Wrestling Review: WWE Clash at the Castle (2022)

The WWE will put on the first live event in the United Kingdom in over 30 years, as more than 60,000 fans jam pack Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, for WWE Clash at the Castle. In the main event, Roman Reigns seeks to continue his legendary, record-breaking run on top as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion against the red hot Scottish Terminator himself, Drew McIntyre. In arguably the biggest match of McIntyre’s life, a home continent return could be the greatest victory for him, or he could become just another victim of the Tribal Chief’s 734-day reign. On paper, a match up between Liv Morgan and Shayna Baszler would be a washout against the champion, Morgan. But if anyone can rise against the odds it is the underdog champion, Liv Morgan, who has previously become the only woman to defeat Ronda Rousey twice, albeit via some less than fair means each time. How will Morgan fair against Rousey’s running mate, The Submission Magician Shayna Baszler? If Baszler has her way, then Morgan will tap, nap, or snap. Meanwhile, Sheamus needs just one more championship to complete his company wide ultimate grand slam, but standing in his way is “Der Ring General” GUNTHER. There is not much to say about this match except that it is wildly anticipated (and it is the match I personally am looking forward to most) as these two are going to go to war on each other with the Intercontinental Championship going home with the winner. Edge’s history with The Judgement Day runs deep; he was there for its creation and he has vowed to be the reason for their end. To this end, Edge will reunite a former tag team championship winning team as he and Rey Mysterio battle Finn Balor and Damien Priest.

Since shocking the world at SummerSlam, Bayley, Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai have been running the Raw Women’s Division. Tonight, this team calling themselves Damage Control face their first major challenge which comes in the form of the Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, teaming with former champions Alexa Bliss and Asuka, as the two teams meet in a 6-woman tag team match. In what has very quickly become something far more personal than just a wrestling match, Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins will go one on one in a match originally scheduled for SummerSlam, but postponed due to Rollins’ brutal attack on the Original Bro. Though their names may have slightly changed in recent times, after their incredibly heated comments on Monday Night Raw less than a week ago, these two will hold nothing back when they finally go up against each other. On the Clash at the Castle Kickoff event, a 6-man tag team contest will see Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins of the Street Profits team with Madcap Moss to battle Alpha Academy’s Chad Gable, Otis, and their partner, Mr. Money in the Bank Austin Theory.

+ Roman Reigns (c) vs Drew McIntyre (Undisputed WWE Universal Championship): the pre-match video package was fantastic, McIntyre’s entrance was incredible and Reigns’ entrance is always something to witness. This felt like a step above all of Reigns’ other title defences, and certainly a step above anything involving the likes of Lesnar, Goldberg or Strowman. McIntyre is a machine in the ring, and makes it his mission to get the absolute best match out of whoever is opposite him. This was great, but see below regarding the aftermath
+ Matt Riddle vs Seth Rollins: after the promo stuff on Raw earlier this week, this was exactly what it should have been. These two work really, really well together and I am glad they was given such a big spot on this show, as it made the match feel special. Both of these guys have limitless tanks to work with, so the pace started fast and rarely let up. I was a big, big fan of the final few minutes and I look forward to whatever comes next for both guys
+ Edge & Rey Mysterio (w/ Dominik Mysterio) vs The Judgement Day (Finn Balor & Damien Priest) (w/ Rhea Ripley): this was really good. These teams have had lots of combinations of matches lately, but this was the perfect culmination, if that is what it ends up being. The crowd was monstrously hot for Edge from the moment he made his entrance, but they were loud for everyone. I am predicting some big things for Damien Priest in the future
+ GUNTHER (c) (w/ Ludwig Kaiser) vs Sheamus (w/ Ridge Holland & Butch) (WWE Intercontinental Championship): a curveball in the entrances had me on the edge of my seat, but I was here to see some men bump their meat, and good lord almighty that’s what this was. This is what I want from my wrestling, and this will be one of my matches of the year
+ Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss & Asuka vs Damage Control (Bayley, Dakota Kai & Iyo Sky): if Asuka/Sky had been kept apart over the past few weeks just to see them get together properly here, then it wasn’t quite worth it. The crowd was absolutely bonkers in support of Bayley, despite Bayley leading the team of bad guys, but that just added to Bayley’s new character. There were some clunky bits here, and it feels like the ending came out of nowhere, but overall this was a lot of fun
+ Madcap Moss & The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) vs Austin Theory & Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis): these are six guys that really can be trusted to put on something simple but impressive. There was one big move here, but the crowd reactions to every competitor were what made this seem like a really big deal. Chad Gable needs bigger and better matches

Liv Morgan (c) vs Shayna Baszler (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship): the first thing I noticed was that there was a logo on Baszler’s gear that looked a lot like the Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine logo, which didn’t bode well for Morgan. This was a bit of a mess, but the crowd was into it. I just can’t list is as a positive, and it was definitely the worst match on the show
– the aftermath of the main event was absolutely baffling, and it made “the man who didn’t win” actually look like a loser. I have no idea who thought it was okay, and I almost wonder if it was not meant to be shown as part of the live event broadcast

> you may notice that Matt Riddle and Austin Theory officially got their names back, and Seth Rollins lost his “Freakin'” terrible middle name
> I don’t know if I have ever heard a live crowd sing along to Edge’s “Metalingus” theme before. As a huge Alter Bridge fan, I am overjoyed. As he went against the Judgement Day, who are using the theme “The Other Side” also by Alter Bridge, this might be the first time a match took place between competitors with themes by the same non-in-house music group

Should you watch this event: Hot damn, what a show. The atmosphere was electric from the very beginning of the kickoff match, and not one match didn’t have the crowd screaming their lungs out. Sheamus/GUNTHER was my match of the night, and without that Morgan/Baszler match, this could have been an all time great. Overall, though, this was a resounding success in every way.

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