Earlier today, WWE superstar Finn Balor wished fellow Judgment Day member Rhea Ripley a happy birthday. What would usually be a simple act of camaraderie turned heads, as Balor's accompanying image appeared to throw shade at All Elite Wrestling (AEW) star Adam Copeland, formerly known as WWE's Edge.
To provide a bit of backstory, last year Edge, a pioneer of The Judgment Day, was shockingly expelled by the very faction he helped build. When he debuted on AEW's "Dynamite", he couldn't resist referencing his past, offering some wisdom to Christian Cage about the pitfalls of loyalty and betrayal in the wrestling business.
Balor's Bold Taunt
Balor's post presented The Judgment Day standing dominantly over a defeated Adam Copeland - an unmistakable throwback to the drama that played out in WWE. Given the recent, fiery competition between AEW and NXT just the previous night, the timing of this post was impeccable. WWE fans reveled in the subtlety, finding the inter-promotional teasing intriguing.
While many interpreted this as Balor's cheeky shot at AEW, there's also speculation about it being a retort to Christian Cage's comments on Dynamite. After all, Cage recently criticized The Judgment Day, even likening Dominik Mysterio's ensemble in Balor's photo to a 'Halloween costume'.
Further stirring the pot, Adam Copeland, during an interview on Chris Jericho's podcast, "Talk is Jericho", revealed an interesting nugget about WWE's plans. Originally, Finn Balor's dramatic heel turn, joining The Judgment Day and betraying Edge, was scheduled to occur a year later. However, the promotion, in a bid for urgency, moved up the timeline. Copeland reflected, "I started to have that realization. It's like, I don't think they're gonna get where they need to get to with me in this thing."
The reshuffling seems to have worked out for everyone involved. Today, Finn Balor and The Judgment Day reign supreme in WWE, while Adam Copeland, with a new identity, is taking AEW by storm. As the lines between reality and entertainment blur, one thing's clear - wrestling's drama isn't limited to the ring.