The John Report: WWE Clash at the Castle 2022 Review
The 2022 WWE Clash at the Castle took place in front of a huge crowd in Cardiff, Wales with Roman Reigns defending the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship in the main event against Drew McIntyre, plus a whole lot more action.
It’s an early start time for those of us in North America (I’m in Canada) that are used to these wrestling shows taking place in the evening. That’s because it’s a 6pm local start time in Wales, so that’s 1pm ET where I live. I’m a big fan of the afternoon shows, which we have been used to since WWE started doing the Saudi Arabia shows a few years ago as well. Anyway, it’s the first major PPV (or Premium Live Event) in the UK in 30 years, so let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show Match
The Kickoff Show panel was Jackie Redmond, Peter Rosenberg and Matt Camp at the WWE studios in Connecticut.
The commentary team at the Clash at the Castle event itself was Smackdown’s Michael Cole with Raw’s Corey Graves & Byron Saxton. I’ll miss Pat McAfee, but I get why they don’t send all the announcers all the way to Wales. It was time for the Kickoff Show match.
The first wrestler to enter was Madcap Moss followed by his tag team partners The Street Profits. Their opponents were Alpha Academy and Austin Theory. The introduction for Theory confirms that he has the first name back officially.
Madcap Moss, Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins vs. Austin Theory, Chad Gable & Otis
I missed the first few minutes setting up the review. Ford was isolated by the heels for a few minutes. Moss got the tag with punches followed by two shoulder tackles, another shoulder tackle on Theory and Theory got a forearm. Dawkins got the tag with a corkscrew elbow, corner splash and a double underhook sitout slam for two. Theory with a shot to the face, then Gable got the and a roll through int a German Suplex on Dawkins for two as Moss made the save. Theory with a roll through dropkick, Ford with an enziguri kick on Theory, Otis ran over Ford and Moss hit a fallaway slam on Otis that was special. The fans liked that. Gable dumped Moss out of the ring while doing a spot where Moss was supposed to bump out of the ring, but they messed it up a bit. Dawkins had Gable on his shoulders on the floor, Ford ran the ropes with a Blockbuster over the top rope on the floor that sent the other guys crashing down. Ford got the tag and hit the Frog Splash on Gable for the pinfall win. It went 6:29.
Winners by pinfall: Madcap Moss, Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins
Analysis: *** A fast-paced match. That’s the right way to do a Kickoff Show matchup where there’s a lot of action and they do a lot of fun spots to get the crowd into it. Ford’s blockbuster on the floor was amazing while the Frog Splash always looks impressive.
That Roman Reigns-Drew McIntyre video package at the end of Kickoff Show was amazing. They’ll probably air again before the main event.
They showed a Mercedes truck arriving at the building and they showed Roman Reigns exiting it on his own. Reigns did not have his titles with him. No members of The Bloodline with him either. It’s time for the main show.
WWE Clash at the Castle
From Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales
September 3, 2022
There was a great video package narrated by a guy from the UK showing videos of the WWE superstars and putting over the castle theme about how they are ready to fight.
WOW! #WWECastle is live at @principalitysta and the atmosphere is absolutely firstname.lastname@example.org/XHLkSuCY2V
— WWE (@WWE) September 3, 2022
They did a great side shot of the stadium showing the huge crowd with the roof on top. I like the set with the big screens above the ring as part of the entrance.
It was the six-woman tag team match opening show. They had a long entrance like most stadium shows. The Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair got a big ovation. It’s smart to put her in the opening match with the crowd really hot. Alexa Bliss was next followed by Asuka getting a nice ovation.
The heel team of Bayley, Dakota Kai & IYO SKY were up next. They have a new theme song and the Damage Control graphic appeared as part of the entrance. They entered together. As I mentioned in the Kickoff Show, the commentary team was Michael Cole, Corey Graves & Byron Saxton.
Bianca Belair, Asuka & Alexa Bliss vs. Damage Control (Bayley, IYO SKY & Dakota Kai)
The crowd sang the “Hey Bayley” song based on a classic song and Bayley hated it. All six women got into a bit of a brawl at the start as Belair started with a shoulder tackle on Bayley. Belair went for her handspring move off the ropes, but Sky & Kai stopped it. Bliss punched Kai, then they set up a suplex spot with all six women involved as the three faces hit three suplexes. Bayley had to tell Kai to lay back down and Belair hit a handspring moonsault onto all three women for a two count. A bit of illegal action there, but then it settled down. Sky battled Bliss as the fans kept on chanting different things and Bliss stomped on Sky while against the ropes. Bliss tripped up Sky followed by the double knees to the ribs for two. Bayley got the tag and she yelled at the fans to shut up as she brought Bliss to the corner. Bliss tripped up Bayley, Bliss with a punch and legal woman Asuka hit a bulldog. Asuka with a kick that Bayley blocked to send Asuka into the mat. Sky made the tag, Asuka hit a dropkick on Bayley and Sky hit a missile dropkick off the top rope. Asuka and Sky exchanged strike, then Sky got a rollup for two and Sky got a back kick to the chest. Kai slammed Asuka’s head down to the mat. Sky hit double knees to the chest. They did a spot where Bayley was sent out of the ring, Bliss hit her with a dive and then Kai dropkicked Bliss into the barricade. Kai was legal doing that spot as she took Bliss back into the ring with a suplex. Bliss with forearms to Sky, but Sky sent Bliss into the turnbuckle. Sky hit a flapjack sending Bliss into the mat for a two count. Bliss hit a Code Red on Sky, but Kai made a blind tag before that and hit a running kick. Bliss fought back against the heels with a headscissors on Kai, but Bayley pulled Belair off the apron to prevent a tag. Kai dropkicked Belair off the apron. Bayley sent Belair into the barricade. Bliss finally broke free, so Asuka hit a dropkick, a hip attack and a shoulder tackle. Asuka wit ha hip attack on Sky in the corner, then Asuka with a knee to the head, Asuka with strikes and a German Suplex. Asuka hit a sliding kick to the head for two on Sky as Bayley & Kai broke up the pin. Bayley hit a Bayley to Belly on Bliss, who tried to help Asuka. Sky with a hard kick to the face of Asuka. Bayley tagged in, Sky held Asuka in place and Bayley hit a clothesline on Asuka for two. Asuka hit double knees (the camera showed the fans and then caught the end of it) on Bayley. Belair got the hot tag with a dropkick on Bayley, then multiple shoulder tackles and Belair hit a spinebuster followed by a moonsault for two. Bayley with an eye gouge, Kai tagged in and Belair sent Kai into Sky at ringside. Bayley was still on the turnbuckle, Belair went after her and Asuka/Bliss stood on Belair’s back to hit a double superplex on Bayley. That was a unique spot as all six women in the match were down. Sky hit a springboard moonsault on Bliss/Asuka on the floor. Belair rolled up Kai for two. Belair with a forearm to Kai and Belair pressed up Kai leading to fallaway slam. Belair blocked a kick attempt from Kai and Belair hit a stiff Powerbomb on Kai. Belair went up top, jumped off as Kai moved and Kai hit a Scorpion Kick that sent Belair to the corner. Sky helped Kai by grabbing Belair, then Kai kicked Belair, Bayley hit the Roseplant on Belair, Sky hit the Over the Moonsault and legal woman Bayley covered Belair to win the match. It went 18:41.
Winners by pinfall: Damage Control (Bayley, IYO SKY & Dakota Kai)
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a pretty good tag team match that was given a lot of time to build up to Belair getting the hot tag. The result was what I expected because what I mentioned in the preview is that when a champion is in a tag team match, they sometimes get pinned to set up a title match. Since Bayley pinned Belair (after Sky’s move) that’s obviously going to lead to a title feud. A good match overall, but maybe a bit long because it had some dead spots. It did pick up well by the end.
A commercial aired for the A&E Biography of WrestleMania 1 on Sunday.
There was a video showing Cody Rhodes coming back to WWE earlier this year. I miss the guy, and I look forward to seeing him come back from injury in a few months. My Royal Rumble 2023 men’s winner prediction is Cody Rhodes. Just saying.
They showed Drew McIntyre standing in the backstage area earlier today. The boxing champion Tyson Fury shook Drew’s hand backstage. Tyson Fury was seated at ringside behind the announcers with his family. Big pop from Fury who is from England.
A video aired of highlights of SummerSlam 1992 at Wembley Stadium in London, England. The British Bulldog beat Bret Hart to win the Intercontinental Title. It’s one of the greatest WWE matches of all time with Cole saying it’s been labeled as the greatest match in the history of SummerSlam. I think it’s certainly in the discussion. I love that match.
They showed the great Bret Hart in the crowd and they said the family of the “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith, but I didn’t see them on camera.
Sheamus made his entrance with his Brawling Brutes buddies Ridge Holland and Butch.
Imperium is back together! Giovanni Vinci formerly of NXT is back with Ludwig Kaiser and the Intercontinental Champion Gunther. Kaiser introduced Vinci first and then Gunther after that. I love seeing Imperium back together. Love to see it! These guys are awesome.
Analysis: I’m a big fan of more groups on the main roster. Those three guys in Imperium work so well together. Plus, having Kaiser & Vinci together will bolster the tag team division since they are a great team.
Intercontinental Championship: Gunther vs. Sheamus
There was a chaotic brawl around the ring between Butch & Ridge Holland fighting with Kaiser & Vinci. Butch hit an impressive moonsault onto Kaiser & Vinci on the floor. Those four guys were sent to the back after that. Gunther stared at Sheamus as the bell rang. A lot of strikes early on and Gunther hit a hard boot to the face. Sheamus hit a suplex. I think the crowd was cheering for both guys as Sheamus went for the forearms to the chest, Gunther fought it off and Sheamus managed to send Gunther into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Gunther with some chops, then Sheamus knocked him down and while Sheamus was on the turnbuckle, Gunther chopped him off the turnbuckle onto the apron and the floor. Gunther gave Sheamus a body slam onto the bottom of the steel steps. Sheamus got back in at the count of nine. Gunther kept on chopping Sheamus, then an open hand slap to the face and a kick. Gunther with several more chops along with an elbow to the head. After Sheamus was selling for a bit against the ropes, Gunther hit another boot to the face. Gunther applied a Boston Crab while we got a good look at the scars on the chest of Sheamus. It sounded like the fans were cheering “Let’s go Sheamus” for the veteran that’s been on the WWE roster for well over a decade. They exchanged more strikes, Gunther with a hard chop to the chest and when he tried more chops, Sheamus blocked. They left the ring again with Gunther hitting a body slam on the floor and sent over the commentary table. Sheamus got a hold of Gunther outside the ring with forearms to the chest. Gunther was back in the ring, so Sheamus hit him with a clothesline. Sheamus hit the ten beats forearms to the chest with the fans chanting along because they were solidly behind Sheamus. Gunther left the ring, Sheamus followed and Sheamus went behind the barricade to deliver more forearms to the chest. It was much more than ten and the referee was slow with his count.
Sheamus sent Gunther back into the ring, Sheamus jumped off the top with a knee and a loud yell leading to cheers. Gunther and Sheamus exchanged punches and chops. Gunther slipped behind Sheamus leading to a German Suplex. Sheamus bounced off the ropes with a knee lift to the face. Gunther applied a sleeper to wear Sheamus down, the fans were cheering to get Sheamus going and Sheamus was able to counter a Powerbomb attempt into the White Noise slam for two. That is not the finisher of Sheamus, but it’s good for a nearfall. The crowd came alive with a “this is awesome” chant and a standing ovation because they loved this match. Sheamus went for a Brogue Kick, Gunther avoided it and hit a dropkick into the corner. Gunther hit a Powerbomb that wasn’t as good as his usual Powerbomb, so Sheamus kicked out at two. Maybe there was a slip on the lift as Sheamus was holding his lower back after taking that move. Gunther to the turnbuckle, Sheamus back up, Gunther with hard palm strikes to the face and then Sheamus got back up with a kick. Sheamus picked up Gunther and hit the Celtic Cross (Razor’s Edge) and the slow cover for one…two…no! The crowd wanted that to be it. Sheamus set up for the Brogue Kick, but then he sold the back injury while doing the kick. Gunther hit a Powerbomb with no cover. They were down on their knees, then slowly back up and Gunther hit a lariat for the pinfall win at 19:33. What a match!
Winner by pinfall: Gunther
Analysis: ***** Incredible match! This is the kind of wrestling I love and I went five stars for it. It’s definitely a contender for WWE Match of the Year. This was so much fun to watch right from the beginning with Gunther chopping Sheamus so many times and Sheamus was the babyface in the match that kept on fighting back. The crowd was strongly behind Sheamus, they love the heart he showed and the story was tremendous as the match went on. I love that Sheamus was selling the back injury because that played a part in the finish. When Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick, the back stopped him and that led to Gunther coming back with another Powerbomb leading to the lariat for the win. This was a f’n battle between two warriors who beat the shit out of eachother and told a great story along the way. I’m so happy for both of them, but especially Sheamus after watching/writing about his matches for like 13 years now and this was the best singles match of his career. I’m glad he was loved by this UK crowd. I’m fine with Gunther winning because I expected that. I think there might be a rematch coming some day soon. My expectations were high for this match and they exceeded. The five-star rating was well earned. Give me this kind of wrestling over any gymnastics moves that we see in today’s wrestling. I love this stuff.
Wow. @Gunther_AUT@WWESheamus 👏🏻 👏🏻 👏🏻
Perfect match. Nothing but respect.#WWECASTLE
— Stu Bennett (@StuBennett) September 3, 2022
I agree with you, Wade Barrett.
After the match, Gunther walked away with his Imperium buddies Kaiser & Vinci as Gunther had his Intercontinental Title with him.
Sheamus received a standing ovation after the match. Sheamus soaked in that ovation that he really deserved after that performance. Sheamus posed with some fans in the aisle as well.
Analysis: I have always enjoyed watching Sheamus and I’m so happy he got this kind of reception from the fans after what was arguably the best match of his WWE career.
There was a video package showing career highlights of The Usos, who are the current Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions. They are one of the best tag teams in WWE history. No doubt about it.
A video package aired about Liv Morgan facing Shayna Baszler. They got one minute of screen time on Smackdown this week and weren’t even on the show the week before. That’s tough.
Shayna Baszler made her entrance as the challenger. The UFC Welterweight Champion Leon Edwards was sitting at ringside with his family. He was beside Tyson Fury’s family. Liv Morgan was next as the Smackdown Women’s Champion. The crowd was behind her.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler
The story was that Morgan had an injured left arm, so Baszler went for the arm and Morgan countered into a pin attempt for two. Morgan with a headscissors followed by a dropkick and a dropkick while Baszler was against the ropes. Morgan went to the ropes, Baszler shoved her and Morgan bumped off the apron to the floor. Baszler sent Morgan’s left arm into the barricade and back into the ring for a two count. Baszler pulled back on Morgan’s arm. Baszler went for an arm submission, Morgan fought back and Baszler hit a German Suplex. Baszler hit a running knee for a two count. The crowd really wasn’t into the match that much at this point. Baszler pulled on the left arm some more, Morgan fought out of it with a jawbreaker and Morgan hit a missile dropkick off the middle ropes. Morgan with a springboard double knee move for two as Morgan sold the left arm after hitting moves. Baszler came back with a knee to the face and yelled at Morgan to “quit like you always do.” Baszler wanted to stomp on the left elbow, but Morgan countered it to a triangle choke leading to a cross armbreaker submission. Baszler countered it into a pin attempt for two and Baszler managed to lock her hands to get out of it. Baszler stomped on the left arm, then a tilt-a-whirl slam and a knee to the jaw for two. Baszler applied an armbar while Morgan was on the top rope, but then Morgan wrenched on Baszler’s arm repeatedly. Morgan hit a Powerbomb out of the corner for two. Baszler applied a Kirifuda Clutch, but Baszler was selling her own left arm and Morgan got to the bottom rope to break the submission. Morgan countered a Kirifuda Clutch attempt with a pin attempt for two. Bliss hit the double knee Codebreaker and the Oblivion (flatliner off the ropes) for the pinfall win at 11:02.
Winner by pinfall: Liv Morgan
Analysis: *** A solid match with a good story. It was tough to follow the match before it. Morgan sold the left arm injury well, but also countered submissions throughout the match and damaged Baszler’s arm as well. That played into the story with Baszler’s left arm hurting too much, so Baszler couldn’t apply the Kirifuda Clutch properly. Morgan showed some good babyface heart throughout the match. The crowd was dead for some of it because the story going in was a bit weak, but they got into it more by the end. I think they’ll probably go back to Morgan against Ronda Rousey again or maybe Charlotte Flair is back to go after Morgan.
A commercial aired for the Extreme Rules Premium Live event on October 8th in Philadelphia. That’s a Saturday night show. It’s smart to avoid the NFL on Sunday night during football season.
They showed a video promoting NXT Worlds Collide on Sunday at 4pm ET on Peacock/WWE Network.
Adrian Street & Miss Linda were shown in the crowd. They are UK wrestling legends. Cole mentioned Johnny Saint was there as well.
A video package aired to set up Edge & Rey Mysterio vs. The Judgment Day.
Rey Mysterio made his entrance with his son Dominik by his side. Good ovation, but then the crowd really came alive for Edge’s entrance because of the great song and the way Edge feeds off the crowd. Edge was wearing a red/black mask to match the color of his gear. That ovation for Edge was incredible. Edge took off the mask when he went into the ring.
The Judgment Day’s Damian Priest & Finn Balor were up next joined by their ally Rhea Ripley at ringside.
Edge & Rey Mysterio (w/Dominik Mysterio) vs. The Judgment Day – Finn Balor & Damian Priest (w/Rhea Ripley)
The crowd was going crazy for Edge and cheered when he got to tag in against Priest. That led to Priest punching Edge in the face. I guess it was more of a forearm shot after the replay. Rey helped Edge when he was sent into the corner and Edge punched Priest repeatedly. Edge kicked Balor with a kick to the ribs and sent Priest over the top to the floor. Rey jumped onto Edge’s shoulders leading to Rey hitting a moonsault onto both opponents on the floor. Rey was legal as he jumped onto Priest, who caught Rey with a powerslam for two. Priest kicked Rey into the turnbuckle. Balor tagged in with a stomp onto Rey’s chest. Balor with a backbreaker while Priest tagged in with a leg drop for a double team move. Rey kicked Priest in the chest, but then Priest knocked Rey down. When Edge tried to help Rey, Priest spit on Edge. Balor tagged in with an ax kick for a two count. The heels Priest & Balor continued to work over Rey while knocking Edge off the apron as well. Balor charged at Rey on the floor, so Rey gave him a back body drop over the barricade. Priest jumped onto the barricade with Rey, so Rey tripped him up and Priest was crotched across the barricade. Cole had a funny line saying “Damian Priest will have a long flight back to the States” while Priest was selling by taking deep breaths. Edge got the tag with some of his usual moves including the Edgecution on Balor. Priest on the apron, Edge knocked him down and Rey jumped onto Priest on the floor. Edge dropped Balor onto the middle rope, Edge hit the 619 on Balor (sort of) and Rey hit a Frog Splash off the top for two. Rey was actually illegal there I think. Edge covered Balor, but Priest broke it up. Edge gave Priest a Spear off the apron to the floor. That’s a Big E spot that Edge did well. Balor slid Rey under the bottom rope to the floor. Balor with a Slingblade neckbreaker on legal man Edge followed by a dropkick into the turnbuckle. Dominik distracted the referee so that Rey could hit Balor with a Frankensteiner off the top. Ripley decked Dominik with a forearm and Ripley sent Dominik into the barricade. Ripley held Dominik in her arms, so Rey dove onto them for two. Rey hit a headscissors on Balor into the ropes, but Balor hit a clothesline and kicked Rey out of the ring. Balor ran the ropes, Dominik tripped him, Rey hit sent Balor into the ropes again leading to a 619 kick and Edge hit a Spear on Balor for the pinfall win. It went about 12:36.
Winners by pinfall: Edge & Rey Mysterio
Analysis: ***1/4 That was an entertaining tag team match. There was more illegal man action than you usually see in a WWE match. There were spots with Rey in the ring illegally quite a bit doing some moves. That’s not that common in WWE compared to other wrestling companies, but they did it a lot in this match. I thought maybe Judgment Day would win although I understand the faces winning since it was Edge getting revenge after the group turned on him. Even though Judgment Day lost, they did get to “win” because of what happened next.
After the match, Edge & Rey wanted Dominik to celebrate with them. Instead, Dominik kicked Edge in the groin for a low blow. Rey pleaded with his son, but Dominik clotheslined his dad. Huge reaction of boos from the crowd. Balor and his Judgement Day buddies were laughing about it. Dominik left to the back on his own. They got some great reaction shots from the crowd with fans shocked that Dominik would do that to his dad.
After some replays, Rey and Edge got back up to their feet. Rey was apologizing for his son, Edge knew it was genuine and they hugged to cheers from the crowd.
Analysis: There’s that Dominik heel turn that a lot of people were expecting. It made sense with this storyline because Dominik was jealous and upset that Rey chose to team with Edge instead of him. It’s an easy way to explain the turn. It didn’t appear like Dominik joined Judgment Day by turning, but that could be where this is going. I can see that happening because that would be better for him than going on his own because I don’t think Dominik is a strong enough talker or wrestler at this point to be on his own. Edge and Rey sold it perfectly, of course.
They plugged WWE’s work with Draftkings for tonight’s show.
A video aired about Drew McIntyre showing some of the stuff that was shown in a video package on Smackdown two weeks ago.
The attendance announcement was 62,296 people. I don’t know what the legit number is right now, but I thought they’d announce something more than that. Maybe they’ll lie about attendance less often in the post-Vince McMahon era.
There was the video package for the long feud between Seth “Freakin” Rollins and Matt Riddle, who got his first name back recently.
Matt Riddle was up first. Once again a confirmation that he got the name back. The announcers are so used to calling him just one name, so I’m sure they’ll keep doing that. Good reaction for Riddle. Seth Rollins had a ridiculous outfit as usual and was wrestling in orange pants that made me think of Curry Man. I was actually told it was Seth’s tribute to Elton John as Rocketman. Anyway, there was a lot of intensity while the crowd hummed with the Rollins song.
Matt Riddle vs. Seth “Freakin” Rollins
Rollins with a thrust to the throat, Riddle with a kick and senton for two. Rollins sent Riddle throat first into the top rope. Riddle got a headscissors takedown into an armbar, but Rollins dumped Riddle near the ropes and Riddle knocked Rollins off the apron. Riddle jumped onto Rollins on the floor, so Rollins gave him a Barricade Bomb into the barricade. Ouch. They were back in the ring with Rollins hitting a clothesline while the fans booed. Rollins with a running back elbow for two. Rollins remained in control going for pin attempts including a Falcon Arrow slam for two. Riddle with a back elbow to the face, but Rollins tripped up Riddle as he tried to climb to the top rope. Rollins tried an inverted superplex, Riddle fought out of it and Rollins hit a jumping kick to the face. Riddle tried to sit back up while upside down, but Rollins hit a double foot stomp to the chest for two. That was a good way to do that spot. They were standing on the top with Rollins hitting superplex going into a move, but Riddle countered it into a Fisherman’s Buster. Riddle with a forearm and a suplex across the ring. Riddle with the kick while on the apron with Rollins on the floor and Riddle hit the Floating Bro off the ropes onto Seth. Riddle with the Bro To Sleep, then a Powerbomb and a knee (with hard leg slap) for a two count. They did some counter moves to eachother showing they know eachother well and Riddle caught Rollins in a triangle submission. Rollins sold it like he was nearly passed out, Rollins got out of it and Rollins hit the Bro Derek (Riddle’s move) for a two count. Cole called it a Bro Derek. It was more like a Neutralizer that Cesaro used to do.
Rollins climbed to the top rope, he jumped off with a Phoenix Splash attempt and Riddle moved out of the way. Riddle with a kick to the head, an up kick and Rollins came back with a forearm. Rollins with a forearm to the back of the head, but Riddle hit another knee to the head. Rollins with a step up enziguri leading to Riddle hitting a German Suplex. Riddle tried a move, Rollins got back to his feet and hit a Pedigree for two. Rollins trash talked Riddle saying he’s a loser, the people know it and his kids are going to know it. Riddle has three kids, for what it’s Riddle. That led to Riddle punching Rollins, but Rollins trapped him and hit a kick to the gut on the apron. Rollins hit the draping DDT like Randy Orton on Riddle. Rollins went for an RKO, Riddle caught him with a rear naked choke and then Riddle turned it into punches to the back of the head. They left the ring again, Riddle slammed Seth’s head into the commentary table repeatedly and Riddle used a chair, btu Rollins moved. Riddle hit the table with the chair. Rollins back in the ring, Riddle crawled back in under the ropes and Rollins hit The Stomp on Riddle. Rollins was on the middle turnbuckle and hit The Stomp (off the ropes) for the pinfall win. It went 17:22.
Winner by pinfall: Seth “Freakin” Rollins
Analysis: **** A great match as expected. I wouldn’t rank it as high as Seth’s best matches this year with Cody Rhodes, but it was very entertaining the whole way. The intensity really picked up when Rollins trash talked Riddle a lot calling him a loser and mentioning Riddle’s kids, which fired Riddle up. Riddle didn’t really get enough nearfalls, but he did get a lot of offense. I love the big matches when Rollins busts out other people’s moves like hitting the Bro Derek (Riddle’s finisher) and the Pedigree for a two count. Rollins also did Orton’s DDT on Riddle because that’s a good way to get some heat. Those are big moves that are not his finisher, but they are great for nearfalls. It’s smart. I’m glad Seth won. I don’t think Riddle is hurt by losing a match like this to Rollins, who is more established as a former multiple time WWE Champion. Riddle had a good showing too.
Seth Rollins celebrate the win with an evil heel smirk while Riddle was selling in the ring. Rollins trash talked some fans on his way to the back.
Analysis: That is Seth’s first pinfall win on a Premium Live Event (PPV) this year. Seth also beat Roman Reigns at Royal Rumble that was a DQ win for Rollins. If they split the Universal and WWE Title up soon I think Rollins is a guy that deserves a WWE or Universal Title run as a heel. He is great.
A video aired about WWE supporting the Connor’s Cure charity for pediatric cancer research.
There was a Becky Lynch telling her story and showing highlights of her career. She might be back from her shoulder injury as soon as this month based on a recent report, but I don’t know for sure.
The announcers talked about Extreme Rules on October 8th in Philadelphia. There should be some stipulation matches there unlike on this show.
They showed Roman Reigns talking to Tyson Fury earlier today.
Tyson Fury was shown once again with his family at ringside.
Karrion Kross and Scarlett were at ringside as well. That’s interesting to see.
There were images shown of Wales with the announcers praising the city for hosting the event. That’s cool.
It was main event time, so here’s the video package for Roman Reigns facing Drew McIntyre. This was the video I mentioned earlier in the Kickoff Show. It’s awesome.
The crowd was fired up as the “Broken Dreams” song played as some graphics were shown of Drew McIntyre. After that we heard the swords and Drew’s regular music played as he made his entrance. Huge pop for Drew! Drew walked out with Angela the sword in his hands. Drew got a big ovation as he went into the ring with the sword in his hand as he posed on the turnbuckle. The fans sang some song for Drew as well, which he seemed to enjoy.
Analysis: I figured they would use “Broken Dreams” as part of the entrance because Drew has talked about it a lot over the years. I thought they might have Drew walk out to it, but he only walked out to his current song.
Roman Reigns made his entrance as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion all alone. No Usos, Paul Heyman or Sami Zayn. The Usos may have had issues getting to Wales due to DUI history, but I don’t know if that’s the main reason. The storyline explanation (as Cole stated) was that Drew beat up The Usos and Zayn on Smackdown while Heyman has been out since Brock Lesnar put him through a table at SummerSlam. Cole talked about the two-year Universal Championship reign of Reigns. Cole said that there have been 55 other title changes in WWE in that time. I assume that doesn’t include the comedy 24/7 Title or else that number would be way higher.
There was definitely the “big match feel” that WWE always talks about. The ring announcer Samantha Irvin did a tremendous job with the introductions all show long. The wrestlers stood in the ring for the championship introductions. The crowd is solidly behind McIntyre as Reigns held up his Universal Title (while wearing the WWE Title) for the pre-match staredown. The great referee Charles Robinson held up the two titles. Let’s begin.
Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
There is a sign in the crowd that says: “If Drew loses, we riot.” It’s not a big sign, but it’s been visible all night. The bell rang as the fans sang their “Oh Drew McIntyre” song (to the tune of “Seven Nation Army”) as the wrestlers stood in their corners to soak in the moment a bit. They were starting the match slowly without much action in the first couple of minutes. Drew hit a shoulder tackle that rocked Reigns a bit and then Reigns left the ring to the apron. When Reigns got back in, Drew hit a shoulder tackle leading to Reigns regrouping on the floor again. I saw another sign saying: “If Roman wins, we riot.” Same message as that first sign I mentioned. Reigns was able to get some offense with some punches. Reigns worked over Drew with more punches in the corner, Drew slipped out of it and Drew punched Reigns ten times in the head. Drew hit a clothesline that sent Reigns over the top to the floor. Drew followed Reigns out to the ring leading to Drew whipping Reigns into the steel steps. A water bottle was thrown at Drew and we saw that it was thrown by Karrion Kross, who was at ringside. Drew was distracted by Kross sitting in the crowd by the aisle, so Reigns hit an uppercut and sent Drew into the ring post. Back in the ring, Reigns worked over Drew with punches and kicks. Reigns worked over Drew with ten corner clotheslines while Drew was against the turnbuckle. Reigns sent Drew shoulder first into the ring post while Reigns taunted the crowd, which led to boos. Reigns with punches, Drew with a necksnap against the top rope leading to Reigns hitting a jumping clothesline for a one count. Drew fought back up running the ropes and Reigns got a boot to the face for another one count. Cole correctly mentioned that Reigns hasn’t been able to get a two count yet. Reigns with a hard whip into the corner. Reigns did some taunting leading to Drew getting some chops. Reigns delivered some rapid fire punches to the head. They battled over a vertical suplex, neither guy could do it and Reigns beat on Drew with some kicks. Reigns called for the microphone: “Cardiff, acknowledge me!” The fans booed the Tribal Chief and Drew was back up with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt. Grave with a great line: “I don’t think that’s what he meant.” Both guys were down selling for a few moments after that.
Drew got some momentum going after they exchanged punches. Drew with two clotheslines followed by two belly to belly suplexes, then Drew hit a neckbreaker and Drew did a kip up to a huge pop from the crowd. Drew hit a running forearm in the corner followed by some chops to the chest as Roman was set up on the top rope. Drew went for a superplex, but Reigns tripped him up. Drew was upside down in the corner, which set up a familiar spot in Drew matches as he powered back up with a suplex across the ring. Reigns to the floor, Drew followed, so Reigns punched him in the ribs a few times. Back into the ring, Reigns with an uppercut punch and Reigns ran the ropes leading to a Drew spinebuster for two. Reigns with an eye gouge to block a move, then Drew hit an elbow smash and Reigns hit a Rock Bottom (Graves called it a uranage on replay, which is fine for that move) for two with Cole saying that was the first two count for Reigns. It’s nearly 20 minutes into the match. Reigns set up for the Superman Punch, he charged in, Drew avoided it and hit a Future Shock DDT. Drew did the 1, 2, 3and a charge, but Reigns hit a Superman Punch. Great nearfall there even though we know Roman doesn’t win with that move, but it worked perfectly for a nearfall.
They were both down selling for a bit after that great spot. Reigns charged for a Spear, Drew with a kick to the chest and Reigns ran the ropes for a Spear. Reigns sold it like he was shocked that Drew was able to kick out of it. Reigns applied the Guillotine Choke that he has used to beat some opponents during this title reign, but Drew drove Reigns into the turnbuckle. Reigns applied another Guillotine Choke using his legs to wrap around Drew’s body, but Drew was on his feet as Drew powered Roman into the corner. Drew sent Reigns shoulder-first into the ring post as Reigns bumped to the floor. Drew charged at Roman on the floor with a Spear through the barricade. Drew put Reigns back into the ring, Drew charged and Reigns hit another Spear. Roman covered for one…two…and no because Drew got the left shoulder up. Great nearfall there. The crowd was chanting for Drew again while both guys were exhausted. Reigns complained to referee Charles Robinson saying that was a three count. Reigns even grabbed Charles by the shirt collar. Drew hit a Claymore Kick to Reigns, who bumped into Charles Robinson.
It’s Austin Theory running down with referee Dan Engler. They played Theory’s music on his way to the ring. Tyson Fury punched Theory at ringside. The fans loved that. No official cash-in there. Reigns got a Claymore Kick for two right after. Wow. Reigns kicked out at two as referee Dan Engler took over for Robinson there. Reigns and Drew were on their knees exchanging punches leading to the “boo-yay” chants from the crowd. They got back up to their feet as they exchanged punches. Reigns managed to hit a Superman Punch, Drew came back with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt and a Claymore Kick. Drew covered for one…two…and then Solo Sikoa pulled referee Dan Engler out of the ring! It is Solo’s main roster debut. Solo is the younger brother of The Usos and Roman’s cousin as well. Drew got in Solo’s face, Solo gave Drew a neck snap across the top rope and Reigns hit a Spear. Referee Charles Robinson was back in the ring to count one…two…and three! Wow. Reigns got the win at 30:47.
Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns
Analysis: ****1/2 It was an excellent main event match for the biggest prize(s) in WWE. I read earlier in the day that Solo Sikoa was there, so I’m not that surprised by it. I thought Drew would win, but if you’re going to have Roman retain then it should be a cheap win. With that said, I still think it should have been a victory for Drew because the fans really wanted it, this is over two years into Roman’s title run and it just feels right in front of a crowd that loved Drew. I get why Reigns retained because WWE business is strong right now, so why change it up? That’s fine. Anyway, as a match they really worked well together building to the big spots. The first ten minutes were kind of slow, then it really picked up in the middle and it was very dramatic in the final third of the match. They really did some amazing nearfalls towards the finish. I actually thought that Drew was going to kick out when Roman hit that last Spear, but he did not and that’s another win for Roman. I understand there will be people mad about the result, but Reigns didn’t win clean here. It was cheap. That’s classic pro wrestling booking with a heel champion and they do it because they know it works.
Post match, Tyson Fury went into the ring to look at Reigns. Fury shook hands with Reigns. The fans booed that. Reigns walked away with Solo Sikoa while Reigns had the WWE and Universal Title in his hands. Reigns did a slow walk up the ramp with Solo by his side. Reigns stared at the camera before going to the back. Cole had a comment about how The Bloodline got stronger.
Analysis: Solo is really good just like his brothers The Usos. The Bloodline is definitely stronger now and they were already strong before this.
Tyson Fury helped Drew McIntyre back up to his feet. Tyson said that he knows Drew is feeling down, but he did his country proud and everybody was chanting for him. Fury said that everybody in the building was cheering for Drew, so that might have been an awesome feeling. Fury said that at times like this, he can only think of one thing. Fury sang the classic song “American Pie” like he has done in the past after some of his boxing fights. The crowd and Drew joined in singing American Pie together. Fury told Cardiff they were wonderful tonight. They were.
Drew did a promo saying that it didn’t quite go the way he wanted. Drew told the crowd they didn’t let him down, they were loud and passionate and showed the world what they are made of. Drew told Tyson they never give up, they keep pushing forward and he vows he will get his hands on those Undisputed WWE Universal Titles. Drew said no matter the outcome, he wants to party. Drew wondered if they were still on the air and led the crowd in another song. Drew hugged Fury.
Analysis: It was a way to send the fans home happy. I don’t really like Drew being that positive after he got screwed out of the title. I know that Tyson Fury has sang “American Pie” after winning boxing matches, but I don’t know if it really fit here. They probably could have ended it after Fury told Drew to keep his head up, do a hug, salute the crowd and sign off. I am sure Drew was genuine in saying he was so proud to be there, but he probably wishes he left as the champion. I was wondering if there would be an angle between Drew and Fury there like a cheap punch from Fury, but that did not happen. A fun singalong to end it to make the fans smile after their UK guy lost the championship match. I wouldn’t have aired it if it was up to me.
There was a video that aired showing highlights of the show.
This event had a runtime of 3:33:23 on WWE Network.
Five Stars of the Show
- Roman Reigns
- Drew McIntyre
- Seth “Freakin” Rollins
- Bayley, Dakota Kai & IYO SKY
I’m going with a 9 out of 10 for this show.
It was the best WWE Premium Live Event (PPV) of the year. The epic Reigns/McIntyre match was amazing. It wasn’t the result I was expecting, but I’m also happy for Solo Sikoa making his main roster debut in such a big spot to help cousin Roman get a cheap win. I wish Drew got his big moment in front of the UK fans, though. I also trust the creative team with Triple H booking, so we’ll see where things go.
Gunther and Sheamus on an incredible performance that was probably Sheamus’ best match in WWE while Gunther has had Match of the Year winners (and contenders) many times in his NXT days. It’s an all-time great IC Title match for sure. It’s the kind of wrestling match I love to watch. It looked like a fight and the fans in Cardiff loved it. I did too.
I really liked the Rollins/Riddle match. While Riddle showed a lot of heart, Rollins was perfect as the crafty heel that mixed in some trash talk leading to the big win. Three matches at four stars or over in my ratings means it’s an amazing show.
There was even a big moment with Dominik Mysterio turning on Edge and his father Rey Mysterio. That was teased for months and it finally happened in front of this huge crowd that reacted to it in a big way.
They paced the show well with six matches running about 3.5 hours. I was never bored at any point. It was fun to watch. The crowd made it feel like a big deal too. Overall, I enjoyed it immensely.
I truly hope this leads to a UK stadium show every year. It doesn’t have to be Wales next year. Put it in England or somewhere else. (I understand that this stadium having a roof makes it likely the best option due to the threat of rain.) I just think those fans deserve it. Plus, I like writing about a show in the afternoon instead the evening and I can do something the rest of the day after it’s done instead of falling asleep. This was a very successful event for WWE both financially and the quality of the show.
Here are my WWE Premium Live Event (PPV) rankings for 2022 so far.
Clash at the Castle – 9 (September 3)
SummerSlam – 8.25 (July 30)
WrestleMania 38 – 8 (April 2 & 3)
Money in the Bank – 8 (July 2)
Hell in a Cell – 8 (June 5)
WrestleMania Backlash – 7.75 (May 8)
Day 1 – 7.5 (January 1)
Elimination Chamber – 6.75 (February 19)
Royal Rumble – 6 (January 29)
As a reminder, I have a listing of every WWE PPV that I reviewed in order by year. Thank you for supporting us at TJRWrestling. We appreciate you.
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