WWE’s first stadium show in the United Kingdom in 30 years proved to be a classic event, despite the 62,296 fans in attendance not receiving the result they hoped for.
The United Kingdom’s own Drew McIntyre was contesting Roman Reigns for his Undisputed Universal Championship and after 30 minutes, did not walk out of Cardiff with the gold.
Although there were only six matches showcased at Principality Stadium, most of them delivered to make Clash at the Castle a memorable event that could hopefully be a yearly occurrence. The Cardiff attendance was also a huge part of the show, as they showed great investment and energy throughout most of the evening.
It had a WrestleMania-like atmosphere, including the presentation of the stage, and matches that felt important and told great stories. Clash at the Castle was a success, as Triple H continually leads WWE in a positive direction of quality and hope.
The Inner Sanctum has reviewed the history-making show, and each match will be given a score out of five.
Bayley pins Bianca Belair to claim victory for herself, IYO SKY and Dakota Kai
To open Clash at the Castle, the group of Bianca Belair, Asuka and Alexa Bliss fought Bayley, IYO SKY and Dakota Kai in a six-woman tag team match. The two parties had been feuding since SummerSlam and the United Kingdom faithful were very vocal for this match, especially Bayley.
Her group, which is now named Damage CTRL, dominated the match and prevented the Raw Women’s Champion, Belair from entering the fray. They were taking care of Bliss and Asuka, until the E.S.T was finally tagged and looked to neutralise the situation.
The momentum of the match shifted, but Belair was eventually outnumbered in the ring as Asuka and Bliss were down on the outside. Bayley’s team took advantage and went on to win the match, which was not unexpected.
However, what was surprising was the Raw Women’s Champion receiving the pinfall for her team to lose this contest, after IYO SKY delivered a moonsault before Bayley made the cover.
It was a decision not many saw coming, as it now puts Bayley in the frame to challenge Belair for her title. Therefore, it looks like this rivalry will continue on Monday Night Raw heading into the next Premium Live Event, Extreme Rules.
The six-woman tag match started the show in good fashion, although the decision making of who would be pinned could have been better. Champions should not receive a fall in non-title situations, but it now makes it interesting if Belair is going to lose her Raw Women’s Championship in the short-term.
Gunther defeats Sheamus in hard-hitting affair
In a dream match that many wanted to see, Gunther retained his Intercontinental Championship in a match that ultimately delivered. He was able to defeat Sheamus, who was also attempting to achieve grand slam status in WWE.
Before the contest commenced, Imperium remarkably reassembled before the defending champion made his entrance. Giovanni Vinci, who was previously known as Fabian Aichner, was reintroduced to the delight of the WWE Universe.
It more importantly boosts the tag team division on Friday Night Smackdown, as it nicely starts to take shape with The New Day and Viking Raiders.
Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser then brawled with Butch and Ridge Holland of the Brawling Brutes prior to the ring of the bell, while The Ring General and Celtic Warrior locked eyes on each other.
Gunther and Sheamus were ready to put on a clinic.
The Intercontinental Champion controlled the match and had the contest on his terms, especially when he body slammed his opponent on steel steps. Sheamus was in breaking strain, but the crowd were firmly behind him to win his way back into the match.
His chest was bleeding as a result of the champion’s vicious chops, but it wasn’t enough for him to give up. The Celtic Warrior finally fought back and was able to weaken Gunther, with multiple beats of the Bodhran.
However, The Ring General retained his Intercontinental Championship with a wicked clothesline in an amazing and physical contest. Sheamus was lining up for a brogue kick, but his back gave way and it opened the door for Gunther to pounce.
It certainly delivered on its expectations, and was arguably the best match of the night.
When Imperium made their way to the back, Sheamus received a standing ovation from the audience in an ultimate sign of respect. Everyone knew the pain he went through and how valiant his effort was in attempting to capture the title.
Morgan overcomes Baszler in underwhelming match
It was always going to be difficult for the next match to continue the show’s momentum and energy, especially with the Intercontinental Title bout that took place beforehand. In an underwhelming match, Liv Morgan retained her Smackdown Women’s Championship against Shayna Baszler.
The story of this clash was the champion’s arm, as it was significantly injured by Ronda Rousey at SummerSlam. However, Morgan seemed to be healthy and showed minimal signs of pain, although the Queen of Spades heavily targeted it before and during the match.
The challenger controlled the match in the early stages, but Morgan evened it temporarily and applied an armbar to Baszler.
The champion was then soon to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship after an oblivion, in a clash that never really picked up and failed to match the show’s vibe. However, the former was able to win clean after inconclusively beating Rousey at SummerSlam.
It was a questionable decision having her overcome Baszler, as the Queen of Spades had large momentum behind her heading into Cardiff and is more than legitimate to capture the blue brand’s women’s title.
A match between these two might be revisited in the short-term, as it is difficult seeing who else can challenge Morgan at the moment.
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Judgment Day lose again, as Dominik Mysterio finally turns heel
Following the Smackdown Women’s Title match was the second tag team bout for the night, as The Judgment Day looked for a win against Edge and Rey Mysterio. That was not to be the case, though.
The match started off frantically, as the agile Mysterio and Balor kicked off the contest inside the ring. It was similar to the tag team match at the start of Clash at the Castle, where The Judgment Day dominated Mysterio and disallowed Edge to have an influence.
However, he was tagged and after a back-and-fourth between both parties, The Rated-R Superstar hit an emphatic 619 on Balor and nearly ended the match.
The supposed leader of The Judgment Day, Balor then took control in the dying stages before Dominik Mysterio got involved and tripped the former Prince to halt his momentum.
Edge and Rey capitalised and ended the bout with their respective finishers on Balor, as The Judgment Day lost another Premium Live Event match.
Although the result was the wrong decision, Dominik finally turned heel and betrayed Edge, and his father. It was expected, but still left the crowd stunned and The Judgment Day were delighted.
Rey’s son then joined The Judgment Day as speculated on the September 5 edition of Monday Night Raw, as Dominik has appeared to be jealous of the relationship Rey and Edge have, and how the legendary Luchador refused to tag with his son instead at Cardiff.
Rey was in tears after coming to the realisation that he had lost his son, and shared a touching moment with Edge in the ring.
Apart from Dominik joining them, this loss hurt The Judgment Day and leaves them directionless. They have been feuding with Edge and the Mysterios for weeks now, and need to move on to something they can actually benefit from.
Rollins defeats Riddle in highly personal match
The penultimate match of the night saw Seth Rollins finally claim his first Premium Live Event victory since the Royal Rumble, where he defeated Roman Reigns by disqualification. In a high quality clash with pride on the line, he was able to beat Matt Riddle.
The Visionary and Original Bro brawled immediately after the bell rang to begin the contest, wasting no time on trying to inflict punishment on each other. Rollins took advantage early, when he powerbombed Riddle onto the barricade.
The Original Bro then started to level the contest and it turned into a see-sawing affair.
Rollins delivered a Bro Derek to Riddle, which is ironically the latter’s signature move. The Visionary then mentioned to his opponent his divorce and called him a loser, before mocking Randy Orton and attempting to hit him with an RKO.
Riddle countered and soon after, wanted to strike Rollins with a chair, having no care for the result of the match. Rollins avoided the shot, before finally putting the match to bed when he delivered a curb stomp from the top rope.
It was a very good match after months of build up, and the result indicates that Rollins is potentially next in line for an Undisputed Universal Title match against Roman Reigns. He never lost properly to his former Shield brethren and has stated several times he wants a shot at the world championship.
However, Riddle declared after Clash at the Castle that he wants a rematch against The Visionary as soon as possible. Rollins declined though and stated he wants to move on.
Reigns retains world title in controversial main event
To conclude an incredible night of wrestling, Roman Reigns put his Undisputed Universal Championship on the line against the Scottish Warrior, Drew McIntyre.
For a long time, McIntyre was touted as the guy to end Reigns’ two year tenure as world champion, and this match was definitely hard to predict. The contest was being held in front of the Scottish Warrior’s people and he was long overdue for a special moment in front of fans.
However, there are still some feuds for WWE to explore with The Tribal Chief, which swung some people to favor Reigns more than McIntyre. It was going to be an interesting watch.
Before the bout, the Scottish Warrior’s former and much-loved theme, Broken Dreams played and there were flashbacks of McIntyre’s past and shots of castles.
Goosebumps were definitely felt.
Roman Reigns then made his way to the ring on his own, as Heyman has been missing since SummerSlam and The Bloodline weren’t medically cleared for Cardiff as a result of McIntyre’s assault on Smackdown the night before.
In the first minutes of the match, Reigns withdrew multiple times from the ring to stop his opponent’s string of momentum. When McIntyre made his way to the outside, a water bottle was thrown at him by potential rival, Karrion Kross.
Roman tried to make use of his champion’s advantage by attempting to count out Drew, before ordering for a microphone and demanding Cardiff to acknowledge him. He was booed and McIntyre wasted no time giving Reigns a Glasgow kiss.
The match was truly in the balance, as the crowd were rallying behind their man.
The Tribal Chief then delivered two emphatic spears to his opponent, which wasn’t enough to conclude the match. The Scotsman was good enough to kick out both times, and Reigns was frustrated at referee, Charles Robinson for not counting to three.
You then saw what was coming; the official was going to get knocked down, which is prominent in Reigns’ matches. McIntyre hit the champion with a claymore and Roman bumped into Robinson, sending him to the outside.
Both men were down, it was the prime opportunity for someone to take advantage. Austin Theory made his way to the ring, Money in the Bank contract in hand.
However, he was completely leveled by boxing star and local hero, Tyson Fury.
After this incident, McIntyre hit Reigns with a spear and claymore kick. The crowd and everyone at home thought Roman’s time on the top was finally finished.
Behold, Solo Sikoa.
The new referee was pulled out of the ring, as the NXT star prevented his cousin from losing the Undisputed Universal Championship. Prior to Clash at the Castle, he was rumored to be brought to the main roster and this was the perfect introduction.
Shortly after, Reigns hit a spear on McIntyre and Charles Robinson was able to bring himself back into the match to call the three count. Roman retains in Drew’s homeland.
It was a spectacular match, although Cardiff wanted to see the other side of the coin.
Tyson Fury then approached Roman Reigns after his victory to shake his hand, before sharing a memorable moment with Drew McIntyre. The two sang together in front of the United Kingdom faithful to close the show, as Reigns walked out with his titles draped over both shoulders alongside Solo.
The Scottish Warrior then whole-heartedly thanked the crowd for their energy throughout the whole night and was happy to see a stadium show in the United Kingdom.
He is now expected to enter a program with Karrion Kross, while it is unknown when Reigns will defend his title next. Competition is running thin for the Tribal Chief, as Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes are still sidelined with injuries, while a match with Rollins might not even happen this year.
However, Roman’s win now paints a clearer picture for whom he may drop his Undisputed Universal Championship to. Rhodes is now clearly the favourite to dethrone Reigns, which could happen at next year’s WrestleMania if The Rock doesn’t challenge the Tribal Chief.
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