|WWE Clash at the Castle|
|Date||September 3, 2022|
|WWE Network event chronology|
WWE Clash at the Castle was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) and livestreaming event produced by the American promotion WWE. It was held for wrestlers from the promotion's Raw and SmackDown brand divisions. The event took place on Saturday, September 3, 2022, at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, marking WWE's first major stadium event to take place in the United Kingdom since the 1992 SummerSlam and the company's first UK PPV overall since Insurrextion in 2003. The event's title is a reference to Cardiff Castle, which is situated near Principality Stadium.
Seven matches were contested at the event, including one on the Kickoff pre-show. In the main event, Roman Reigns defeated Drew McIntyre to retain the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. In other prominent matches, Seth "Freakin" Rollins defeated Matt Riddle, Gunther defeated Sheamus to retain SmackDown's Intercontinental Championship, and in the opening bout, Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky) defeated Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss, and Asuka in a six-woman tag team match. The event was also notable for the main roster debuts of NXT's Giovanni Vinci, who rejoined Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser to reform Imperium, and Solo Sikoa, one of Reigns' cousins and the younger brother of The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso), thus officially joining The Bloodline stable.
The event received universal acclaim from fans and critics particularly for the Intercontinental Championship match and main event with the former receiving five stars from Dave Meltzer, making this the second match on the main roster to get such a rating ever in the 2020s.
On October 25, 2021, the American professional wrestling promotion WWE revealed its 2022 major event schedule for the Raw and SmackDown brands, with an event slotted for Labor Day weekend at a to be determined location. On April 12, 2022, while the event's title was not revealed, WWE confirmed that the event would be held on Saturday, September 3 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, marking the company's first major stadium event to be held in the United Kingdom (UK) in 30 years. Although WWE's last major event to take place in the UK was the 2003 Insurrextion, the promotion's last major event to be held in a stadium in the UK was the 1992 SummerSlam at the original Wembley Stadium. On April 29, 2022, during a WWE Live event at London's O2 Arena, WWE wrestler and UK native Drew McIntyre revealed the event's title as Clash at the Castle, a reference to Cardiff Castle, which is situated near the stadium. The event aired on pay-per-view (PPV) worldwide and was available to livestream through Peacock in the United States and the WWE Network in international markets. Unlike other WWE pay-per-view events broadcast in the UK, which air on BT Sport Box Office, Clash at the Castle aired on BT Sport 2, making it available for all subscribers.
In the first 24 hours after the event's initial announcement, it was reported that 59,000 people had pre-registered for tickets. This broke a company record, with more fans registering for pre-sale tickets than any other WWE event, including WrestleMania. Tickets went on sale on May 20, with hospitality packages also available. By August 19, 2022, 63,803 tickets had been sold.
The event included matches that resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results were predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw and SmackDown brands, while storylines were produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.
On the July 8 episode of SmackDown, Drew McIntyre was scheduled to face fellow European native Sheamus to determine the number one contender for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at Clash at the Castle. As Sheamus feigned illness, the match did not occur. The match was later rescheduled for the July 29 episode as a Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook match, which McIntyre won. At SummerSlam the following night, Roman Reigns retained the undisputed title, thus confirming that Reigns would be the defending champion against McIntyre at Clash at the Castle.
On the August 5 episode of SmackDown, Shayna Baszler won a gauntlet match, earning a match against Liv Morgan for the SmackDown Women's Championship at Clash at the Castle.
After Bianca Belair retained the Raw Women's Championship at SummerSlam, she was confronted by the newly formed stable of Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky. On the following episode of Raw, Bayley, Kai, and Sky interfered in a match between Alexa Bliss and Asuka. Belair would join the fray, siding with Bliss and Asuka. The following week, Bayley, Kai, and Sky challenged Belair, Bliss, and Asuka to a six-woman tag team match at Clash at the Castle, which was accepted by Belair.
At SummerSlam, Matt Riddle was originally scheduled to face Seth "Freakin" Rollins, however, the match was called off due to Riddle suffering an injury (kayfabe) incurred by Rollins on the Raw prior to the event. At the event, however, Riddle appeared and called out Rollins and the two brawled, which ended with Rollins performing the Stomp on Riddle. On the August 15 episode of Raw, Riddle revealed that he was medically cleared. Later that same night, Riddle engaged into another brawl with Rollins before challenging him to a match at Clash at the Castle, which was made official.
On the August 19 episode of SmackDown, Sheamus won a fatal five-way match, earning a match against Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship at Clash at the Castle.
|English commentators||Michael Cole|
|Spanish commentators||Marcelo Rodriguez|
|Ring announcer||Samantha Irvin|
|Pre-show panel||Jackie Redmond|
During the Clash at the Castle Kickoff pre-show, Madcap Moss teamed with The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) to face the team of Austin Theory and Alpha Academy (Chad Gable and Otis) in a six-man tag team match. In the end, Ford performed a From the Heavens on Gable to win the match.
The actual pay-per-view opened with Alexa Bliss, Asuka, and Raw Women's Champion Bianca Belair facing Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky) in a six-woman tag team match. In the end, Sky performed a moonsault on Belair and Bayley pinned Belair to win the match.
Next, Gunther (accompanied by the reformed Imperium (Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser)) defended the Intercontinental Championship against Sheamus (accompanied by The Brawling Brutes (Butch and Ridge Holland)). Before the match, a brawl ensued between The Brawling Brutes and Imperium, while Sheamus and Gunther stared each other down in the ring. During the match, Sheamus performed the White Noise and Celtic Cross on Gunther for a nearfall. In the closing moments, Gunther countered a Brogue Kick attempt from Sheamus and performed a powerbomb and lariat on Sheamus to retain the title. Following the match, Sheamus received a standing ovation from the crowd.
After that, Liv Morgan defended the SmackDown Women's Championship against Shayna Baszler. In the end, Morgan performed the Oblivion on Baszler to retain the title.
In the fourth match, Edge and Rey Mysterio (accompanied by Dominik Mysterio) faced The Judgment Day (Damian Priest and Finn Bálor; accompanied by Rhea Ripley). In the closing moments, Rey and Edge performed the 619 and Spear, respectively, on Bálor to win the match. Following the match, Dominik hit Edge with a low blow and his father Rey with a clothesline, turning heel for the first time in his career.
In the penultimate match, Matt Riddle faced Seth "Freakin" Rollins. As Rollins attempted a rolling elbow, Riddle countered and applied the triangle choke on Rollins. Rollins countered the submission and performed the Bro Derek on Riddle for a nearfall. Rollins countered a powerbomb from Riddle and performed a Pedigree for a nearfall. Rollins mocked Riddle's tag team partner, Randy Orton, by performing a Hangman's DDT on Riddle. Outside the ring, Riddle threw Rollins on the announce table and attempted to attack Rollins with a steel chair, only for Rollins to avoid Riddle. As Riddle re-entered the ring, Rollins performed the Stomp. In the closing moments, Rollins performed a second Stomp on Riddle from the middle rope to win the match.
In the main event, Roman Reigns defended the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against Drew McIntyre. During the match, as Reigns attempted a Superman Punch, McIntyre countered and performed the Future Shock DDT. Reigns then performed a Spear in McIntyre for a nearfall. Reigns applied the Guillotine on McIntyre, who escaped. As McIntyre performed the Claymore on Reigns, Reigns inadvertedly bumped into the referee, incapacitating him. Austin Theory ran out and attempted to cash in his Money in the Bank contract, however, professional boxer and UK native Tyson Fury, who was in the front row, knocked him out. Reigns then obtained a chair and entered the ring, however, McIntyre performed a Claymore in Reigns for a nearfall. As Reigns performed another Superman Punch, McIntyre performed a Spear on Reigns. McIntyre then performed a Claymore on Reigns, only for NXT's Solo Sikoa, a younger cousin of Reigns, to pull the referee outside the ring. Reigns then performed a Spear on McIntyre to retain the title. Following the match, Fury entered the ring and shook Reigns' hand. Fury then tended to a disappointed McIntyre, who was seated in the corner of the ring, and stated that regardless of the result, McIntyre still made his country proud. Fury then lead McIntyre and the crowd into singing "American Pie", while McIntyre initiated the singing of "Don’t look back in anger".
The event received universal acclaim for the Intercontinental Championship match which Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter gave five stars, making it WWE's second five-star match of 2022. The main event, however, was criticized by some for its ending. The match received a 4-and-a-half star rating, while Rollins vs. Riddle received a 4-and-a-quarter star rating. Triple H said that Clash at the Castle was a massive success, stating that Clash at the Castle was the number one international PPV in WWE history, the highest rated UK PPV in WWE history, and the best-selling non-WrestleMania event in WWE history.
On the following episode of Raw, Edge came out and stated that he had known Dominik Mysterio for a long time and recounted his history with the Mysterio family. Rey, Dominik's father, then came out and wanted an explanation for Dominik's actions. Dominik then came out, flanked by The Judgment Day (Finn Bálor, Damian Priest, and Rhea Ripley) and ignored his father. After Rey sadly walked backstage, Edge then vowed to get an answer out of Dominik, however, Judgment Day viciously attacked Edge. Later that night, Rey faced Priest in a losing effort. The following week, Edge faced and defeated Dominik via disqualification.
For Seth Rollins and Matt Riddle, their very personal rivalry seemed to end at Clash at the Castle, but Riddle could not sit back after his loss. Riddle and Rollins were involved in some serious altercations between each other in the following weeks and clashed again at Extreme Rules in a Fight Pit match with UFC Hall of Famer Daniel Cormier as the guest referee.
On the following episode of SmackDown, Solo Sikoa officially joined The Bloodline, thus making his main roster debut. Later that night, Sikoa fought Drew Mcintyre where he lost via disqufication due to Karrion Kross attacking McIntyre, who would begin a rivalry with Kross.
Also on SmackDown, Imperium (Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser, and Giovanni Vinci) defeated The Brawling Brutes (Sheamus, Ridge Holland, and Butch) in a six-man tag team match.
|1P||Madcap Moss and The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) defeated Austin Theory and Alpha Academy (Chad Gable and Otis) by pinfall||Six-man tag team match||6:29|
|2||Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky) defeated Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss, and Asuka by pinfall||Six-woman tag team match||18:44|
|3||Gunther (c) (with Imperium (Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci)) defeated Sheamus (with The Brawling Brutes (Ridge Holland and Butch)) by pinfall||Singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship||19:33|
|4||Liv Morgan (c) defeated Shayna Baszler by pinfall||Singles match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship||11:02|
|5||Edge and Rey Mysterio (with Dominik Mysterio) defeated The Judgment Day (Finn Bálor and Damian Priest) (with Rhea Ripley) by pinfall||Tag team match||12:35|
|6||Seth "Freakin" Rollins defeated Matt Riddle by pinfall||Singles match||17:22|
|7||Roman Reigns (c) defeated Drew McIntyre by pinfall||Singles match for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship[a]||30:47|