost any given week and that is not a good feeling. If you know what you are going to be seeing, why bother sitting there for three hours ever Monday Night?
That’s where a nice little swerve comes in. Having Balor get this kind of a surprise moment opens up the possibility that something else might happen, either in this story or another. It is the same concept as having a title change take place at a live event. If nothing has happened in such a long time, just doing one thing differently can make fans believe that the might be seeing something else. In other words, it made things a little less boring, even if it is just for another week.
There is also the possibility of more people joining the stable in the future. Edge is someone who has been around and associated with a lot of people over the years, but there are not that many from modern wrestling. Even though Edge has been back from his retirement for a good while now, he has spent a lot of that time feuding with Randy Orton and Seth Rollins. Those two aren’t likely to join in with the group, but that is where Balor can make things more interesting.
Unlike Edge, Balor has been a regular in WWE for the last few years without any significant breaks. In addition to his time on Monday Night Raw and SmackDown, he also had an extended run in NXT. With Balor knowing or having been around so many people, there is a better reason to believe that someone has caught his eye or earned his respect. Would it make more sense for someone like Tommaso Ciampa (who absolutely needs the boost) to be associated with Edge or Balor?
Finally, the switch takes away something that Edge doesn’t need. Like him or not, Edge is one of the biggest stars in the history of WWE. There is almost nothing he hasn’t accomplished and even winning another World Title might feel a bit beneath him. Does he really need to run a stable on top of all that? I might be in the minority, but I have always liked Edge better when he is fighting on the side of good, and that might be what we are seeing happen from all of this.
That leaves something else for Balor to do, as other than the Club, he doesn’t have a lot of experience with stables in WWE. He certainly has the experience elsewhere though, so let him do something that is familiar to him but not as much to the audience. Balor could use something to do, and WWE does have a rather nice history of elevating a star from leading a team into a very nice singles career. Maybe Balor would be doing it in a bit of reverse, but I’ll take it over him sitting on the sidelines for so long.
I like this switch because it gives me a bit of hope, not just for the wrestlers involved, but also for Monday Night Raw as a whole. The show is really needing something to perk it up a bit and maybe this move is it. I have been a big Balor fan for a long time as well and it has been frustrating seeing him sit on the sidelines for so long. WWE does seem to be changing things up a bit though, and that is certainly good judgment.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
Keep up with the LATEST WRESTLING RUMORS! Click here to sign up for the exclusive Wrestling Rumors daily newsletter, delivered right to your inbox.