Judgment Day was an annual pay per view held by WWE between 2000 and 2009. Drawing its name from an In Your House event in 1998, Judgment Day saw a relatively long run for minor PPV titles in the WWE. It was ultimately reviewed by Over the Limit in 2010. During the brand split, the 2004, 2005, and 2006 iterations of Judgment Day were exclusive to the SmackDown brand.
While discontinued, Judgment Day was a very popular PPV event when it ran. Many iterations of the event continue to hold weight in the eyes of fans. Including the 1998 In Your House event, here are all 11 Judgment Day PPVs ranked.
The 2004 iteration of Judgment Day is arguably the least enjoyable to watch now. Among the many pitfalls of the event, Chavo Guerrero defeated Jacqueline for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, and Eddie Guerrero disqualified himself to retain the WWE Championship in a loss to JBL.
This was the sixth Judgment Day event and the fifth following its establishment as an annual stop on the calendar. While the match between JBL and Eddie Guerrero had plenty of action, the finish wasn’t enough to compensate for a lackluster undercard.
The Judgment Day event from the previous year was only slightly better. While it didn’t have such a weak card as its successor, it featured an outdated Bikini Challenge between Torrie Wilson and Sable, and little substance throughout the other matches.
The redeeming factors that save this event from the bottom spot are the championship matches between Kevin Nash and Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship and Brock Lesnar and the Big Show for the WWE Championship. The former match ended in disqualification when Triple H attacked the referee, and the latter was a stretcher match, which inherently detracts from the performance.
One year prior still, the fourth Judgment Day event which stood as the first pay-per-view ever held under the newly minted World Wrestling Entertainment name after the former WWF had to rename itself. While a few of the matches here deserved recognition, there was nothing overly special about the event.
The highlight of the event had to be Triple H’s victory over Chris Jericho in a Hell in a Cell match. While this wasn’t the main event, it was the longest match on the card and both performers put on an impressive showing. Later, in the actual main event, The Undertaker defeated Hulk Hogan for the WWE Undisputed Championship. This match would feature Hogan failing to properly sell a chokeslam, which became the event's highlight in the minds of hardcore fans.
Like every other match of his career, the Great Khali failed to entertain in the main event of Judgment Day 2007. His failed attempt at John Cena’s WWE Championship ended by the latter's use of the STFU submission hold. Despite the lackluster main event, this show wasn’t the worst thing WWE has ever done.
Highlights from the lower card at this event included a short but quite effective singles match where Randy Orton defeated an injured Shawn Michaels, and an impressive World Tag Team Championship defense on the resume of The Hardy Boyz. Both matches went over well with fans and supported the rest of the card.
The eighth Judgment Day event was the final iteration as a SmackDown-exclusive brand event. While it featured its share of nonsensical finishes, there was a bit of movement which made for an interesting showing – specifically Brian Kendrick and Paul London’s capture of the WWE Tag Team Championship over MNM.
Besides the tag titles, both the WWE Cruiserweight Championship and World Heavyweight Championship were retained by Gregory Helms and Rey Mysterio respectively. Of note, this is the event where Booker T won the King of the Ring tournament, ushering in the era of King Booker.
There wasn’t much notable from the Judgment Day 2005 event. All of SmackDown’s top talent was on display, but the blue brand was very much cemented as the B show at the time. In the main event, John Cena defeated JBL in a very enjoyable “I Quit” match which would lose all its merits in the months to come as JBL continued making appearances with WWE on several brands.
The lowest point of the PPV was the United States Championship match where Orlando Jordan retained by defeating Heidenreich in about five minutes. Besides neither performer being very popular, the match lacked energy and came out very flat.
The final iteration of Judgment Day as an annual PPV event didn’t do a whole lot exceptionally right, but it did very little wrong. While none of the matches had any special stipulations, most agreed with the finishes and felt that the event held its form and was more enjoyable than not.
Of interesting note is the fact that four titles were defended at this event while none changed hands. The only match where the champion lost was in Randy Orton’s WWE Championship defense against Batista, where Orton was disqualified for slapping the referee.
Overall, this event was an average outing for WWE. The early matches, including John Cena defeating JBL while John Morrison and The Miz successfully defending their WWE Tag Team Championship against Kane and CM Punk, checked all the standard boxes but did nothing special to outperform expectations.
As would be expected, the standout match of the night was between Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho. While Triple H defended his WWE Championship in a respectable steel cage match against Randy Orton, the pairing of HBK and Y2J stole the show. By all accounts, this match should have been for Jericho’s Intercontinental Championship. The fact that it wasn’t reduced some of its impact, but the two put on a clinic that ended in a handshake that will hold a spot in the minds of many for years to come.
The first annual Judgment Day PPV sought to regain the attention garnered from the original In Your House event. Only featuring six matches on the card, each was packed with action, creating a classic event that still holds up today.
Hands down, the greatest match on the card was Triple H’s WWF Championship victory over The Rock in a 60-minute Iron Man match which featured Shawn Michaels as the guest referee. The match was ultimately decided following an interference by The Undertaker, but it came down to the wire and every moment was used to its fullest potential.
The second annual Judgment Day event built upon the successes of the first and brought a grueling feel to every match. Despite low points marked by the absurdity of chain matches, Kane would defeat Triple H in a moderately enjoyable bout for the Intercontinental Championship. This event also saw Rhyno rightfully win the Hardcore Championship.
The best was saved for last as The Undertaker challenged Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWF Championship in a No Hold Barred match. As usual, the two put on a great match before interference from Triple H setup Stone Cold for the win.
1 Judgment Day: In Your House (1998)
This show saw a young Christian picking up the Cruiserweight Championship from Taka Michinoku, X-Pac winning the European Championship, and The Headbangers defeated The New Age Outlaws for the WWF Tag Team Championship.
What set the pace for Raw in the weeks to come was the WWF Championship match between Undertaker and Kane where Steve Austin, as the guest referee, counted both down for a three-count to end the match. He would be fired for this act, and the stage would be set for the infamous moment where he held a fake gun to Vince McMahon’s head.