wrestling / Columns

411’s WWE Clash at the Castle Preview

September 3, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE Clash At the Castle 6-Woman Tag Image Credit: WWE

Hello 411 guys, gals, enbies, and everyone else! Welcome to 411’s WWE Clash at the Castle preview! I’m Jeremy Thomas as always, and WWE is headed across the pond for its first UK PPV in 30 years! It looks to be quite the momentous event, and that it’s taking place during the Triple H era makes it much more intriguing. To be clear, I certainly don’t think Triple H is suddenly making every right decision right now; there have been some creative missteps to be sure. But everyone’s going to make SOME mistakes, and the more important aspect is that WWE has felt for the first time in a long while like a place where anything can happen and the motions aren’t just being gone through. Just a quick look down this card makes that clear with people like Dakota Kai and IYO SKY, Shayna Baszler, Gunther, and more populating it. Anyway, we have a surprisingly slight card at just six matches, so we might well get one added later. But for now, let’s cut the chit-chat and just get right to it!

Edge & Rey Mysterio vs. The Judgment Day

Image Credit: WWE

First up we have a tag team grudge match, as Edge and Rey Mysterio join forces to battle Edge’s old group and the Mysterios’ tormenters in The Judgment Day. This feud has been going on for quite a while and while WWE has been fumbling about a bit trying to figure out how to handle the heel stable, they’ve at least gained a bit of momentum in recent weeks thanks to this feud. There’s little doubt that these four guys will be able to deliver in the ring; Edge, Mysterio, Finn Balor, and Damian Priest are all obviously talented workers and they should be able to hit a home run if they get the chance to. The bigger question here is Dominik and how he’ll factor in. The younger Mysterio has been at odds with his father over Edge, who he doesn’t trust for some pretty obvious reasons. At the same time, Judgment Day is alternating between attacking Dominik and making overtures to him. With Dominik and Rhea Ripley certain to be at ringside, there are a couple of ways they could go; Rhea could attack Dominik which causes a fatal distraction, or Dominik could finally see the dark side and join with the stable against Rey and Edge. The latter choice seems to be the more sensical one to me, despite the fact that Rey and Dominik have been adamant they’ll never feud. It just works too well considering the “younger generation vs. their father figures” factor. The point is, that Judgment Day does need a win and there are too many ways to give them one in a way that advances the storyline for them not to go that way.

WINNER: The Judgment Day

Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss and Asuka vs.
Bayley, Dakota Kai and IYO SKY

Image Credit: WWE

Most of us were surprised when IYO SKY and Dakota Kai did not walk away with the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships on Raw this week. SKY and Kai lost the tournament finals in a relative shocker to Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah, and while I love Aliyah the decision is a bit of a head-scratcher (assuming it wasn’t so they don’t get quickly squashed by a potentially-returning Sasha Banks and Naomi). You can’t even make the argument that it clears them up for this match, as Raquel and Aliyah aren’t booked for the card so that wouldn’t have been an issue. Regardless, the heel trio here does come out of that situation perhaps needing a bit of a win, and fortunately, we should be able to get that here. Belair, Asuka, and Bliss are all great, but they’re also sort of the classic thrown-together babyface alliance that doesn’t need the win. Putting the heels over here gives Bayley momentum toward a potential match with Belair, and Asuka & Bliss can easily take a loss in a trios situation. This should be a nice place to showcase SKY and Kai to a wider audience and the match should be a lot of fun, with the heels victorious in the end.

WINNER: Bayley, Dakota Kai and IYO SKY

Seth “Freakin'” Rollins vs. Matt Riddle

Image Credit: WWE

This match was initially supposed to take place at SummerSlam last month but was held off the card. It seemed like an odd decision at the time, but in retrospect, I think it paid off as they’ve been able to add more to the rivalry. Riddle has been dealing with Rollins since Randy Orton was left on the shelf due to injury, and the feud has allowed Riddle to step out on his own a little bit. I’ve been open about the fact that he’s not one of my favorite performers, but even I have to see that he’s grown as a character and a competitor. While conventional wisdom might give Riddle the win here, it feels like WWE is going to get more out of Rollins picking up the win than his rival. Rollins hasn’t won a PPV match since the Royal Rumble, and even that was a Pyrrhic victory against Roman Reigns. Before that, his last one-on-one PPV win was all the way back at Hell in a Cell 2021. Rollins is a guy who seems ready to move into another feud for now, and the best way to do that is to give him a win. Riddle can still take the loss without too much of a bruise to his shine, so expect to see Raw’s resident master of fashion get the win.

WINNER: Seth “Freakin'” Rollins

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Gunther vs. Sheamus

Image Credit: WWE

This battle of European bruisers should be a hell of a lot of fun. Gunther has been on a tear since arriving on Smackdown, and quickly found himself with the Intercontinental Championship. Even for those of us who wish he was still WALTER, it’s been refreshing to see him treated like the beast that he is. And I actually appreciate that they’ve been building him up rather than pushing him too far, too quickly; yes, he should absolutely be at the top of the card at some point, but taking the time to get him over with a larger audience is going to do him wonders. Meanwhile, Sheamus has been busy with his Brawling Brutes stable which has been a little less than successful between Ridge Holland’s limited ring skills and Butch’s limiting gimmick. While I’m certain to enjoy this slugfest between these two guys, I don’t think there should be much doubt where this ends up; Gunther just has too much momentum to let it get derailed by a loss this early into his title reign. Let them beat the hell out of each other, give the champion the win, and we’ll call it good.

WINNER: Gunther (STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion)

Smackdown Women’s Championship Match
Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler

Image Credit: WWE

The top matches on this show are the hardest to call, which hasn’t always been the case on WWE shows. I’m of two minds about Liv Morgan vs. Shayna Baszler. On one hand, Morgan’s rivalry with Ronda Rousey certainly doesn’t seem to be over after Morgan beat her at SummerSlam via referee controversy. That would strongly suggest that Rousey vs. Liv is still in the cards, and that makes the most sense if Liv retains the title. On the other hand, it has been great to see Baszler treated like a real threat again and there’s also a lot of potential interest if Baszler and Rousey feud over the title. It all comes down to urgency to me. You can always do Baszler vs. Rousey down the road, and Shayna could probably stand to have a little more rebuilding done to her. The fact that Baszler and Rousey are more or less on the same side of the heel/face alignment chart doesn’t help, either. On the other hand, a loss here leaves Morgan vs. Rousey likely unresolved until later, when the impact is lost. Baszler should ultimately be a good way for WWE to show that yes, Morgan can defeat someone who is viewed in a Rousey-like way in terms of the MMA skills, which will give her some heat back after the sketchy finish of their SummerSlam match. I could absolutely see this going the other way, but I’m sticking with Liv to retain.

WINNER: Liv Morgan (STILL Smackdown Women’s Champion)

Undisputed WWE Universal Championship Match
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre

Image Credit: WWE

And here in our main event, I could absolutely see it going either way. Roman Reigns has been a truly dominant champion, to say the least, and on the surface, it would seem odd to take the title(s) off of him at a one-off PPV like Clash at the Castle. With Survivor Series not far off, one might think you wait for the bigger PPV to do it. That said, if there’s any time for Drew McIntyre to beat Roman Reigns for the titles, it would seem like now. This is a PPV Drew has lobbied for forever, and the idea of putting a UK star on top is the ultimate “send the crowd home happy” situation here. And more importantly…at this point, if Drew doesn’t beat Reigns for the titles, then who? Karrion Kross isn’t ready for it yet, Seth Rollins would result in a heel vs. heel feud which doesn’t tend to play well, the supposedly-returning Braun won’t be the guy yet, and I can’t think of anyone short of Brock (no thank you) with the cred to come in and do it. I think that you have to do the title switch here; there’s just too much that works for it not to be the call. Of course, the match will be quite good, but while I love Reigns’ heel run it will be seriously deflating at this point if he leaves Cardiff with the titles.

WINNER: Drew McIntyre (NEW Undisputed WWE Universal Champion)

And that’s all we have for WWE Clash at the Castle! Again, I imagine that we’ll get at least one more match added between my writing this (6:33 PM ET) and Saturday morning. But even if we don’t, it’s a solid card on paper that won’t overstay its welcome and there’s nothing wrong with that. Plus, WWE knows how to (over)deliver for their PPVs so I have pretty strong expectations here. Thanks once again for reading and remember that we will have live coverage of the show courtesy of our own Ian Hamilton right here on 411mania.com. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go…we are in the UK after all, and there’s a madman with a box I have to go hitch a ride with…

Image via GIPHY