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Damian Priest names his top Judgement Day target; Says Edge wanted Rhea Ripley from the start

All rise for The Judgement Day
WWE

I’m sure we’ve all done it. Someone in passing will ask you how things are going, and without thinking, you’ll give the old, “Oh you know, just living the dream.” Complete with that classic insincere undertone that usually goes hand-in-hand with that sentence. When it comes to Damian Priest, he’s actually living the dream.

It’s not often in life you get to work alongside someone you idolize, but Priest has now gotten that opportunity as a member of The Judgement Day. And he’s soaking in all the perks that comes with getting to team up with a WWE Hall of Famer.

An elevated spot on the card? Absolutely.

That never fleeting feeling of excitement when you head into the office on Mondays? Of course.

The coolest and (without question) the most important perk, however, is practically getting 24/7 access into the mind of one of the best to ever lace up a pair of wrestling boots. Edge is in constant contact with his fellow Judgment Day members. Offering up his latest ideas to help keep his stable of stars elevated high on his mountain of omnipotence. But the line of communication is very much a two way street.

I had a chance to catch up with Damian Priest on the Bleav in Pro Wrestling Podcast this week, and the Punishment for the Guilty said that Edge is very open to feedback and ideas from his stablemates. In fact, he encourages it. The back and forth exchanges are a very important part of growing under the Edge learning tree.

“I think he’s doing it to help me through the process, you know, so I could get used to this process and be like, ‘Oh, okay. So this is the way you think.’ Maybe I can learn from that. And I know that it’s all a learning experience for me. So he’s helping me a lot with that. He’s giving me these opportunities to pitch in and give ideas,” Priest said. “He’s still teaching me while having me give my opinion because he wants me to be more vocal and whatnot.”

Like any good student, Priest says he comes to work with roughly a million questions a week and Edge could not be more cool in receiving and answering every single one.

While Edge may be setting the former United States Champion up for a brighter future, there is still the present to focus on as well. All eyes are set toward Hell in a Cell this Sunday when The Judgment Day takes on AJ Styles, Finn Balor and Liv Morgan in a 6-person tag team match.

Damian Priest was internally hoping this match might take place inside the Hell in a Cell structure, a bucket list item for him, but regardless this match has all the elements to be a barn burner.

“That’s the plan. We know the difficulties that comes with a match like this, but this is what we live for. These moments,” Priest said. “We’re looking to knock it out of the park and put on a killer performance. Making it something that’s gonna be talked about the day after, the year after, like that’s the plan. That’s what we’re all going for. All six people in this match-up are looking to hit home runs.”

The Judgment Day has gotten the best of this Styles, Balor, Morgan group pretty much every step of the way since WrestleMania 38. Chances are that will be the case again on Sunday, especially if a heavily teased forth member makes their existence known. If Damian Priest had his choice, one of his opponents at Hell in a Cell would be his next cohort.

“AJ Styles. We need him to come over to the other side. I mean stop fighting against and fight with, fight alongside. When I first signed a contract to come to WWE, he was on top of that list of people I wanted to work with and I knew he would elevate me. And it’s kind of like, you have to prove yourself and your worth of being in a match with that guy. That’s a sink or swim situation. If you can’t go with him and if you don’t have a good showing, you don’t belong here. So for me, like that’s the guy. I would love for him to be the next member of the Judgment Day.”

Speculation has been running rampant about who will be the next WWE Superstar to throw their arms up in the air in support of The Judgement Day. Edge himself has been stoking those flames on social media and on TV. Naming everyone from Tommaso Ciampa to Mustafa Ali. He’s even hinted at Corey Graves and Paige being options.

The Rated R Superstar is clearly having fun with the recruitment process, which he has made quite clear is open to just about anyone. And why not? Edge already landed his top two selections, so why not keeping taking shots until he misses?

Damian Priest has unveiled in previous interviews that it was actually Edge who called him to make his pitch about forming an alliance. As it turns out, it was that same phone call where Edge made it known that he wanted Rhea Ripley as well.

“The day Edge told me and asked me about the Judgment Day idea, and this is before we even had a name, it was just an idea forming a group... that day. He said you naturally and Rhea Ripley. We were the first on his list, like hands down. He wanted us to be with him, which I thought was super cool, you know? He saw two people that had a certain style, that he digs. Similar to Edge. I mean, that’s that rock starish, goth, darker vibe, and bigger people. We just have this lot of similarities that he felt like he could mold us into becoming bigger stars than we were.”

While the pitches were made, nothing is ever a guarantee in WWE until it happens. The idea of getting to work with one of his good friends in Rhea Ripley, was obviously exciting, but Priest knew better than to count his chickens before they hatched. They didn’t know for sure that Rhea would be joining their ranks until WrestleMania Backlash.

“Things could always change. You know, including me being by his (Edge) side at WrestleMania. Like that was what we hoped for, but you never know. Creative could change. A lot of things can change in between, especially when there’s a lot of time. So we knew we wanted Rhea from the get go or Edge wanted her. And of course I’m down for that.”

The WWE Creative staff was clearly down with the idea as well. A stable of two incredibly talented, possibly future main eventers, led by an 11-time World Heavyweight Champion? What’s not to like?

Rest assured, this group is going to get every possible chance to succeed and Priest knows that. The sky is the limit for this trio and it’s hard not to think about what the future may hold. That said, he also knows that most of the pressure is falling on the shoulders of himself and Rhea Ripley.

“Edge is gonna be Edge tomorrow. Like he was yesterday. We are the ones that we have to prove ourselves. And I think so far, so good. And it’s just a matter of us keeping up that momentum. But yeah, we think about it all the time. Like the possibilities of how this is gonna elevate us. Rhea and I talk and we joke because we’re really good friends. So, we always think about like, man, this is really cool.”

However successful this run turns out to be, Damian and Rhea are getting to do something that they’ve wanted to do dating back to their time together in NXT. And not only do they get to team up, but doing it under the leadership of Edge is a Hall of Fame sized cherry on top of the sundae. What more could you ask for? Outside of more reinforcements I guess.

So, at the risk of gimmick infringement of another WWE Hall of Famer, I’ll ask the question - Who’s next? Who will step up and align themselves with The Judgement Day? Will anyone?

Maybe we’ll find out this Sunday at Hell in a Cell. WWE’s latest premium live event kicks-off at 8pm EST on Peacock. Please check out my full conversation with Damian Priest in the video above or listen on the Bleav in Pro Wrestling Podcast, available wherever you get your podcasts.

Rick Ucchino can be reached at Rick.Bleav@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @RickUcchino and make sure to subscribe to the Bleav in Pro Wrestling YouTube Channel.