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TJRWrestling WWE Clash at the Castle 2022 Preview

wwe clash at the castle 2022 preview tjrwrestling

It’s time for WWE Clash at the Castle in front of a huge crowd in Cardiff, Wales with Roman Reigns defending the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against the UK’s own Drew McIntyre in the main event.

John: This Clash at the Castle event is one of the most highly anticipated WWE shows of the year. It’s been 30 long years since WWE did a stadium show in the United Kingdom and while Cardiff, Wales doesn’t have a long history of major wrestling shows, it should be awesome to watch a show with 70,000 fans in attendance. Plus, it’s a rare early start time at 1pm ET for those of us in the eastern time zone in the United States/Canada. That’s fine with me considering all the other writing ahead of me this weekend.

The weird thing about this card is that not only is there just six matches (I was expecting more), but there isn’t a single stipulation match. You would think they would try to make some of the matches feel a bit more special. It’s not a major complaint because I do like most of the card. I just thought they’d do even more to make it a big event. I also feel bad for so many of the talented wrestlers that aren’t even making the trip to experience it.

Joining me for the preview are TJRWrestling writers Joel McIntyre, Matthew Fowler, Alex Podgorski, Kelly Dishnow and Marc Madison. Also, for the first time, we are joined by our main news writer Lyle Kilbane and our Impact Wrestling reviewer Kristian Thompson.

Alex: This is going to be an interesting show, but mostly for one reason. Despite a solid undercard, most people only care about one match: the main event. With Reigns now passing the two-year mark as champion, the question everyone wants answered is, “who reigns after Reigns?” And with Drew McIntyre looking to fill that role, we’re getting very strong SummerSlam 1992 vibes here. But will the show be that good and have crowd reactions as iconic as on that show? Let’s hope so. Especially with stiff competition from other shows happening that weekend.

Marc: After 30 years, WWE returns across the pond. While the main event isn’t between a Canadian and an Englishmen, it is between an American and a Scotsman. While it is odd that only six matches are announced on the card, it does leave it open for each of the matches on the card to have a decent amount of time given for them between matches. Will that be the case and each match is given a decent amount of time? We’ll find out for sure this coming Saturday.

Kristian: I have been excited for this show since they made the announcement that not only would the show be in Wales, but that it would have a crowd capacity of 70,000. Nothing beats the visual spectacle of a stadium show, having been to a WrestleMania myself back in 2015! Keeping the card to just 6 matches is an interesting decision, however it means that they will all be given extensive time and the quality should be high.

(Note: All graphics are from WWE.)

 

Edge & Rey Mysterio (w/Dominik Mysterio) vs. The Judgment Day – Finn Balor & Damian Priest (w/Rhea Ripley)

Joel: I think the feud has gotten a lot better since Edge came back. I wasn’t really feeling the Mysterios feud. Edge beat Priest in Toronto a few weeks ago so I see The Judgment Day winning this one with Dominik finally turning on his father. They’ve teased it during the entire Mysterios feud with The Judgment Day. They should cash in on it at Clash.

Winners: Judgment Day

Lyle: The dream team of Rey Mysterio and Edge come together to battle The Judgment Day in what could be the culmination of a feud that all involved have done well to keep on the tracks. Judgment Day might have lost to The Mysterios at SummerSlam but they have had their number in recent weeks and will be keen to finally kill of their old leader, Edge. Expect a raucous ovation for Finn Balor as he returns to Europe but ultimately, this has feel-good moment written all over it. Unless, of course, Rhea Ripley makes Dominik Mysterio answer to his self-proclaimed papi.

Winner – Edge & Rey Mysterio

Matthew: It seems for months I have been predicting that Dominik turns on his father and joins Judgment Day. This match appears set up to do exactly that, with an angry Dominik being in the corner of Edge and Rey. Unfortunately, however, at this point, it is way too predictable and everyone will be expecting it. Therefore, I am going to predict a good old-fashioned Vince Russo Swerve Bro, and have it be Edge that turns on the Mysterios and rejoins Judgement Day.

Winners: Finn Balor and Damien Priest

Alex: The team of Edge and Rey Mysterio have a long history back twenty years ago when they had a 5-Star classic tag team match. Sadly. I don’t see that happening again. And yet, I think WWE should use this show to start something special: Edge’s final farewell tour. With his recent announcement that he plans on retiring at next year’s SummerSlam, it makes sense for Edge to begin his official/unofficial retirement world tour, similar to what Jushin Liger did in the lead-up to Wrestle Kingdom 14. But here, Edge should lose, simply because the whole ‘can I really still do this?’ story has plenty of merit. Edge has come back several times, but this time he should lose (and put over newer guys in the process) and question himself as he prepares for his last match. A win here makes little sense, especially since Damien Priest is such a big star with lots of potential. Priest should pin Edge for his team instead of Mysterio; with all due respect to Rey he was lost so much more compared to Edge so him taking the fall has less weight to it. At least with Priest pinning Edge there’s the potential for a rising star to rise even further.

Winners: The Judgment Day – Finn Balor & Damian Priest (w/Rhea Ripley)

Kelly: This match has an interesting setup to it. Will Beth Phoenix finally be the equalizer to Rhea Ripley? Is Dominik into the domination that Rhea keeps dishing out to him? Will there be a heel turn? All of these questions and more will be answered (maybe) at Cardiff. I think that Beth will eventually get inserted into the feud since Bianca Belair has moved on to another feud. The Judgement Day really needs this win to help rebuild them up. Dominik probably won’t turn heel here but gets abducted by Judgement Day to be an unwilling new recruit. They can brainwash him into turning heel and that could breathe some new life into the feud.

Winners: The Judgment Day

Marc: During this past week’s edition of Raw, we saw the pairing of Edge and Rey Mysterio becoming official as they will face Judgment Day this coming Sunday. However, while we saw the Mysterio/Edge pairing, we also saw how Dominik questioned why his father didn’t pick him to team with him and Edge.

Rey gave his reason, but the allure that Rhea Ripley is able to tug on Dominik with is quite intriguing. Fans probably want to see Dominik turn on his face, but him being drawn in like a Black Widow to a web, Dominik seems hooked. Will that be all that Judgment Day needs to get the better of Rey and Edge?

Winners: The Judgment Day

Kristian: It’s a throwback to 2002 with Rey and Edge tagging together. If the match quality is of the standard that they set 20 years ago, then we are in for a treat! The veterans can still go and we all know how good Balor is when given a proper feud and lengthy matches. I thought they might have added Dominic and Rhea to make it 6-person, however with the interaction with Edge’s wife Beth, I think they’ll hold out and make it an inter-gender match later down the line. The Judgment Day still aren’t booked strongly enough for my liking and removing Edge very early felt rushed, especially when they didn’t replace him with another really strong leader. I have enjoyed seeing Priest featured more often as I think he has really improved in the ring and on the mic. There will probably a bit of outside interference and maybe more interaction between Beth and Rhea if Beth makes the trip too. I think the heel team need the win in what should be a really strong tag team match and might be the opening contest of the night, if I was predicting match order.

Winners: The Judgment Day

John: It’s cool to see Edge & Rey teaming again. The Judgment Day has been booked strong at times and then at other times, they’ve been losing matches like Priest losing to Edge in Toronto. This has been going on for a few months now. Since the next Premium Live Event after this is Extreme Rules with stipulation matches, I can see them continuing the rivalry leading to perhaps a singles match between Edge and Balor. I think it’s possible that Dominik is going to turn on Edge and his father Rey to help The Judgment Day. They could also do a finish in a way where Dominik “accidentally” costs Edge & Rey the match, then Dominik can say he didn’t mean to do it and then they have Dominik turn on Raw soon after. I don’t know if that’s the plan or what. I’m going to go with Balor pinning Mysterio in what should be a fun and entertaining tag team match.

Winners: The Judgment Day – Finn Balor & Damian Priest

 

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Liv Morgan (c) vs. Shayna Baszler

Joel: They’ve done a slightly better job booking Liv Morgan as Women’s Champion. The new regime has done an excellent job building Shayna back up to be the badass she was in NXT. She’s gotten the better of Liv nearly every time they’ve encountered each other. With Liv being “hurt” going into the match, I see her pulling out the victory in this one.

Winner: Liv Morgan

Lyle: Probably one of the more curious matches on the card sees Liv Morgan defend her championship against a former MMA star, but not the one many people expected. Shayna Baszler is Morgan’s challenger and she has certainly made the champion’s life difficult in recent weeks on SmackDown. The big question for this match is will ‘Rowdy’ Ronda Rousey be involved now she has got around her on-screen suspension? And if she does will she help her MMA Four Horsewomen partner Baszler to claim gold or will she want another shot at Liv Morgan all to herself?

Winner – Liv Morgan

Matthew: So far in my opinion Liv Morgan’s title reign has to be considered a disappointment, as she has been booked as a weak champion who is lucky to still have her title. As for this match, Shayna Baszler just feels like a fill-in until Ronda Rousey returns from her “suspension.” I fully expect Rousey to make her presence known in this match, leading to Morgan winning by disqualification after Rousey attacks her.

Winner by disqualification: Liv Morgan

Alex: I get the distinct feeling that Baszler’s going into this with the mindset of ‘avenge Ronda/protect the MMA business we both came from’ as she challenges Morgan. As such, this is going to be another major challenge for Morgan to overcome. But unlike Morgan’s match with Rousey, I think Morgan wins clean here. She’ll have to have the match of her life here to prove that she’s as good as she claims she is. This’ll be one of the more competitive matches on the card and will go around fifteen minutes. And unlike the Rousey match which had a screwy finish, this one will have a decisive end. But Morgan will have to hit multiple finishers just to keep Baszler down for the three-count.

Winner and STILL SmackDown Women’s Champion: Liv Morgan

Kelly: WWE was smart having Riddle and Morgan film a training session together. With Riddle having an MMA background and some familiarity with Baszler, it made perfect sense for Morgan to seek his help. This also adds some sorely needed credibility to Baszler. As for the match, Baszler will make Morgan look good to turn the fickle fans back to her side. I’m hoping Morgan pulls out a decisive win here and not some goofy fluke win.

Winner: Liv Morgan

Marc: Morgan hasn’t really endeared herself to fans, and a loss to Shayna Baszler here wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. Fans were well aware of how Ronda Rousey had Morgan tapping in their match at SummerSlam. The difference here is that another win like that won’t work for Morgan. Baszler’s time to challenge for the Women’s title is finally here.

And with her challenge for the title, fans are excited at a possible win. The excitement with this match under the creative direction of Triple H suggests Baszler has a chance. But will that come to pass, or do we have Morgan retain? A rematch with Rousey is likely in the cards.

Winner: AND STILL Smackdown Women’s Champion, Liv Morgan

Kristian: For me, this is the least interesting match of the night. That’s not because I have no interest in either of the combatants or they aren’t skilled, but the booking of Baszler has been so poor since her main roster arrival. Now, after prolonged periods of tag matches and losses, we are meant to believe that she is a main threat to the championship. I expect Baszler to dominate most of the match with her submission skills and Morgan to make her babyface comeback, before a controversial finish again that I’ll explain below. I was happy that Liv has been given a run with the championship, but this has somewhat been overshadowed by the booking of Ronda Rousey and her anger at losing the title. It looked like creative wanted to book her as a heel but she continually gets cheered for her actions, especially her recent destruction of ‘security’ so I think that she will get involved here. I am predicting that it will be a No Contest result where Rousey takes out both competitors. I think we will see a Triple Threat match in the future or just another singles rematch between Rousey and Morgan.

Match Result: No Contest due to Ronda Rousey

John: My interest is low here because they really haven’t received a lot of TV time in the build up to the match. Yes, they did that one spot where Morgan put Baszler through the table, but other than that there hasn’t been much. I wonder if the crowd will be interested in this at all. It may be tough for the two women to have a good match. I assume the story will be Baszler working on the injured left arm for most of it and then Morgan manages to hit one move or get an inside cradle to find a way to win. I think Morgan will retain and Ronda Rousey will show up unannounced to attack Morgan after the match. (There is a new report that Rousey may not be at Clash at the Castle, but I’ll still pick Morgan to win.)

Winner: Liv Morgan

 

wwe clash castle 2022 gunther sheamus

Intercontinental Championship: Gunther (c) vs. Sheamus

Joel: I am looking forward to Gunther and Sheamus beating the absolute shit out of each other. This match will be great. They’re in the UK so it is possible they go with Sheamus but I think Gunther has a little while left as Champion. This is his first Premium Live Event defense of the Intercontinental Championship. It’s going to be an awesome match and Gunther retains with a Powerbomb.

Winner: GUNTHER

Lyle: A very European affair sees Austria’s Gunter, accompanied by German Ludwig Kaiser, facing Ireland’s Sheamus, who will no doubt be flanked by England’s Ridge Holland and Butch – a League of Nations if ever there was one. This could steal the show in the stadium as the crowd in Wales will no doubt be littered with fans who saw these men on the European indy scene back in the day. I’m fully expecting a hard-hitting, brutal match that will have many in Cardiff flinching. The fans will surely be behind Sheamus in his pursuit of the final piece of his Grand Slam puzzle, but The Ring General has more to do as champ.

Winner – Gunther

Matthew: Of all the wrestling matches that are taking place this weekend, this is the one I am most looking forward too. I fully expect Gunther and Sheamus to beat the living hell out of each in front of their home European crowd. As for who wins, it is way too early for Gunther to lose here. I expect Gunther to get the win after a potential five-star match.

Winner: Gunther

Alex: I know Sheamus might get cheered because he’s a local boy (relatively speaking), but I would prefer WALTER – sorry, Gunther, win. To me, Sheamus is a midcarder whose time at the top has come and gone. Meanwhile, Gunther still has plenty of potential on the main roster, especially after his tremendous body of work in NXT UK. And while I don’t expect him to pull off anything of that quality here, there’s money to be made with Gunther as an upper-midcard villain that runs through everyone. He might be a world title challenger (or holder) in the future, but for now he needs to demolish anyone stupid enough to challenge him. And what better way to do that than to have him defeat a former world champion, Rumble Winner, and MITB briefcase holder in under twelve minutes?

Winner and STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion: Gunther

Kelly: I’ve seen people call this the People’s Main Event and it should be awesome. It’s gonna be hard-hitting and they will deliver in Cardiff. It’s hard to pick a winner here. Gunther can bring back credibility to the IC title it sorely needs, while this is the only title Sheamus has not held in WWE. With Triple H back in charge, I’m going to pick Sheamus to win the title here so Gunther can be bumped up to the main event scene to chase the WWE/Universal World Title.

Winner: Sheamus

Marc: My chest is hurting just thinking about these two fighting one another. When the Austrian and Irishman face each other, who is the face and who is the heel? Going into the match, both men can claim to be heels. While Ludvig Kaiser will back Gunther, Sheamus has Holland and Butch in his corner. Could this also see the debut of Tyler Bate as well?

That idea is thrown out there because leading into NXT Worlds Collide; we saw Gunther and Butch remind Bate of the prestige tied to the NXT UK Championship. So it would seem fitting that Bate comes to Clash at the Castle and is also a factor in this match. The Irishman could ironically walk out of Cardiff as a Grand Slam Champion because of someone from the UK.

Winner AND NEW Intercontinental Champion: Sheamus

Kristian: Hoss fight! This is going to be a brutal, hard-hitting fight that I am really looking forward to. I have loved seeing Gunther on the main roster and immediately given a lengthy run with a major championship. His recent series with Ricochet was a lot of fun and we all know that Gunther can have terrific matches with any size of opponent after his run in NXT UK. Sheamus has been involved with Drew McIntyre for what seems like most of the year, which is the style of match-up that I expect to see here too in Wales. The fact that Sheamus has never won the Intercontinental Championship is why I am leaning towards him coming away with the victory here. He has been booked strongly since Wrestlemania and even though I am enjoying the reign of Gunther, I just have a feeling that they’ll put the belt on Sheamus here. They will beat the stuffing out of each other and I predict that Sheamus’ buddies will help him score the win. This can hopefully lead to a number of matches, as the build-up has been strong and the crowd reacts to the wrestling style of both men.

Winner AND NEW Intercontinental Champion: Sheamus

John: This will be a physical, fun match to watch. I enjoy this style of wrestling way more than some matches that happen these days where the bell rings and wrestlers start doing gymnastics moves to avoid eachother. We want to see action. These guys will give it to us. As a longtime fan of both, I’m so happy two of the most well-known and accomplished European wrestlers of the last 20 years get to be on this card in front of a huge crowd in Wales. Sheamus is a heel just like Gunther, but I think the fans might lean towards Sheamus trying to get the IC Title for the first time.

While I would be in favor of Sheamus winning because I’m a big fan of his, I get the feeling that Gunther is going to have a longer title run that should probably end against a babyface wrestler instead of another heel like Sheamus. I’ll pick Gunther to retain in what could be the best match on the show. I think there are a few contenders for that honor.

Winner: Gunther

 

Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, Asuka & Alexa Bliss vs. Bayley, Dakota Kai & IYO SKY

Joel: This feud has been brewing since SummerSlam. A month ago, Dakota Kai was out of a job and it looked as if Iyo Sky was headed back to Japan. Here we are a month later and both are in a marquee match in front of 60,000 people. Based on Damage CTRL losing the Women’s Tag Title match last Monday, the only decision that makes sense here is beating Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss, and Asuka. I feel Asuka probably takes the pin and it sets up Bayley as a future challenger for the Raw Women’s Championship.

Winners: Bayley/IYO SKY/Dakota Kai

Lyle: Ding Dong! Hello! Bayley delighted fans at SummerSlam when she returned after a year out and has been back to her best, now flanked by the returning Dakota Kai, and the re-named IYO SKY. The real story here is between Bayley and the Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair and The Role Models eventual pursuit of that gold. A big win here for her group could see Bayley back in the championship hunt heading into the autumn.

Winners – Bayley, Dakota Kai & IYO SKY

Matthew: I fully expected Kai and SKY to be going into this match as WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, and am shocked that they lost on Monday. Due to this, I cannot see them and Bayley losing here as well, as it would kill any credibility the new group has. Therefore, I will go with Bayley, Kai and SKY finding a way to cheat and get the win here.

Winners:Bayley, Dakota Kai & IYO SKY

Alex: This is pretty straightforward: the new team wins to build up momentum. Bayley, Kai, and SKY need to establish themselves with an audience that may still be unfamiliar with them. Belair, Asuka and Bliss are all established and none of them would really suffer from taking a fall here. Besides, Belair needs a fresh crop of potential title challengers, so if one of them were to pin her here, then it would setup a title defense down the road. With WWE in dire need of fresh match-ups, this is the only direction that makes sense.

Winners: Bayley, Dakota Kai & IYO SKY

Kelly: I really like the dynamic between these two teams. I’m surprised that Kai and SKY are not the Women’s tag champs but that is a minor detail that does not need to play into the story yet. We can get quite a bit of mileage of this feud if it is done correctly, up to the Rumble. We can revisit Belair/Bayley and the tag titles could eventually come into play for the other four. The build has been really good and I’m looking forward to this match. I just wonder who will be the odd one out when Becky Lynch returns or had not gotten injured? The tag match will be great with a lot of action to it.

Winners: Bayley/Kai/SKY

Marc: On this past week’s edition of Raw, we witnessed the crowning of new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions in Aaliyah and Raquel Rodriguez. That could be in part because of the run-in by Bliss, Asuka, and Belair. So whether the legal person was pinned this past Monday or not, the trio has motivation in wanting to get the better of Belair, Asuka, and Bliss.

A win for Bayley’s trio seems to be the only way this should go. It would also make the most sense to have it be Bayley that gets the pinfall win for her team against Belair. If fans are supposed to take this trio seriously, they need to seriously walk away with wins showing their dominance as a faction.

Winners: Bayley, Dakota Kai, and IYO SKY

Kristian: It was a welcome surprise to see the return of Bayley, Kai and SKY (do we really have to call her that?) at Summerslam. Kai should never have been let go as she can show that she is a top talent when given the chance. I hoped SKY’s contract was going to get renewed (there were rumours that she was just letting it run out) and Bayley has been injured but is a top heel when healthy. It’s good booking to have her as the leader, not only because she is the most recognisable name, but also as she’s the strongest on the mic. Bayley can run the show and Kai and SKY can have most of the action as she builds her ring fitness. The newly-formed heel trio will pick up the win here, with Bliss the most likely to cop the loss. It’s good to see her involved in a feud again after her frankly painful run as the ‘crazy doll lady’ and then having time off. Belair is always booked so strongly so I don’t expect her to take the pin. She’s been treading water a little since beating Becky Lynch at Summerslam so I’m hoping this is building to a singles feud between Belair and Bayley in the future.

Winners: Bayley, Dakota Kai, and IYO SKY

John: This should be a fun match with a crowd that will likely be into the action because Belair has become a top star while Bayley knows how to get heat with her group. Any time there’s a champion in a tag team match, the potential finish can usually involve the champion losing to set up a title match. That’s where I think they will go here. I think Bayley will get the pin on Bliss to build Bayley as the next challenger for Belair’s title. I also believe they’re going to get plenty of time here, so don’t be shocked if it goes 15-20 minutes. I liked what I saw from Bliss/Asuka and Kai/SKY at the live event I was at as well as their recent match on Raw, so when you add greatness like Belair & Bayley to the mix, it should be an awesome match.

Winners: Bayley, Dakota Kai & IYO SKY

 

Matt Riddle vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Joel: This might be the match of the night. Everyone was critical when they took this match off the SummerSlam card but apparently, Triple H had a plan and that plan has worked to perfection as Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins have had the best build to their match this weekend. The match will be great, but Seth hasn’t won a PLE match by pinfall all year. He needs this one. I think he gets it.

Winner: Seth “FREAKIN” Rollins

Lyle: This rivalry had flown under the radar somewhat with fans looking elsewhere for their potential match of the night – and then their interview on Raw happened. Seth Rollins discussed Matt Riddle’s real-life divorce and Riddle reacted in a way not seen by many WWE fans used to his ‘Original Bro’ persona. As Riddle reigned down F-bombs – censored of course – while Rollins simply laughed at him, the authenticity of their feud oozed out of the screen. This will steal the show.

Winner – Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Matthew: This match has had an awesome build that has been going on for several months now. Due to this, the excitement for this match is high, and I expect these two to meet that excitement. I expect an excellent match that should get plenty of time. As for who wins, I think it is time for Riddle to be pushed into the main event. Therefore I will go with Riddle getting the clean win here, before moving on to challenging for the WWE/Universal Championship.

Winner: Matt Riddle

Alex: This should be the most violent match on the card. With Riddle and Rollins trading such vicious and personal barbs recently, it wouldn’t make any sense for this match to stay purely professional. Expect to see early take-downs, mounted punching, and an overall more aggressive feel to the match. Because anything less than that would ruin the great build this match has benefitted from.

I know these two guys have wanted to have a ‘match’ for some time now, but that’s not right for the feud at this point. These two guys need to fight. They should ditch the high-flying, the spots, and the extravagance and just throw hands. But if they abandon that mentality and just go with a regular match featuring lock-ups, holds, and other grappling, then it’ll show that even the most unique and different promos and angles mean nothing.

Winner: Matt Riddle

Kelly: This has been another well-built feud. Holding it off until now was probably the right call. Rollins will make Riddle look like the main event star he has the potential to be. As I mentioned in the Morgan/Baszler match, it was a good idea to film the training session between Riddle and Morgan. It adds a little bit more to his character and it helped put over his MMA background some. Rollins is also looking for a solid win and I think he’ll get it here. Riddle is ready to break out with Orton away and he will win this feud. I wouldn’t complain if Riddle won here but I think Rollins will pick up the duke instead.

Winner: Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Marc: This may be the only singles match where it actually takes five words to announce the two competitors. As evident this past week, Riddle was once again known as Matt Riddle. But the most eyebrow-raising moment of his altercation with Seth Freakin Rollins was his taking a personal shot at Riddle, whose wife is no longer with him and has custody of their children.

This brought out a whole other side of the jovial and ‘chill’ Riddle. The time for laughing between both men was over, and the time had come for them to get their hands with one another finally. It’s certainly been a feud where they’ve been pulled apart from each more than they’ve been given the opportunity to GO! A win here for Riddle makes all the beatdowns at the hands of the visionary all the more worthwhile.

Winner: Matt Riddle

Kristian: I was disappointed to see this match removed from the Summerslam card at the last minute, just to build it up for a match here in Wales. However, the build to the match has been really strong and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it changed to a street fight on the night, especially after the brawling over the last few weeks. I expect them to fight all over the arena, including in the crowd, and it to be a long match. With his first name back intact, I’m expecting Riddle to pick up the win here. Rollins loses most of his matches at the Premium Live Events but that never seems to affect his ability to engage the crowd in his matches or his main-event level status. This feud has felt like a throwback to the Attitude Era, especially this week where both men had the dreaded bleeping during their promos making it feel like a personal and intense rivalry. I expect Randy Orton to return at some point and turn on Riddle, but that might not be until the end of the year or early next year. Riddle vs Orton for WrestleMania should be on the cards.

Winner: Matt Riddle

John: I echo everybody else saying they’re happy to see Matt Riddle with a full name again. I saw this at a live event as a Street Fight two weeks ago and they had a great showing in front of a hot crowd. They have been wrestling at house shows for over the last two months, so they should be able to have an awesome match here. My expectations are high. That promo segment they did on Raw last week only added to my interest because Riddle making it personal first and then Rollins making it even more personal was a smart way to make us care about this match even more.

Rollins has lost on every Premium Live Event (or pay-per-view) this year except the Royal Rumble, which was a DQ win over Roman Reigns that didn’t lead to another title match. The reason I point that out is that I think Rollins could really use the win although I get it if somebody picked Riddle too. Since Riddle is the newer guy on the main roster, he could really benefit from beating the more established wrestler in Rollins. I just think Rollins winning makes more sense since I think WWE will want to push Seth as the next WWE/Universal Title contender. Riddle will come close to winning several times and it certainly won’t hurt him by losing to a guy like Rollins. They could also keep the feud going at Extreme Rules and leading into Crown Jewel as well. Lots of options here.

Winner: Seth “Freakin” Rollins

 

Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

Joel: This is the toughest match to call. On one hand, I think the guy that should beat Roman Reigns for the Undisputed Championship should be Cody Rhodes. However, you have lightning in a bottle with Drew McIntyre that I don’t think you should ignore. You’ve shown all these video packages, Drew has teased bringing back Broken Dreams for this match, they’re in the UK for a PLE that Drew has pushed to make happen for years. To do all of that and STILL have Drew take the loss just seems like it would do a lot more harm than good. He was robbed of his moment in front of fans at WrestleMania 36. Let him have his moment here. You can always go back to Roman if it doesn’t work out.

Winner: Drew McIntyre

Lyle: Two years of Roman Reigns as Universal Champion has never looked in more danger of coming to an end than it does against Drew McIntyre in Cardiff. McIntyre’s ascension to title challenger has been slower and steadier this time around as he rebuilt after his two WWE Championship reigns in 2020. Many are looking at Roman Reigns’ future and a potential showdown with The Rock at WrestleMania 39 as the reason why he can’t lose. But with Drew McIntyre coming back to the UK – albeit not Scotland – he can’t either. The shadow of SummerSlam 1992 and British Bulldog’s win looms large over Clash at the Castle and a statement win for McIntyre in front of a stadium full of fans rallying behind him is more than deserved after he was forced to win his WWE Championship at WrestleMania 36 in front of nobody.

Winner AND NEW Undisputed WWE Universal Champion – Drew McIntyre

Matthew: Roman Reigns has now been Universal Champion for over two years, in one of the greatest runs in WWE history. Will this historic run finally come to an end this Saturday? I believe it will. I expect McIntyre to defeat Reigns in front of his home crowd to win the titles. The real question becomes what happens after that, and if Austin Theory will cash-in. I also believe this will happen. I think Theory will cash in here and it will somehow lead to the titles being split again, with Theory defending the WWE Title on Raw and McIntyre defending the Universal Title on Smackdown.

Winner AND NEW Undisputed WWE Universal Champion: Drew McIntyre (Theory cashes in after the match)

Alex: This is the big one.

Reigns has been champion for two years and looks unstoppable. But now he finds himself in a rematch from WrestleMania 35 as defends his titles against Drew. And to be honest, I think Drew winning would be too easy of a pick. It just seems too predictable: the Scotsman winning in the UK on the 30th anniversary of SummerSlam 1992? It’s easy and straightforward booking, but to me it just doesn’t seem right in this case. Drew bores me as a wrestler these days. And while he earned this title shot properly, he hasn’t shown that he has what it takes to beat Reigns. During this reign, Reigns has destroyed every top-tier challenger, including Drew himself. He even beat both Daniel Bryan and Cesaro so bad they left WWE. And to be honest, nothing has changed for Drew since that loss. What has he shown or done to show that he could do what all of those guys (and especially Brock Lesnar) couldn’t achieve? Nothing.

As such, I want Reigns to win here. I would rather he retain and lose to someone else. With WWE’s business as it is, there’s no need for him to lose the belts right now (WWE’s financials and live gates have shown that the top champion’s presence has little impact either way). It would be better for Reigns to lose to someone that’s built up as more of a believable winner, and to me, Drew just isn’t that person.

Winner and STILL Undisputed WWE Universal Champion: Roman Reigns

Kelly: This will finally be the downfall of the Tribal Chief. Had they not unified the WWE and Universal titles, I probably would be picking Roman to retain here. The world title scene has been sort of directionless since the titles were unified at WrestleMania. Yes, Reigns is a part-time performer holding both world titles hostage. This is different than when Brock held just the Universal Title hostage. McIntyre did not get his crowning moment in front of fans winning the title at WrestleMania 36 because of Covid restrictions, so this is the perfect spot for him to get that moment. Since Vince McMahon is no longer booking, the fans will go home with a McIntyre title victory. Austin Theory should be a non-factor in any of this, again no Vince booking.

Winner: Drew McIntyre becomes the NEW Undisputed WWE Universal Champion

Marc: Rumors seem as much a part of wrestling today as it is the wrestling itself. One of the biggest questions going into this match is whether or not Reigns retains. For every competitor that’s crossed paths with Reigns, unless the likes of Kevin Owens helps McIntyre, the only chance I can see of him winning the title is by beating Austin Theory, who would attempt to cash in his money in the bank championship opportunity.

Unless a failed cash-in leads to McIntyre walking away as the champion happens, it’s hard for me to see Reigns not to retain the title. But if Austin Theory doesn’t cash in, I see the champion retaining. So if that’s the case, let’s go with that as a pick.

Winner AND STILL Undisputed WWE Universal Champion: Roman Reigns

Kristian: Channelling my inner Mark Henry, ‘It’s time for the Main Event!’ This is a matchup that I’ve been hoping for and was really excited for when it was announced. It should be a great spectacle, especially in front of a huge and rabid crowd. Reigns has been exceptional over his two-year reign. For me, he is easily having the best run of his career and his heel turn has turned him into a mega-star. He is so much more comfortable on the mic as a heel and complimented so well by his Bloodline faction. I wouldn’t mind if he held the title until WrestleMania (rumoured match against the Rock which would be huge), however I believe McIntyre will become champion at Clash.

McIntyre carried the company in 2020 during the No Audience Era and he deserves that big-crowd reaction to a championship win, which I think he will get in Cardiff. I thought it would’ve happened last year against Lashley, but they were still pushing Lashley’s heel persona and he had a fine run as champion anyway. I expect plenty of shenanigans in this match, especially from the Usos, but McIntyre will eventually Claymore his way to the Universal Championship. I think this has the potential to be a 5-star match and it will really have a big-fight feel which could easily main event WrestleMania and I wouldn’t complain if they had the rematch there.

Winner AND NEW Undisputed WWE Universal Champion: Drew McIntyre

John: Drew McIntyre was drafted to Smackdown 11 months ago and it took him this long to get a televised singles match against Roman Reigns even though I’m pretty sure Drew didn’t lose a singles TV match since being on Smackdown. That’s my way of saying WWE knew they were going to this match since last October and it’s finally here. I don’t know when WWE knew they were running this show on September 3 although I assume it was a long time ago, which is why they saved this match.

I think McIntyre should win and I will pick him to win. It’s a great idea to have Drew win in front of 70,000 people that are UK wrestling fans just like Drew was growing up when he watched Davey vs. Bret at Wembley. I realize that Drew isn’t necessarily at “home” in Wales as a guy from Scotland, but it’s part of the United Kingdom. Along the way, over the last two years, we’ve predicted every title defense Reigns has had on a PPV/PLE show. I picked him to lose a few times. I was wrong every time. Could I be wrong this time? Sure. It’s possible. Business is strong in WWE these days and they may want Reigns to keep the title until WrestleMania next year to drop it to Cody Rhodes or maybe that long-rumored match with The Rock could be a title match. I don’t know what the plan is and that’s fine with me.

I’m interested in seeing if Roman Reigns will have The Usos, Paul Heyman and Sami Zayn with him. The Usos were not at the Canada shows recently due to their DUI history. I’m not sure if that will prevent them from getting into the UK. As for Sami, we have seen that he has proven to be loyal to Reigns by taking a Claymore Kick and joining The Bloodline in a recent attack against McIntyre as well. The guess here is that there might be some ref bump or some kind of spot where Sami is supposed to give McIntyre the Helluva Kick, then Drew avoids it and Sami hits Reigns with it. That would lead to McIntyre winning with a Claymore Kick soon after that. That way they can blame Zayn for the loss, then have The Bloodline kick Sami’s ass on TV on the next Smackdown there’s Kevin Owens to save his best friend. That would then lead to Owens/Zayn beating The Usos to win the Tag Team Titles at some point in the future.

There are some people that talk about Reigns being a dominant champion or being unstoppable. If you really think about it, he’s had a lot of help from either both Usos or at least Jey Uso for many of his title defenses including his SummerSlam win over Brock Lesnar. That wasn’t even close to a clean win. Of course, some of Roman’s wins have been clean. I just think it’s important to win that Reigns has been a cheap heel champion that gets help from his family just as much as he’s won clean over the last two years. If there are Roman’s allies at ringside, they can use them to get heat, but also put over Drew by having him take them out.

This is the kind of show that needs a happy ending just like SummerSlam 1992. Think about it this way. These fans in the UK waited 30 years for a stadium show like this. It’s the biggest wrestling show that many of them have ever attended or will ever attend. That’s why it’s important for WWE to send them home happy. Reigns doesn’t need another win to keep his titles, especially the Universal Title that he has held for over two years at this point. Like Drew said in his promo to Reigns, the fans deserve an active champion that’s going to be on the shows regularly as well as the live events. If It was up to me, the WWE and Universal Title would be split up immediately and I don’t know how they might do that, but maybe they use Theory’s Money in the Bank contract to say he can only win one title if he cashes in. I wouldn’t do that here, though. Don’t piss off these fans. They waited this long for a UK stadium show so give them the happy babyface moment with Drew winning the Undisputed WWE Universal Title in front of his family, friends and fellow UKers while the pyro goes off in celebration for the Scottish Warrior living his dream. It’s the right guy in the right spot. As others said, Drew carried WWE in the PC/ThunderDome era. He deserves this moment. He’s earned it.

I think it should be a great match in the 20-25 minute range. They’ll probably have some special entrances like McIntyre’s entrance starting with the “Broken Dreams” song from earlier in his career leading into his current song. I think it’s going to feel like a big match and the fans are going to be really into it. Drew is my pick to win to end Roman’s title run. Am I sure of it? Absolutely not, but I think it’s the right call. If Roman keeps it I’m fine with it. I just think those great fans in the UK deserve the happy moment with Drew getting the big win and after two years, why not? Let’s see a title change.

Winner AND NEW Undisputed WWE Universal Champion: Drew McIntyre

 

BONUS TOPICS!

The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most

Joel: Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre.

Lyle: Matt Riddle vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins.

Matthew: Gunther vs. Sheamus.

Alex: Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre.

Kelly: Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre.

Marc: Riddle/Rollins AND Gunther/Sheamus.

Kristian: Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre.

John: Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre because after two years, I’m interested in seeing if WWE books a title change here.

 

The Match I Care About The Least

Joel: Judgment Day vs. Edge and Rey Mysterio.

Lyle: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler.

Matthew: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler.

Alex: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler.

Kelly: It’s a solid card, hard to pick one.

Marc: Mysterio/Edge vs. Judgment Day.

Kristian: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler.

John: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler.

 

Longest Match

Joel: Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre.

Lyle: Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre should go 30 minutes.

Matthew: Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre.

Alex: Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre (~30 minutes).

Kelly: Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre.

Marc: Matt Riddle vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins.

Kristian: Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre.

John: Matt Riddle vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins. Cardio beasts as the kids say? Do “the kids” say that? I don’t know.

 

Shortest Match

Joel: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler.

Lyle: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler – also most likely to have a messy finish.

Matthew: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler.

Alex: Edge & Mysterio vs. Judgment Day (~10 minutes).

Kelly: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler.

Marc: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler.

Kristian: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler.

John: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler.

 

Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)

Joel: 9. I wish there were a couple more matches but other than that, I can’t remember a PPV or PLE I’ve looked forward to more except maybe WrestleMania 38. There isn’t a single match on the show that shouldn’t deliver and when you have a recipe like that, it makes for a great show. This is one hell of a start to the Triple H creative regime.

Lyle: 7 – I’m going to this show, which will be my first time seeing WWE in a stadium and the first WWE show I’ve attended since 2016. Cesaro beat Stardust on that card, so times have changed! I am excited to see the spectacle of WWE and I’m thrilled that the card isn’t jam-packed to make a 5 or 6-hour show. Personally, I’d have loved to have seen Cody Rhodes and Becky Lynch, but injuries put an end to that. WWE believes that the event is the draw on this occasion and that has proved to be the case with ticket sales, and if all goes well, the whole thing could return in the future without waiting 30 years this time.

Matthew: 8. Unlike the other big show this weekend, WWE has done a great job of building these matches and giving this show a big event feel. Several matches on this show could go four stars or more (in John Canton’s ratings, not other wrestling observers), making this a must-watch show.

Alex: 6. This is really a one-match card. Everything else has benefitted from OK booking but nothing out of this world. I don’t expect any major surprises here except for in the main event. Normally I hate random swerves but this is one time I think it would make more sense for the sake of long-term business instead of going down the expected route and giving Drew a win and a reign he doesn’t need and hasn’t really earned.

Kelly: 8 – It’s a pretty solid card and the recent shows have been solid in the lead up. It should be a great night and the crowd is going to be awesome. In some ways, this could just be the reset the WWE needs to keep riding that momentum built up as of late.

Marc: 7.

Kristian: 8.5. The main event of the evening will make the show. I am not as excited for the other 5 matches but they all look solid on paper. With HHH now head of creative, the quality of the weekly shows has certainly improved and this makes for more compelling Pay Per Views (I will not write PLE, Vince!).

John: 8. I think the match quality will be really strong for most of the show. I am very surprised they didn’t have seven or eight matches on the show because if you do a 3 hour, 30-minute show or something close to four hours then there’s still plenty of time for a lot of talent that will be sitting at home instead of being there. I think there are three potential best matches on the card: Reigns/McIntyre, Rollins/Riddle and Gunther/Sheamus. I think those three should be around the four star range in my star ratings (meaning great matches) and maybe higher than that. I think that six-woman tag could be awesome too. Anyway, I still wish there were some more matches with some of the wrestlers that aren’t on the card, but overall I’m excited mostly for the UK fans getting this big event.

 

In Closing

John: I’ll be back with a review of Clash at the Castle on TJRWrestling.net on Saturday, so check that out live or any time after it’s over. You can also tweet me @johnreport as well.

If you want to send an email, send it to me at mrjohncanton@gmail.com. Thanks for reading.