It says something that on a Raw when Judgment Day barely showed up that they still had one of the best segments on the program. That it was just a quick (and somewhat hilarious) promo from Dominik Mysterio shows just how much he has progressed.
Admittedly, the footage of Dom getting kayfabe arrested for trying to ruin his family's Christmas celebration was funny enough, with him telling Rhea Ripley that he didn't think he could survive prison. So now to show up after merely hours in jail saying he was a changed and hardened man, well, give somebody on the creative team a raise. Oh yeah, Dom too.
And to think when he was seemingly seduced to the dark side by Rhea to spite his dad Rey, it just appeared a storyline of a naive kid getting used. But the dynamic has grown intriguing as Rhea seems to genuinely care about him. Meanwhile Dom is one of the best and most consistent heat magnets in the company, and who would have thought that sentence would represent reality when we bid Happy New Year to 2022?
Consider this: Finn Balor, one of the top wrestlers in the world, is probably the fourth-most-interesting member of the stable, behind Damian Priest and the unlikely power couple. It's well established that Finn, Damian and Rhea can go in the ring, and Dom keeps improving, but his character development is really what draws attention.
When they kicked Edge to the curb, it seemed like they were biding time to put over the Hall of Famer, but the faction has endured and even beat the Ultimate Opportunist at his own game. Beth Phoenix taking it to Rhea to save Edge during an I Quit Match, only to serve as bait -- culminating in Ripley taking Edge's wife out with a Con-chair-to -- officially made Judgment Day solid. They tend to win since, gettin plenty of time on Raw most weeks. Heck, Rhea defeating Akira Tozawa in a legit intergender match was one of the most remarkable bits of spectacle in 2022.
All this great work deserves a reward in the form of gold in 2023. With The Usos ruling both tag belts lock, stock and barrel, it's hard to see Finn and Damian and/or Dom taking their titles, as great as that could be. Ditto with Roman Reigns' stranglehold on the world singles titles.
Which leaves the U.S. title, which both Finn and Damian have held. Austin Theory probably needs more time with them for now, but that's perhaps the most achievable. But could you imagine if Dom won the title (with lots of help) and then proclaimed his greatness? That heat could light up a small city, to the point it's kind of an irresistible idea.
That said, the most likely gold wearer is also the member of the group who has the most star potential (no offense, guys) in Rhea Ripley. WWE has smartly kept her and Bianca Belair away to the point that it's the likely money match for WrestleMania. Bianca's done enough that putting Rhea over would be big. Ripley may or may not win the Royal Rumble to get there as well.
One way or another, Judgment Day has ruled on Raw lately. They just could use a title to make it official.
The following Tag Team Power Rankings take into account wins, power and placement of segments, recentness of appearances, creative direction and momentum for teams and factions.
WWE Tag Team Power Rankings through Jan. 6:
1. The Bloodline (last week: 1)
Pro: Roman Reigns and The Usos carry plenty of gold, and The Bloodline invaded Raw and won both matches. Then on SmackDown, the twins retained once again.
Con: Roman is not happy with Sami Zayn, and manipulating him considerably. Are we finally getting that big moment on the road to WrestleMania?
2. Damage CTRL (Bayley, Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai) (2)
Pro: Sky and Kai still hold tag gold and defeated Becky Lynch and Mia Yim on Raw. Even if you don't pin The Man, defeating her is still a good accomplishment.
Con: It seems likely Lynch will get the better of them sooner than later.
3. New Day (3)
Pro: They still rock the NXT men's titles. Kofi Kingston picked up a win on Joe Gacy.
Con: Kofi couldn't defeat Santos Escobar on SmackDown.
4. Katana Chance and Kayden Carter (4)
Pro: Still the NXT women's tag champs.
Con: Some mysterious stuff going on involving the trainer and a potential injury? Also, that this is their current storyline instead of a title defense.
5. Judgment Day (5)
Pro: Is anybody else ready to enjoy the next segment of jailhouse wisdom from Dominik Mysterio?
Con: The rest of the group not being on Raw prevents them from gaining any additional relevancy.
6. Brawling Brutes plus Drew McIntyre (9)
Pro: They were the only ones to stop The Bloodline on Raw. Had a banger with The Usos on SmackDown.
Con: Lost that banger, but might still be scrapping with The Bloodline.
7. Legado del Fantasma (not ranked)
Pro: Santos Escobar defeated Kofi Kingston in what could be read as the start of a long-overdue push.
Con: Waiting to see if that push actually comes to fruition.
8. Street Profits (10)
Pro: Sharing the ring with the hottest acts in WWE in Kevin Owens and The Bloodline is a good place to be.
Con: But they still lost the match.
9. The Schism (8)
Pro: Joe Gacy taking on Kofi Kingston is a heckuva rub, and he looked good in the ring too.
Con: Couldn't pull out the win.
10. Hit Row (not ranked)
Pro: The heel turn might finally give them a chance to thrive.
Con: Came after Top Dolla took a loss to Ricochet.
Best tag segment of the week: Throwing The Usos, Sheamus and Drew McIntyre into the ring with a title on the line pretty much guarantees a good match. This is probably leading to McIntyre vs. Solo Sikoa, but any combination of Brawling Brutes and Bloodline would be fun.
A main roster men's tag title match was nice, but the rest of the scenes aren't going anywhere fast.